Introducing our ‘Letter From’ Blog Series

UNDP in Asia and the Pacific
4 min readApr 15, 2021

We’re inviting UNDP Asia Pacific senior managers to contribute posts for our “Letter From…” blog series. The idea is to have every one of our offices represented through the series, featured in the RBAP Digest and on our soon to be revamped corporate website.

Contributions should ideally be planned in advance and are written in the style of personal reflections anchored to key moments such as the release of a flagship report (whether global or national) or a major national or global announcement or milestone that relates to UNDP’s strategic priorities.

For 2021 we’re keen to explore topics relating to but not limited to the following:

COVID-19 | Green Recovery | Innovation | Inclusion | Migration and Displacement | Climate Change | Biodiversity

Each blog will be published with a byline and a photo, and the country capital will complete the title. Since the blog seeks to represent UNDP’s voice from each country, contributions should be vetted by senior managers and communications officers for them to be considered.

To submit or plan your contribution, email Mahtab Haider, Communications Specialist at the Bangkok Regional Hub.

Submissions should:

· Adhere to UNDP Blogging Guidelines below

· Include a high quality photo or video of the subject matter

· Be between 500 and 700 words long

· Use the official UNDP Style Manual

Guidelines for Blogging

Blogging is a conversation. It is a space to discuss ideas, throw out thoughts and challenge readers. You should think of a blog as the exact opposite of a press release. While press releases are impersonal, self promotional, and draw skepticism from readers, a blog should express a clear point of view, talk in a more casual voice and contain only original writing.

Quick tips for writing a great blog post:

Know your point: Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve with each bit of text you write and get to your point quickly.

Know your audience: You can theoretically know exactly who your audience is and target your writing accordingly. Before you lay any words down on the page, figure out who you’re speaking to, and write with them in mind.

Make your content dense with value: A blog is a great place to post links and highlight online content that you think your reader ought to know about. Make use of it! Try and link your page to as many interesting facts, news items, videos and reports as you can. Your blog post is not a static article — let your reader know that you are part of the conversation.

Be accurate — ensure all information is from reliable sources, check facts.

Keep it short: Aim for between 500 words — and certainly never go over 700 words for a post. This will keep it focused and make it more likely that your reader gets to the end before something else grabs their attention.

Visualize — photos can help you catch attention of your readers and convey your message. Include a high resolution picture or video related to the blog issue. Always include credit and caption.

Avoid mentioning UN/ UNDP in the headline or first paragraph. When mentioning UN/ UNDP avoid “Thanks to UNDP…”, prefer “with UNDP support…”

Make it scannable: When it comes to scannability, large blocks of text are your enemy. Structure your post with easy chunks and short, descriptive headings. Make it easier for your reader to pull out the central topic points by using descriptive headers and sub-headers, bulleted lists and highlighting of key points.

Talk like a human being: Let your inner self come out rather than your “inner bullet point.” Don’t feel like your prose has to sound like it was crafted by a university professor. Just speak! This is the place that relevant personal experiences and insights are welcome and where you can use plain language. Use active verbs (e.g.” teach” not “are taught”)

Don’t use jargon! Often we do not even realize the jargon that becomes part of our everyday vocabulary. Big words and complicated sentences make blogs much less friendly to a web passerby. Pay attention to your choice of words — if a simpler word can be used with no loss of meaning, use it. (e.g. DO NOT USE “capacity building”, “basket fund”, “multifunctional platform”)

Blog regularly: Most successful blogs put out new content at least a couple of times per week and try to stick to a regular schedule. Consistently putting out quality content will keep readers returning and over time it will help you build a community.

Enable conversation: You want your reader to engage with what you are saying so invite them to participate. Ask questions, invite feedback and prompt your reader to leave comments. And don’t let the dialogue end there — write back on the comments you receive.