Finding Clarity in the Complex
There are times when a story written in English needs to be translated – into English.
The researchers and statisticians of the Harvard Global Health Institute have no difficulty drafting articles for publication in academic journals; they are among the best in the world at it, and when CHGR began working with them, they had in hand several papers detailing their work on maternal mortality in the developing world. At issue, though, was that they wanted their research to be read by Washington policymakers – and the simple reality is that those policymakers have neither the time nor the inclination to wade through 20+ pages of dense academic jargon and multivariate statistical regressions.
CHGR distilled that research into pieces of no more than 1,000 words apiece, taking complex ideas and making them easily understandable while never “dumbing down” the material. A simple story is a memorable story, but it must never be a patronizing one: the audience that feels it is being talked down to is an audience that has stopped listening to your message.