See which posts made the list

In 2019, experts at Results for Development and our partners shared key takeaways and surprising findings from their research — including alarming nutrition financing trends, silver linings from a null RCT, and our first explainer video on R4D’s Evaluation & Adaptive Learning practice.

Read the full roundup of our 10 most-viewed blogs below, and if you haven’t done so yet, consider subscribing to our monthly newsletter, R4D Insights.

1. Q&A: Meet the new lead for the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator

Nkem Wellington, Peter Hansen

In April 2019, Peter Hansen joined Results for Development as a managing director of the health portfolio and as the director of the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (Accelerator). In this Q&A with the Accelerator’s communications director, Nkem Wellington, Peter talks about his health systems background and experience — and what he’s looking forward to tackling over the coming months.

2. Why we started R4D’s evaluation & adaptive learning practice

Jean Arkedis

Eight years ago, R4D launched its Evaluation & Adaptive Learning practice with the explicit goal of helping our partners gather feedback throughout the project life cycle. The goal was to iterate and improve program approaches and outcomes at every step. In this blog, R4D’s Jean Arkedis looks back on the journey and shares a video that explains our approach.

3. Should vertical programs be integrated into primary health care?

Michael Chaitkin, Rebecca Husband (PSI), Kim Longfield (Databoom)

“Vertical” health programs that address specific diseases have contributed to important gains, but in resource constrained environments many have called for these programs to be integrated into primary care. R4D’s Michael Chaitkin and colleagues from PSI and Databoom explore how this can be done, and whether it should be.

4. Is aid for nutrition going to countries that need it most?

Kyle Borces, Mary D’Alimonte, Jack Clift

Research by R4D confirms overall gains in nutrition funding but critical gaps remain. This post explores the equity and efficiency of aid for nutrition, including which countries are being left behind. This blog is based on a recent report, Tracking aid for the WHA nutrition targets: Progress towards the global nutrition goals between 2015 to 2017.

5. Bright spots in a null RCT: Social actions on the ground

James Rasaiah (Harvard Kennedy School)

This blog highlights key learnings from the Transparency for Development (T4D) Project. The five-year project, which was a joint effort of the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and Results for Development, conducted a randomized controlled trial to see whether community-led transparency and accountability interventions could improve maternal and child health. Although the project did not measurably improve health outcomes, there were many examples of community level successes.

6. A wake-up call for the global nutrition community

Emily Thacher, Jack Clift, Augustin Flory

New analysis shows that nutrition-specific activities are not being incorporated into health, agriculture and social services funding at expected rates. The impact? Not only are we at risk to miss targets for increased donor investment in nutrition, we’re actually going in the wrong direction. This post is based on research included in a short report by R4D, which looks at the drivers of funding decreases, top donors, trends in funding for specific World Health Assembly nutrition targets, and aid allocation across recipient countries.

7. Domestic financing for nutrition

Jack Clift, Mary D’Alimonte

To complement R4D’s work in tracking whether aid for nutrition is on track to meet the World Health Assembly targets, R4D’s nutrition team analyzed domestic financing for nutrition. In this post, the authors argue global efforts must be redoubled to increase funding for critical, high-impact nutrition programs. This analysis (coupled with their team’s earlier exploration of global donor spending) shows the overall financing picture is alarming.

8. What can we learn from participants in transparency and accountability interventions?

Stephen Kosack (Harvard Kennedy School)

To understand why we often hear conflicting messages about the impact of citizen empowerment programs, Stephen Kosack examines the experiences of community members in the Transparency for Development project, which aims to improve maternal and newborn health. In this post, he explores why transparency and accountability programs can encourage civic participation in a large number of diverse communities, but not everywhere.

9. 3 principles for improving mixed health systems

Cicely Thomas, Adeel Ishtiaq, Nathan Blanchet

The authors of this blog hope to encourage debate and the sharing of ideas on the topic of mixed health systems and public-private sector engagement for universal health coverage (UHC). This blog, in particular, explores some of the principles policymakers should consider to help them better steward mixed health systems.

10. A new kind of partnership to achieve health for all in Africa

Dr. Githinji Gitahi (Amref Health Africa), Gina Lagomarsino

Since 2018, R4D and Amref Health Africa have been working together on two health financing initiatives, the African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions (ACS) and the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center (SPARC). In this blog, the CEOs of both Amref and R4D highlight how we plan to evolve this strategic partnership — and combine forces — to help countries in sub-Saharan Africa move closer to universal health coverage.

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