On Thursday 11 November, Commonwealth Scholars joined the first workshop of the CSC’s Leaders in Sustainable Development programme 2021-22 on Writing for Development workshop. The workshop introduced Scholars to key development concepts and how they apply to research in academia and the development sector. During the workshop, Scholars also discussed the main actors and institutions in international development today.

The workshop was led by AccessEd, a non-profit organisation that promotes fair access to university for all young people and works with researchers across the world, training them to focus on outreach and public engagement skills, career readiness, and leadership development.

The workshop opened with introductions followed by a group discussion led by the AccessEd facilitator, Katie Booth, on what is meant by development. During the discussion, Scholars spoke about how their research related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and spent some time identifying which of the SDGs were most relevant to their current research and studies.

The Scholars also identified which stakeholders were essential to engage in order to achieve their desired SDG outcomes and what impact these stakeholders could have on the successful implementation of their research projects.

As the discussion evolved, Katie from AccessEd helped Scholars to recognise and understand the use and value of the SDGs in framing their research. CSC Commissioner, Professor Madeleine Arnot, who also attended the session, outlined the importance of Scholars knowing their audience and being able to prioritise different types of target audience when framing research through the SDGs.

Finally, there was a discussion about language faux pas in the context of writing for development purposes; Scholars talked about the language faux pas they had encountered in their different country contexts and why they felt these were problematic.

The workshop facilitator ended the session by highlighting the necessity of collaboration and early engagement in academic scholarship and development writing. Scholars were also given top tips on how to engage with development research and incorporate this into their communication.

Thank you to all the Scholars who attended this workshop and to our training providers from AccessEd for delivering the session.