Communicating about your Platform in Partnership for Research and Training (dP) – eZ Publish and concise writing - Concerns members of dPs

Research support
As part of its support of communication "for and about" Platforms in Partnership for Research and Training, CIRAD offers the multi-partner teams involved "dP-specific" tools to ensure greater legibility on a local, national and international level. The aim is to build communication capacity so as to facilitate the production of articles (brochures, kakemono posters, website) that determine the visibility of the dPs. Since websites remain the mainstay of dP communication, it is still necessary to provide an informative basic site that is regularly updated with news. Concise writing skills are vital for truly effective communication. dP partners do not generally have access to this type of training in the South, which makes it difficult for local dP teams to handle communication operations. An initial session was held in Madagascar from 15 to 19 May 2017. It involved the people in charge of communication operations for three dPs in the Indian Ocean: SPAD, F&B and One Health OI. It attracted 14 participants from four local partner organizations. Une première session a eu lieu à Madagascar, en 2017. Une session à Dakar et à Bangkok en 2018 s'adressant aux personnes en charge d'actions de communication pour trois dP de la zone Océan Indien, Afrique de l'Ouest et Asie du Sud-Est.
© R. Belmin, Cirad
© R. Belmin, Cirad

© R. Belmin, Cirad


Following the course, students will be able to:

· be able to use the eZ Publish software functions required to feed and maintain a website

· organize and present their various web pages coherently and uniformly, in terms of both content and style

· write concisely in order to produce web news items, brochures, kakemonos or other written communication products

· optimize the dP's communication operations via social networks (facebook, twitter, etc)

· use collaborative Tools such as Etherpad, etc

· rely on the support of a regional/national network of dP communication staff

· and have mastered the notion of referencing and recognized the importance of keywords in web headings and sub-headings.


People in charge of communication operations for one or more Platforms in Partnership for Research and Training (dP communication unit)


French or English or Spanish or Portuguese


Alternate theory teaching and practical application in groups, over five days.

Day 1
Introduction - the dP culture - Leader: Catherine Rollin

• The dP family

• The "dP com" unit

• The dP communication staff network

eZ Publish and natural referencing - Leader: Cyrille Gourment

Practical work on a "sandbox" website for dPs

• Presentation of the eZ Publish content management software

• Mastering the desktop environment: the tree structure

• The "contents" tab

• Crating content (Heading, Page)

• Modifying content

Natural referencing (SEO)

• How search engines work (Google, etc.)

• Positive factors, editorial relevance criteria

Further practical work on eZ Publish

• Title and short title

• Summary

Day 2
Writing to be read - Leader: Association Com4Dev

How to manage information

• Allowing for context, writer and reader

• Selecting and organizing information (plan, reading levels)

• Specific constraints of the types of texts used by the students present (e-mail, concept notes, short articles, etc)

Improving writing

• Frequently used language concepts

• Basic typographical rules

• How to quote sources, acknowledging any multimedia content used

• Correcting writing

In practice

• Selection of topics for practical exercises

• Individual and group exercises and feedback: production of articles in several formats and on several media

Day 3
Morning: Practical work on a "sandbox" website for dPs - Leader: Cyrille Gourment

• Formatting text (using XML editor)

• Optimizing images

• Inserting an image via the "image" field

• Inserting an image into the XML block

• Preview mode

• Content masking and/or revealing

Afternoon: Current web trends - breaking up and minimizing content - Leader: Association Com4Dev

• The range of available media currently available: desktop and laptop PCs, tablets, smartphones.

• Usability recommendations concerning graphics, text style, sentence construction, choice of words, typeface, colours, etc

Writing to be read: providing value-added, coherent content tailored to accepted lines

• Adapting content to different types of articles and their specificities: presentation, news item, newsletter, etc

• Understanding how natural referencing works and optimizing content

• Enriching content: computer graphics, photos, videos, etc, with files in the right format, at the right level of resolution

• Designing and promoting hypertext links, using tags to foster transversality

• Other communication media (brochures, flyers, kakemonos, etc)

Day 4
Morning: Writing to be read (cont.). Providing value-added, coherent content tailored to accepted lines - Leader: Association Com4Dev

In practice (working individually or in pairs, group discussion):

• Writing for the web

• Enriching websites

• Selecting and preparing images, videos, etc for the web

• Acknowledging any multimedia content used

Afternoon: eZ Publish. Further practical work - Leader: Cyrille Gourment

• Entering file metadata correctly

• Offering downloads

• Creating links to other websites

• Creating links to other web pages (internal links)

• Creating links to e-mail addresses

Day 5
Reaching the right target: communication strategy and e-strategy / Leader: Association Com4Dev

How to coordinate the various tools

- Printed tools (kakemonos, posters, flyers, etc)

- Digital tools (social media, etc)

In practice: Developing printed and digital communication tools (kakemono, brochure, Facebook, Twitter, etc)


Catherine Rollin - CIRAD Communication Service - in charge of communication for and about dPs at CIRAD. Overview of the "dP culture" and multi-partner communication within dPs.

Cyrille Gourment - CIRAD Information Systems Service - eZ Publish.

Association Com4Dev (Communication for development in the South) - concise writing and social networks.


Candidates must be computer-literate and have mastered the basic concepts of office automation.

Teaching materials

• 1 computer required per person for supervised work.

• Internet access in the classroom.

• Teaching materials are supplied in electronic form on a CIRAD memory stick in addition to printouts.

• Projector, paperboard.