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How to contribute to the web portal Healthy DEvelopments

Do you want to contribute an article, publication or video to Healthy DEvelopments? Do you want to document a conference you are organizing? Do you want to present news from your project or an innovative approach you are using to improve health and social protection?


This section provides some basic advice for those who want to contribute to the Healthy DEvelopments portal. If you are unsure whether and how you can present your work on this portal, contact us at portal@healthy-developments.de

How to write for the internet

Choose a catchy headline

Put some thinking into the title of your article: A good headline pulls readers in to learn more while a bad headline loses readers instantly. On the Healthy Developments portal, articles should have a catchy main headline and a subtitle that explains a bit more about the topic at hand.  

Keep it short

Web articles can be as short as 150 words for a straightforward news posting, and go up to 800 words for an article describing an innovative approach or an issue for discussion. Keep in mind that internet users will not read long texts - they want information that is to the point. If you have more to say, you can post a short text referring readers to your longer piece in pdf format for downloading.

Formulate a teaser text

Each of our articles needs a short teaser text: 2-3 sentences that explain what the article is about and catches readers’attention. The teaser text will be used for a column on our landing page and it will be placed, in bold print, above the article itself. 

Start with the essentials

The first paragraph of a story (‘the lead’) should provide a concise overview of the main points – the who, what, where, when, why and how. The readers want to find out quickly what the article is about so that they can decide whether or not they want to continue reading.

Break the text up into easily digestible portions

People who surf the internet try to find information very quickly. Most of them do not read webpages word by word but rather ‘scan’ them in order to find the information they are looking for.

This is why it helps to break up your story into sections with subheadings that readers can scan and find what they are interested in. You can also add bullet points or numbered lists when appropriate. You know what looks good, so write to look good, too.

Discuss all of the main points to your article in separate paragraphs – approximately 50-75 words each. Since web articles are read on-screen, rather than on paper, readers are going to lose track of your article if paragraphs are too long.

Keep it clear, simple and interesting

Make sure to write in short sentences and in plain language. Abbreviations and very technical terms impede the reading flow – avoid them when possible or explain them briefly when necessary.

In general, your texts will be easier to read if you write in the active voice and avoid nouns where a verb will do just as well.

To make a text more vivid, support abstract information with concrete examples that illustrate what you mean. Consider referring to ‘real’ people and let them speak (i.e. use quotes). Last not least, keep in mind that expert readers always look for figures that describe the scope of your work and its results.

Enhance your text with photos

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Good photos attract readers to your article and add a visual impression to what you are writing about. Whatever you write about, try to find some good photos to illustrate your content. For the photo slider on the landing page, we need high resolution photos in landscape orientation (380 x 980 pixel – if you are unsure how to cut photos, please ask us). For the columns on the landing page, we a need landscape orientation picture, too. Portrait orientation pictures can be included in your article.

Please note that we always need to know the photographer and the rights-holder for each photograph.

Use quotations or interviews correctly

Direct quotations or transcripts of interviews can add a lot of spice to an article or to a conference documentation. Before using it, make sure to cross-check with the person you quoted or with your interviewee that they agree for their words to be published and that they approve of your wording.

For more advice on how to conduct good interviews, check these webpages:

http://thewritepractice.com/six-ways-to-ask-better-questions-in-interviews
http://thewritepractice.com/eleven-habits-of-highly-effective-interviewers/

How to report on events

‘What’s on’-column on landing-page

Just before and whilst events are happening, we can post the conference title, date and place and two to three sentences about the purpose of the conference under ‘What’s on’ in the second column of our landing page. Articles should ideally be accompanied by at least one photo.

Depending on the importance of the event, and on the question whether it has its own website or not, there are several options as to how we can report on it in the events section:

Short articles of conferences with their own conference website

We can simply post a short article, describing the background, the aims, the format and the participants of the event. If the event has its own website, we can post a screenshot of that website, or the conference logo, on the right side of the article and link it to the conference website. This can be either a short article in the run-up to the event and/or an article describing the main results of the conference afterwards.

Conference websites

If the event is organized and hosted by BMZ, KfW or GIZ, we can also set up a full conference website in the events section. This can include a conference landing page, describing background and aims of the conference; a page showing the conference programme; a page listing conference speakers with photos and short professional pro les; a page describing the different sessions of the conference; and – whilst the conference is ongoing – continuous updates on the conference proceedings. Please contact us at portal@healthy-developments.de for more details.

Social media coverage

If the conference organizers are interested in sharing news about the conference via social media, such as Twitter or Facebook, we can also provide this. The conference website can then include a page on which all tweets that include the conference hashtag are visible.

What we report on

  • News
  • Current or upcoming events which German Development Cooperation experts organize or to which they contribute
  • Case studies which document learning from implementation (link zu GHPC-Landing Page)
  • Publications prepared by German Development Cooperation experts or with particular relevance for German Development Cooperation
  • German-supported country programmes, global and regional initiatives, multilateral organisations, networks and communities of practice

We publish Healthy DEvelopments in English because it is the language through which we can best reach our audience: health and social protection experts, development practitioners and decision makers, students and interested journalists worldwide. However, we can also post documents and texts in other languages if they are accompanied by an English translation or at least an explanatory note in English.

How we ensure the quality of contributions

Before we publish an article or any other contributions, we check the quality of its style and language and, where relevant, also its technical quality.

Language

The Healthy DEvelopments editor reads each text before it is posted and language-edits it if necessary. The editor has considerable professional experience in editing English-language publications in the eld of health and social protection.

In case a longer text needs thorough language-editing, the editor will request the contributors to have it language-edited by a professional writer. Healthy DEvelopments works with a pool of experienced journalists, in case you need recommendations for such tasks.

Technical quality

Before posting more technical articles, the Healthy DEvelopments team will check with the authors whether a senior health or social protection expert in the responsible organisation or unit has approved the given text.

How we monitor how the portal is used

Healthy DEvelopments continuously monitors by how many people the portal and its different sections and pages are used. Every week, we get a detailed report on page visits, downloads and referrals from and to other webpages. If you would like to know how many people had a look at your article, let us know and we can find out for you. 

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