Event Reports

Professional Writing as a Key to Successful Policy Work

Training on Basics of Professional Writing for Youth4Policy Fellows

The workshop on professional writing offered the 2019 Youth4Policy fellow class a chance to actively work on their written presentation of their policy ideas and to receive experts’ advice on their work. Throughout the weekend, the fellows gained a deeper understanding of writing techniques, which will help them to sharpen their research focus as well as presenting their policy ideas in a convincing academic format.

From Thursday, June 27th to Saturday, June 29th, the second cohort of Youth4Policy fellows came together for a workshop on academic writing in Entebbe. The programme was designed to pair writing sessions with expert`s insights of academic writing techniques. Moreover, the workshop offered the fellows a chance to benefit from peer-to-peer feedback and thereby develop their preliminary policy research ideas further.

‘Policy research always needs to be addressed by different point of views. It never only comes along with one side.’, stated one of the facilitators, Emmanuel Kitamirike, and encouraged the fellows to analyse gaps in a policy framework thoroughly before suggesting any policy alternative.

The value of a policy brief depends not only on presenting quality evidence, but also in translating new knowledge into context-relevant messages for the target audiences. All these factors need to be taken into account for the fellows´ final policy brief, which requires to be written using a professional style that is easy to understand without specialised knowledge. After having had a little refresher on Policy Work and professional writing techniques, the fellows worked on their own policy concepts and incorporated individual feedback, they have received.

The fellows described this process of constantly revising their own concept paper as a ‘learning journey’. “It is very helpful for me to constantly reflect where I stand with my concept and what I have to work on.”, said Benjamin, Y4P fellow. Advice from other scholarship holders, but also from experts with relevant experience in academic writing, has helped the fellows a lot to further develop their research concepts.

One method the fellows used to enhance productivity was the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ a time management tool which uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. That method helped the fellows to cut down on interruptions and make writing sessions more effective.


Written by Sophie Brandt