Editing and proofreading UNICEF research
What links child marriage in Bangladesh with HIV viral load suppression in southern Africa and living with disability in Palestine?
The answer is UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. Child marriage in Bangladesh, HIV in Southern Africa and disability in Palestine happen to be areas not only where UNICEF is engaged on the ground, but also all three were among the topics featured in the recent publication the Best of UNICEF Research 2021, which Accuracy Matters had the privilege of both editing and proofreading.
For those who – like me – knew UNICEF best for its campaign work, the range and rigour of its research can be eye-opening. There were 11 studies selected by a judging panel for the Best Of publication, covering not only vastly different topics and locations, but also research methodologies.
For example, the “Voices of Youth” study used social media to gather the views of over 33,000 young people in eight South Asian countries about how they view the workplace and their readiness for it. It was understandably chosen as a great example of large-scale qualitative research, and culminated in a detailed and illuminating report full of first-person perspectives.
Alongside it, there were academic journal articles, arguing for greater investment in preventive healthcare for adolescents in China and exploring the viability of spatial mapping to guide the humanitarian response to natural disasters.
Ensuring a consistent tone of voice
Our role was to summarise these different studies – applying a standard structure and consistent tone of voice (and a strict word limit) to explain what they are about and why they matter. That meant getting to grips with the context and methods of each piece of research, pinpointing the most important findings among many, and highlighting the potential impact of the work.
The ultimate aims for this publication were two-fold: driving more people to read the original reports, but also to demonstrate to UNICEF’s donors the quality of its research work. In part, that’s reassurance for donors but more importantly still, it’s a reason to engage with UNICEF and commission or support future studies.
It proved a fascinating, thought-provoking project with a hugely supportive client team at UNICEF Innocenti, the Fund’s dedicated research office. We were privileged to be trusted with helping to steer the publication towards its goals, and we are are proud of how well it turned out: if you're interested to read more on the topic you can read the finished publication here.
Working for clients like UNICEF is not only a privilege on a personal level, but for Accuracy Matters having clients of this calibre who trust us to edit and proofread publications like this is a real dream come true.
Image by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
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