FAHAMU - Learning for Change http://www.fahamu.org 15 January 2003 Press Release TRAINING MANUAL ON EFFECTIVE WRITING AVAILABLE ONLINE ** Do you find writing a chore? Do you spend hours looking at a blank sheet of paper, wondering how to start? Then Writing for Change can help. ** A major training resource designed to help those working in the not-for-profit sector hone their writing skills in order to influence, persuade and bring about positive social change has been made available free of charge on the internet, thanks to the support of IDRC. "The CDROM version has been so popular," said Firoze Manji, Director of Fahamu, "IDRC and Fahamu decided to make the resource available in the public domain as well." Writing for Change, originally published as an interactive CDROM by Fahamu and Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is designed primarily for people working in the not-for-profit sector, including researchers, scientists, project managers, team members, campaigners, fundraisers, social activists and writers. Available in English, French and Spanish from Fahamu's web site (http://www.fahamu.org) the resource is thought to be one of the most comprehensive available, running at about 900 pages per language. Writing for Change is unique as a training resource because it contains major sections devoted not only to the core skills of writing, but also to the two crucial specialised areas of writing - scientific papers for publication in journals and documents to help campaign or persuade. People working in research and advocacy organisations need to do lots of writing in the form of project documents, articles for magazines, papers for publication in scientific journals, proposals and newsletters - the list can seem endless. Many able and committed people find writing time-consuming, boring and difficult. Rather than sitting at a desk, they would prefer to be doing the real work of setting up the next experiment, conducting the field research, lobbying politicians or engaging with communities. Yet the world will only know about the quality and significance of their work through the documents that explain or promote it. Success depends on the ability to communicate ideas to others - often on paper. Writing for Change can help achieve that success. Writing for Change comprises three sections: Effective Writing: core skills, Writing for Science, and Writing for Advocacy. Effective Writing: core skills, helps to develop the skills needed to write clearly and purposefully, organise ideas and express them well. Writing for Science shows how to produce writing for publication in specialist journals. It teaches how to build on the core skills of effective writing and add further skills that apply to this specialised type of writing. This section gives a better chance of getting published, discusses the ethics of authorship, how to respond to editors and correct proofs. Writing for Advocacy contains a wealth of advice on how to win hearts and minds and how to adapt core writing skills to lobbying or campaigning documents. The section looks at articles, leaflets, newsletters, pamphlets, press releases and posters. Extra features of Writing for Change include a resource centre with suggestions for further reading and links to useful web sites and resources. "We supported Writing for Change so that our partners would have a tool to build their capacity to communicate research results in ways that promote action based on evidence and social relevance. The guide focuses on effective writing, important both for communicating science and advocacy work," said Daniel Buckles from the International Development Research Centre. "The combination of guidance on core writing skills, writing for science and writing for advocacy makes this product unique." "I can honestly say it is one of the best training programmes I have seen. It is very well set out and easy to navigate. It also follows a logical progression, there were no missing steps, and it went into sufficient detail to provide concrete, practical guidance. I was never left thinking, 'But how exactly would I do such and such?" - Sarah Atewell, World Vision. Writing for change continues to be available on CDROM, price GBP 20.00. ABOUT FAHAMU Fahamu is committed to supporting progressive social change in the South through using information and communication technologies. We believe that civil society organisations have a critical role to play in defending human rights, and that information and communication technologies can and should be harnessed for that cause. Fahamu, the word of which comes from the Kiswahili word for understanding, is committed to enabling civil society organisations to use the internet in the interests of promoting social justice. Fahamu 14 Standingford House Oxford OX4 1BA United Kingdom http://www.fahamu.org info@fahamu.org Tel +44 (0)1865 791777 Fax +44 (0)1865 203009 ABOUT IDRC IDRC is a public corporation created by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 to help developing countries use science and knowledge to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic and environmental problems they face. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, IDRC maintains regional offices in Cairo, Dakar, Montevideo, Nairobi, New Delhi and Singapore. http://www.idrc.ca (ENDS)