Editor’s Note: Before we launch into a new year of new activities, we wanted to share a few of our most viewed stories from 2017. The following 10 blogs are jam-packed with practical, how-to guidance and some surprising takeaways. We’re thrilled that so many of you have taken time to read these stories and share feedback with the authors. In 2018, we plan to share more useful insights on how to move from ambition to results — to build a world of healthier, more educated people. If there are specific topics you would like to hear about, let us know in the comments section below. And please consider subscribing to get the best of R4D Insights delivered directly to your inbox. Thank you for reading, and best wishes for the new year!

1. New focus, new look for Results for Development

In this blog, Gina Lagomarsino, R4D’s president and CEO, explores R4D’s new strategy, which places local change agents and systems strengthening at the center of everything we do. Read more. 

2. What happens if ‘the people’ become the problem with open government?

Nathaniel Heller, R4D’s executive vice president for integrated strategies, shares emerging arguments on current political movements and their potential impact on open government. Read more.

3. Reinventing community scorecards

A new paper on the Transparency for Development Project, released by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, shares the underlying design principles, process and lessons from co-designing a new version of the traditional community scorecard. In this blog, Courtney Tolmie, a senior program director at R4D, outlines key takeaways from T4D’s efforts to give the traditional community scorecard a makeover. Read more.

4. 5 things we’ve learned from a bottom-up approach to health system strengthening

As one of the implementing partners for USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), R4D is working with subnational health managers (and national level policymakers and managers) to overcome health system challenges. In this post, R4D’s Betty Cox and Meredith Klein share five lessons from a bottom-up action planning and management process with regional and district-level health managers in Tanzania and Guinea, called the Comprehensive Approach to Health Systems Management. Read more.

5. Q&A: An inside look at Ghana’s efforts to reform its health system and provide high-quality, affordable health care to all

In this post, Chris Atim, a senior program director at R4D, discusses his role as chair of a technical committee to review Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme. Members of the committee were appointed by President John Dramani Mahama to identify the root causes of NHIS challenges and make recommendations for reforms in four broad areas: sustainability, equity, efficiency and accountability/user satisfaction. Read more.

6. Do social enterprise accelerators really work? And if so, how?

R4D’s Duncan McCullough and John Campbell Jr. explore social enterprise acceleration and highlight some of the results they’re seeing in their work with the Center for Education Innovations and the Center for Health Market Innovations. They also outline three effective strategies that are making an impact in emerging markets. Read more.

7. Trying to Deliver Results: Three lessons in designing — and redesigning — a new program

Jean Arkedis, a program director at R4D, takes stock of the lessons the Transparency for Development (T4D) team has learned about experimentation and adaptive learning in the context of a real program. Read more.

8. Innovative Financing: Four lessons other sectors can learn from education

Nicholas Burnett, a senior fellow, and Tara Hill, a former program officer at R4D, spotlight four principles for effective innovative financing that are particularly relevant in education. Read more.

9. The world needs a new way to track nutrition funding

R4D’s Mary D’Alimonte, Candice Hwang and Stephanie Heung discuss three ways resource tracking for nutrition strengthens health systems. Read more.

10. New tool to visualize funding gaps for nutrition

In this blog, R4D’s Emily Thacher and Mary D’Alimonte break down a new tool, Investing in Nutrition, designed to help global leaders, policymakers and donors visualize funding gaps for nutrition and advocate for greater investment. The website uses data visualizations to help stakeholders: review the prevalence of stunting, wasting, anemia and exclusive breastfeeding by region; visualize how much it will cost for each region and income group to achieve global nutrition targets; and identify possible scenarios to finance the investment required globally. Read more.

Homepage Featured Photo © Alex Kamweru for CHMI/Access Afya

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