Effective communication is a key element of the work of the United Nations and international organizations at large. Every day, the UN is called to take decisions whose impact will affect the lives of millions of people who are the direct beneficiaries of our collective work, as international civil servants. The Secretary-General himself has placed the primacy of politics and analysis at the centre of his agenda and as a guiding principle of any of the UN initiatives on sustaining peace. Analysis at the UN is often conducted for various audiences and purposes and with the ultimate goal of taking decisions that will “do no harm” and also ensure the greatest impact to its beneficiaries. Written analysis is one of the most complex and yet most important tools to influence policy making. By combining analytical methodologies, webinars and tutored writing exercises, this course will boost the ability of participants to capture, analyse and report on the most sensitive information required for decision-making using the appropriate drafting techniques and stylistic conventions.



Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Learn about different methodologies and techniques to craft informed pieces of analytical writing tailored for different scenarios, audiences and purposes. 
  • Learn about the basic principles of good writing, including an overview of best practices of writing, adjusting your scripts to the purpose, content, source of information, language, tone and style. 
  • Benefit from peer-to-peer learning and share lessons learned in order to promote shared analytical methodologies and good practices across United Nations entities and key partners. 

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

This course is delivered entirely online and offers the opportunity to engage in a dynamic learning experience by combining learner-centered design principles, combining live webinar sessions, led by

subject-matter experts, with self-paced activities. The course will examine carefully chosen writing samples and involve discussions of real cases and analytical dilemmas across different UN settings through stimulating presentations, interactive discussions and small-group exercises.

The weekly instructor-led webinars are conducted on the Zoom online platform. Participants need a computer (or mobile device), a reliable internet connection and either a headset with a microphone to connect to the audio through the computer, or a telephone. We will send instructions for Zoom access to registered participants. We recommend that you download the application and test your access in advance.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

General description of the curriculum (overall) + brief outline of key themes:

  • WEEK 1 : understanding integrated analysis concepts, tools and products (such as trend/incident analyses, threat assessments, early warning, scenarios, profiling and risk mapping, focusing on a medium- and long-term outlook);
  • WEEK 2:  strengthening information collection and analytical capacities (verifying sources, testing hypotheses, managing unconscious bias) - practical simulation;
  • WEEK 3: key principles for cogent writing – structuring analytical arguments with purpose, coherence, style, and the appropriate tone;
  • WEEK 4: supporting policy development, strategic planning and decision-making by drafting clear and concise analytical reports - final assignment.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

United Nations staff from the Secretariat, agency, funds and programmes and partners working on sustaining peace, through political analysis, good offices, mediation and conflict-sensitive programming.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The cost of the online course is $500

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