Forum posting guidelines

AWN aims to be a friendly, open and relevant community for aid, relief and development workers that stimulates debate and discussion. We, the volunteers who make up AWN, ask that all participants adhere to these guidelines for participation in the AWN forum.

  1. Posts to the forum should obviously relate to aid workers: people who are working in the field of humanitarian assistance or development, right now. It can be a question, a comment, a resource, or an idea. The connection to work in aid, relief or development must be clear, or the post will be deleted.

  2. Please take the time to tag your forum message correctly (children, gender, health, etc.). Please do not use more than five tags for a single post to the AWN forum.

  3. Feel free to tell your fellow AWN users about yourself or your aid, relief or development organisation or work via an introductory message to the AWN forum.

  4. Feel free to include a brief signature (to appear in all of your replies to forum posts) that directs users to your agency's web site, your own web site, your LinkedIn profile, etc. Whatever the link is, make sure the information well represents you as an aid, relief or development worker (links to social networking sites may not be appropriate links; if the site contains information you would not want a current or potential employer to see, or those with whom you work to see, don't link to it in your signature file). To edit your AWN message signature, log in to AWN and click on "my account" at the left side of the page (near the bottom of the menu). You then come to your personal profile on the AWN web site. To edit your info, click "edit", a link that will be over your user name. This will bring you to a page where you can create or edit your signature file.

  5. Feel free to include information about yourself in your AWN online account profile, which is what any AWN user will see if you post a message to the forum and a user clicks on your name at the top of the post. To alter this information, follow the directions for accessing your signature file, and click on "Aid Workers Network Profile."

  6. Do not post any personal information that you would not be happy to share with anybody in public, such as your direct phone number, physicial address or email address. Posts to the AWN forum that contain bank details will be edited or deleted.

  7. There are topics regarding aid, relief and development that can provoke strong differences of opinion, and debates are welcomed. But please avoid using inflammatory language and keep debates civil.

  8. Commercial messages are allowed. Classes, workshops, books, and other services for sale that relate to aid, relief and development may be advertised on the AWN forum. However, a person should not post the exact same message again and again in a short period. Posts or comments containing commercial or promotional material that has little or nothing to do with aid, development or relief will be deleted. The connection to aid, relief and development should be obvious in posts relating to commercial products.

  9. Announcements of conferences, symposia, training sessions or other events or processes related to aid, relief and/or development are welcomed and encouraged.

  10. Please don't post "How do I find work in aid or development?" This general question is answered in detail on this AWN advice page regarding finding a job. Direct requests from users for work, internships or volunteer positions is also discouraged. We welcome questions or resources regarding finding specific types of development or aid work (in water and sanitation or de-mining or midwife training, for instance), education and training options to expand employment opportunities, ways to progress within the relief and development sector, and other specific types of questions or comments.

  11. Forum users seeking advice about finding and accessing different forms of funding should first view the AWN advice page regarding fund-raising. Only if the answer to your question cannot be found in this document should you post to the AWN forum about fund-raising. Requests for funding to the AWN forum are discouraged. Also, AWN is not a donor organisation.

  12. Off-topic, hateful, abusive, defamatory or obscene material posted to the forum will be deleted.

  13. Frequent duplicate posts will be deleted. Repeatedly posting the same message to the AWN forum over a short period will not help you get more responses. In fact, it is likely to have the opposite effect, and may get you banned from AWN.

  14. We will remove content which we think may be in breach of copyright laws or which is taken from copyrighted sources (without being in breach of copyright laws) but which is not attributed. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.