Here are some simple guidelines to help you explain your project work and experiences:
Keep it short. You could try answering these questions:
- Where is your project? This need only take one sentence. You could draw a map.
- What is the problem your project is trying to tackle? Two or three sentences are enough to describe this. Remember that problems in dry areas are similar (drought, poor harvest, land degradation, poor health, low level of literacy, etc), and do other readers of Joto Afrika will immediately recognize the situation you describe.
- How is your project planning to tackle the problem? In this section you can state the objectives of your work. But do not write too much. People are more interested in what you have done than in what you are hoping to do! No rhetoric please!
2. Project activities
In this section you can describe in more details what your project does.
- Who is it for?
- What are the activities?
- Tell us about the work of the project staff and the responsibilities of the community.
3. Project results-successes and failures
Explain how the project succeeded in tackling the problem. More importantly, tell us WHY you think it succeeded, and don’t forget that women might have different ideas about this than men.
It is also necessary to describe what went wrong and WHY. This is hard because people do not like to speak of what they think of as their failures, but this is the most important section of the article. It is from mistakes that we learn.
Remember, women’s ideas about what has worked and hasn’t may not be the same as men’s, so think about it from both points of view!
4. The lessons Learned
This can be a conclusion where you consider what the project has taught you. If you had to do it all over again how would you do it differently? You can also describe what the project plans for the future.
- A good title is important. This is the first thing people read so choose something that will capture their attention. Proverbs or local sayings often make good titles.
- Split your article up into sections with subheadings. Short passages of text are easier to read than long ones.
- Simple, straightforward language is the best. Remember the main objective of the article is to pass on a message, so make it easy to understand.
- Keep to the essential. People are more likely to read short articles.
- Photos and illustrations speak louder than a hundred words. If you have photos that help to explain the project work send them to us – we will return them to you after we have used them.
- If you have an idea for an illustration tell us and we will get it drawn.
- Don’t forget to write your name and address at the end of the article.
Language & style
For many Joto Afrika users English is a second language. In addition, our target users are policy makers,communities and practitioners rather than academics. So please:
keep words, sentences and paragraphs short
write in plain English
avoid academic and technical jargon, clichés, puns etc.
use active language rather than the passive form
The aim of Joto Afrika research highlights is to explore key research findings and highlight policy lessons and implications. They are written in an up-beat style, without compromising academic integrity to appeal to a non-academic audience in developing countries. Joto Afrika highlights are easy to read, interesting, informative, practical.