Short course: Writing to achieve policy impact

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Publications are one of the most important products produced by think tanks. While communication techniques are evolving and many organisations now use a mix of social media, data visualization, podcasts and events to help expose their research, it is often the existence of a solid and well-written research report that often makes this possible.

Though publications come in different shapes and sizes (reports, background papers, policy briefs, books), there are a basic set of good practices that every researcher and communications professional should follow when developing written outputs. This short course offers the opportunity to learn about these by looking specifically at how to write policy briefs and blogs.

Who is this for?

This short course is for researchers who have a responsibility for developing communication outputs, as well as for communications staff who want to effectively support researchers produce publications that have policy impact. Participants should have a policy brief or blog in mind so that the training is as relevant as possible and results in a concrete output.

Specifically, the module aims to help participants:

  • Gain an understanding of the different types of publications being produced by think tanks;

  • Tell a better story about their research in order to get the attention of readers;

  • Develop the ability to write in plain English in order to communicate arguments and key messages as clearly as possible;

  • Understand how to use design tricks to highlight key elements of your publication; and

  • Draft and design a publication (either policy brief or blog).

Read more about the outline and facilitators here.

Check out other On Think Tank School courses here.

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