Producing information materials
Many development professionals do not have the time or skills to write. I specialize in helping get your experiences—or those of your partners and clients—onto paper or the web, using a variety of methods. I can simplify complex, technical ideas: keeping the important information but making it easily understood. I can turn a rough manuscript into a desktop-published book or paper, ready for publication.
Experience: I have written or edited over 300 print and online publications, on development topics ranging from agriculture and veterinary medicine to family planning and indigenous knowledge. I specialize in putting (or helping the author put) scientific and technical information into an easy-to-understand form for farmers and non-scientific audiences. I have extensive experience as a science editor, especially with papers written by authors who speak English as a second language. I am skilled in desktop publishing and familiar with both British and American usage. I can take material in German, French, Spanish, Italian and Indonesian and turn it into finished English text. I can conceptualize illustrations and convert rough sketches into finished diagrams in Illustrator.
When information is spread among many different people, when people have different experiences and opinions, when scientists want to write for farmers and extensionists... a writeshop can be a good way of getting it onto paper. I can advise you whether a writeshop is appropriate; I can plan and run the workshop for you, and if you wish, I can produce the finished manuscript, ready for the printers.
Experience: I helped pioneer a unique method of preparing publications through intensive workshops. This method enables a manuscript to be written, revised and printed within a very short time. I have planned and managed more than 50 such writeshops in various languages in Asia and Africa to produce illustrated, user-friendly manuals on sustainable agriculture, conservation, and other topics. The manuals and booklets produced are ideal for NGO and extension personnel.
Communication and media training
Many staff with the job of communication lack the appropriate background and skills. I design and teach courses tailored to the needs of your project or organization. Possible topics include: planning communication strategies; selecting and designing media; participatory communication techniques; hands-on, practical experience in photography, video, graphics, editing and desktop publishing; using computers; and managing communication activities.
Experience: I have planned and taught courses on development communication, media and training techniques in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines and the United States. I teach a wide range of computer skills, including word processing, desktop publishing, email and internet use, website construction, graphics and spreadsheets.
Translation and languages
I translate from German, French, Italian, Spanish and Indonesian in English. I edit as I translate: the goal is to produce a document that is not only accurate and understandable, but sounds as if a native English speaker had written it. While I prefer to do a translation from scratch, I also use online translation services to check technical terms.
Experience: I have translated a series of atlases on social issues published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Hans Böckler Foundation. I have also translated numerous other training manuals, documents and presentations.
I have facilitated meetings in English, German and Indonesian, and managed meetings with simultaneous translation from other languages. I have done the layout of training materials on rural development in French and Spanish.
Training materials and e-learning
It can be difficult to turn a set of interesting and useful information into compelling training courses. Training manuals must provide content (what is taught), method (how to teach it) and measurement (how to tell if the learner has internalized the material).
Experience: I have designed and produced training manuals for community workers on a range of rural-development subjects (marketing, natural resources and innovation), designed for print and e-learning use. I have developed e-learning courses on communications, climate-smart agriculture, plant and animal genetic resources, marketing for pastoralists and digital libraries. Each of these included the training content, the teaching methods (including practical exercises) and evaluation tests to measure performance.