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Guidelines for guest authors

Thank for you for wishing to submit an Insight to ODI!

“Insights” is a space on ODI where we share ideas and expertise that matter for people and planet. They are written by ODI’s people and allies, and cover a range of voices and viewpoints. 

For guest authors, Insights provide a platform to bring your unique experience and original thinking to an engaged and influential audience. Over 1.8 million people, including policy and decision-makers, civil society practitioners, journalists, thought leaders and academics visited out website last year.

The key requirements 

Please try and keep your piece to the following requirements:

  • Under 1,200 words
  • Don’t use footnotes (all references should be hyperlinked)
  • Titles of no more than 10-15 words

Writing tips

We recommend these tips to help your piece cut through the noise:

  • Offer the key finding or message first. Give your reader a reason to continue reading.  
  • Be relevant. Root your post in recent news events, contentious debates, or major developments in your field. 
  • Write in the first person. Refer to your work, your research, and your experiences.  
  • Be human. Keep the tone conversational to help people relate to your writing. 
  • Be accessible. Presume your reader does not know the background. Make it accessible, jargon free and inclusive for all.  
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs. Writing in short, concise sentences and expressing one idea per paragraph is recommended.  
  • Use subheadings. Breaking up the text with descriptive subheadings allows people to scan your post. 
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms. If you absolutely must use a piece of jargon or an acronym, explain it or spell it out the first time you use it. 
  • Include facts and statistics where relevant. These add weight and are great for sharing. 
  • Ask questions and promote debate. Invite readers to respond to your Insights post and continue the discussion. 
  • Include links. Hyperlink to sources and further reading.  
  • Make it visual. If there are social media posts, videos, graphics or photos that you think could be suitable to embed in your post please share them with us.  
  • Pick a strong title. A good title is descriptive enough to tell people what to expect and interesting enough to encourage them to read more. Choose one that uses accessible, active language. Short titles, of 10-15 words or fewer, work best. Don’t be tempted to write a title before drafting your post. 

We're here to help should you need any assistance.

Promoting your Insight

Once the article is published, we’ll send you a link. We encourage you to promote it in your networks, including on social media.

Please tag us on Twitter, @ODI_Global. You can also tag us if you post it on LinkedIn and Facebook. 

Your piece will be included in our Newsletter, sign up below to receive it.