Development organisations: Course examples
Scriptoria provides development and research organisations all over the world with a wide variety of communications and writing courses. Examples range from workshops to teach clear report writing and grant proposal writing, to master classes in the implementation of communications strategies and advocacy. Below are just a few examples of the many organisations we teach each year.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2009–present)
Scriptoria has provided many different training courses and writing workshops for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since we began working for them in 2009. To date, courses have covered subjects ranging from advocacy and communications strategy to grant proposal and journal article writing. Courses have been run in the USA, the UK, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
“We’re very, very pleased with the services we received.”
Journal article writing
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2014–present)
In June 2014, Scriptoria’s expert trainers delivered a two-day course to the communications team from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO’s) Agricultural Development Economics Division. Held at FAO’s headquarters in Rome, the course focused on writing for the web and newsletters, with the aim of strengthening FAO’s online messaging and improving its advocacy work.
After the success of the first course, we were invited back again in May 2015 to lead another two-day communications workshop, this time for a group of FAO nutrition experts. The course strengthened the group’s ability to transform complex nutrition concepts into easy-to-understand text, and focused on formats such as policy briefs, newsletters and opinion pieces for the media.
“The course was very well structured, with easy-to-follow tools/tips to improve writing skills. Thanks.”
Areas: Agriculture, economics, nutrition
Writing for the web
Stockholm International Water Institute (2015)
The Stockholm International Water Institute, better known as SIWI, is a well-respected policy think tank that works to tackle the world’s escalating water crisis. SIWI, a long-standing client of Scriptoria’s Publishing team, turned to our trainers in 2015.
In February and May 2015, one of our expert writers taught two full classes of SIWI staff how to communicate complicated water issues to non-technical audiences. The courses also covered how best to write for certain non-technical formats, such as policy briefs.
“Thank you for the excellent training at SIWI, most helpful!”
Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute (2015)
The Mikocheni Agricultural Research Institute (MARI) was founded in 1996 by the Tanzanian government, and works on a range of African crop types. MARI flew two senior Scriptoria writing trainers out to its base in Dar es Salaam to teach a week-long intensive ‘write-shop’ on writing journal articles.
MARI has lots of excellent research data that has not yet been communicated to the wider scientific world. So, our experts were brought in to help researchers disseminate their valuable results and publish top-quality articles in international scientific journals.
“This workshop was very relevant to my career, and it was very well conducted with excellent trainers.”
Cassava Virus Disease Diagnostics Programme (2015)
Scriptoria was called upon to teach an intensive three-day course on intranets and online data management to this Gates Foundation funded network of African cassava disease specialists. Training focused on information and project management, and specifically on teaching participants how to effectively use the Programme’s new intranet, which Scriptoria built to enhance collaboration.
“Excellent – well executed, with a lot of support from the trainers.”
Area: Agriculture & information management
Information and data management
East Malling Research (2015)
In 2015, we began giving training courses at the UK horticulture research organisation East Malling Research (EMR). The institute is internationally known for its work on crop genetics and sustainable crop management.
We were brought in to teach a two-day course on various forms of scientific communications, including writing for journal articles and giving technical presentations.
“This was an excellent course which was relevant for all staff levels attending.”
National Agricultural Research Organisation, Uganda (2014)
The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) is the body that guides and coordinates all public agricultural research activities in Uganda. Scriptoria was brought in by NARO in 2014 to improve staff communication skills so that their research achievements could better reach both scientific and non-technical audiences.
We taught NARO scientists how to improve their journal article writing, and gave a course to NARO senior communicators on how to design and implement effective external communications strategies.
“We learnt a lot of tools that we can apply to improve our communication strategy planning and implementation. I know that I will be referring to the training material regularly when I am preparing my messages for the different target audiences.”
Writing for non-specialists
Voices for Change (2013–2014)
In 2013 Scriptoria’s Training team taught a week-long communications workshop to this innovative DFID gender programme in Nigeria. The aim of the course was to improve the quality of the team’s report writing and advocacy communications skills. The course was followed by one-to-one online mentoring sessions with all participants.
Global Water Partnership (2006 and 2012)
Since we began working with them in 2006, Scriptoria’s Training team has provided the Global Water Partnership (GWP) with training courses on report writing and clear technical writing as well as on advocacy and social media. Participants have ranged from water experts from all over Africa to communications officers drawn from GWP’s network of offices worldwide.
“Extremely impressed by the professionalism and communications knowledge, particularly in the area of sustainable development and work with NGOs. An excellent workshop!”
Writing for the web
Scriptoria has provided a variety of different courses for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). These have ranged from short one-to-one sessions on social media and website writing, to intensive London-based master classes with their Head of Communications on communications strategy and delivery.
Writing for the web