Reading material on success story writing for CERT Karachi by Fida Karim


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Reading material on success story writing for CERT Karachi by Fida Karim

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Reading material on success story writing for CERT Karachi by Fida Karim

  1. 1. How to identify and write Success Story Please submit your success story via e-mail to: ; Page 1 1. What is a success story? A success story shows an organization or individual making a difference in people’s lives. It describes a positive change and shows how that change benefits the people of a given area. A good success story uses evidence to show the value of our responses and or results. You can write a success story about an entire project, program or part of a program (i.e. activity) that is particularly noteworthy and significant in terms of results and its impacts. It may be about an innovation, emergency response or outstanding effort. Whatever you choose to write about, your story should show your intervention making a difference in protecting lives and properties through making disaster resilient communities in Pakistan. 2. Why write success stories?  To show accountability for public funds  To verify that we are using resources to make a positive difference in people’s lives  To share successes so individuals in and out of organization can learn from our results  To spread the word about organization as a valuable resource  To show that numbers alone don’t tell the whole story of organization  To reflect and learn from our work  To practice good scholarship 3. How is success stories used? • To assess team progress in relation to plans • To share information among partners and generate interest among potential partners • To help internal staff and partners better understand organization’s work and value • For reporting purposes • To post on program-area web sites • As a source of news stories for local media • To document activities and accomplishments of staff, volunteers and targeted beneficiaries • As input for nominating individuals for awards and presentations We can also use Success Stories in a variety of ways, including: • In performance reviews • As part of your tenure review documentation • In organization’s annual reports and monthly reports to stakeholders • In communications with local officials / partners • To share the value of organization with partners and generate interest among potential partners • To celebrate achievements with colleagues and stakeholders • To keep up with colleagues’ accomplishments around a wider audiences • In internal communications 4. What makes a good success story? A good success story: Collecting success stories affords the opportunity to regularly step back and celebrate achievements both big and small. Success stories are an effective means to move beyond the numbers and connect to your reader; a cause they can relate to and want to join.
  2. 2. How to identify and write Success Story Please submit your success story via e-mail to: ; Page 2 • Describes results that are valued by clients • Contains compelling, significant facts • Catches your attention • Tells who benefits • Answers: “So what?” • Spells out your organization’s role in achieving results • Is easy to read and understand • Identifies key partners and funders 5. When do you submit success stories? • When you have something significant to report and evaluation data to back it up • When you are proud of a program or initiative • On an ongoing basis – don’t wait until the end of the year 6. Tips for writing Success Stories It’s one thing to have a good story to tell. It’s another to write it so that people will want to read it. Use the following tips and many resources on the Internet for help in writing your success stories. Formatting features:  Times New Roman, 12 point  Single space within paragraphs, double space between paragraphs  Left justify headers and text  Bold headers  1.5-inch margins  Short paragraphs and active tense  Names, not “this agent”  Avoid bullets, special fonts or features since they may not transfer to the web  a success story cannot exceed 4,000 Title:  Capture the overall message of the story  Use an action verb  Capture the reader’s attention Overview of the situation being addressed:  Describe the situation being addressed and why it is important  Use data to frame the situation, including socio-economic and environmental costs  Specify the affected population(s) Program/Activity Description:  Identify who was involved, including your partners  Describe the program/activity that was implemented, including where and when it took place and how it addressed the situation  Identify the target audience of the program/activity
  3. 3. How to identify and write Success Story Please submit your success story via e-mail to: ; Page 3  Describe how the progress of the program/activity was evaluated Program/Activity Outcomes:  Identify the short-term or intermediate outcomes that demonstrate how the program/activity addressed the situation (e.g. change in policy, use of curriculum, change in school-level practices, leveraging of additional funding, training further volunteers & beneficiaries)  Provide a conclusion to the success story that avoids using broad sweeping statements such as “There was noticeable increase in eating habits.”  Show the impact, not just what was done but the result of what was done. What changed as a result?  Remember that the types of outcomes achieved by a program might vary depending on the stage and maturity of the program. Sometimes a success story is a “work in progress.” Consider updating or enhancing your story as new information and outcome data become available. 7. Success story checklist Use the following success story checklist to check how good your success story is. SITUATION a) Clearly describes an important issue or concern - why we should care b) Shows that issue or need is appropriate for Extension response c) Includes data demonstrating need RESPONSE (inputs and outputs) a) Spells out Extension’s role/contribution b) Identifies participants: numbers and demographics of individuals, businesses, and/or communities that were reached c) Identifies partnerships, if applicable d) Identifies funding sources, if applicable RESULTS (outcomes-impact) a) Tells who benefited and how b) Uses numeric and/or narrative data to describe important outcomes c) Answers “So what?” Makes value clear to reader d) Links story to research, if appropriate e) States future plans based on results For multi-year effort a) Shows important progress for the reporting period b) Links work across years EVIDENCE (evaluation) a) Describes data collection method b) Includes sample (number and how selected) c) Provides response rate d) Tells when data were collected WRITING STYLE a) Active voice b) Reads like a story c) Compelling and significant facts d) No jargon or abbreviations e) Concise, complete sentences (f) Names/titles, not “this agent”
  4. 4. How to identify and write Success Story Please submit your success story via e-mail to: ; Page 4 Focus Pakistan Trained Students as a First Emergency Responders Under the aegis of CDRR Project FOCUS Pakistan conducted an emergency management training cum awareness session on 15th January, 2013 at Community Based School (CBS) Tarkhwaja, Shah Bandar Council, Sindh. Under this program a School Safety Committee (SSC) had also been formed that comprises of school teachers, students along with their parents. The objective of that training was to give knowledge about basic concept and terminologies of DRM cycle, Emergency Management include First Aid, Fire Fighting and Evacuation techniques and develop a school safety plan of the respective school; So that they could better be able to cope with any emergency with special reference to coastal hazards to CBS Tarkhwaja. Ali Akbar is one of them who had attained this training on the aforementioned date in CBS Tarkhwaja. He is a 5th class student in CBS Tarkhawaja. He is living in Tarkhwaja village. On an eventful when he was at his paternal Uncle’s home nearby Diwan Sugar Mill Jati Chock Tarkhwaja, an abrupt fire erupted in the bushes with which a boundary type was erected to veil the house and courtyard from outside view. Since he had knowledge about the basic techniques of fire extinguishing, therefore he immediately responded by putting water and soil on fire and meanwhile shouted for help. Eventually neighbors rush there to help him out and called on emergency number of 115 to receive the help of relevant fire department. Thus, save the house and property of his uncle from burning. He further stated that “now after getting basic emergency response training from FOCUS Pakistan I feel more confident and secure as I know how to extinguish fire or evacuate our school in case of any emergency and shift to a safer place”. Figure 1: Ali Akbar of CBS Tarkhwaja is sharing his success story with Aziz- our TO during a follow up visit to CBS Tarkhwaja. Photo: Fida Karim Figure 2: Ali Akbar of CBS Tarkhwaja is sharing his success story with Aziz-our Training Officer during a follow up visit to CBS Tarkhwaja in Sindh. Photo: Fida Karim