Guidelines for Dispatches from the Field

Jan 31, 2012

These are first-person accounts of events, experiences, problems, successes or even mini-profiles of the people encountered in the field who have made a particular impression on the writer. These stories should ideally include photos and possibly video. The purpose is to share the human-level, personal experience of working in the field on our platform, which is capable of reaching a broad and diverse audience.

These stories can be as short as 300 words or up to a 1,000 but should be as short, colorful and specific as possible. The writer can expect publication of several dispatches in a series with prior approval.

Important note: These stories must not be pitches for a program or for money. This is not a place to write about you company’s or organization’s agenda. The goal is to provide readers a first-hand experience with lessons learned (when that’s realistic). No moralizing!

Send stories or proposals to Jake Ellison, Online Managing Editor, at

The format is loose.

  • Who are you? (photo)
  • Where are you and why are you there? (photos and video)
  • Describe the setting and include the setup and identity of the program organizers or sponsor – very short segment.
  • Who are the local people involved? (photos/video)
  • What’s one takeaway? Or, what’s a specific revelation or key idea the circumstance left you with? (Not mandatory)
  • How do you maintain your commitment to the effort? What’s one practical thing you do in the field that keeps you going?

Opinion alternative:

The writer can, with prior approval, construct an essay arguing for a particular approach to global health and the fight against poverty based strictly on his or her experience. Nothing wonky, nor a pitch for a particular organization’s agenda.

No more than 500 words.


These post will only be lightly edited for minor mistakes and formatting. If the piece comes in too rough or doesn’t fit the criteria, it will be turned down with a short note of explanation (this will not be a critique of the work since we simply do not have the time to critique writing).