Our Top Stories

Last year was one for the books at Results for Development. We celebrated our 10th anniversary and reflected on how we — and other international development funders and implementers — can better support country change agents as country expertise and capacities grow.

A variety of events, new publications and several new initiatives, including the launch of the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator and the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center, kept us busy. And we had a lot of key takeaways to share in between, some of which you can find in the roundup below.

This year, we’re doing something a little different. Rather than sharing a traditional top 10 blog list, we’re sharing five of our most-viewed blogs and five must-read blogs that didn’t get quite as many clicks.

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R4D’s Top 5 Blogs of 2018

1. Chasing Ghosts: How the focus on innovation in development has gone down the wrong path

Nathaniel Heller, David de Ferranti, Thomas Feeny

This post explores why innovation in international development seems to get stuck in an endless cycle of pilots, hype and showcases — with little to show in terms of sustained gains and improved access to services for the poorest and most vulnerable. It also includes two simple but important takeaways for boosters of innovation. Read now.

2. R4D at 10: A Q&A with our CEO

Gina Lagomarsino

To kick off R4D’s 10th anniversary, Gina Lagomarsino, R4D’s president and CEO, shares her take on R4D’s impressive growth and key milestones over the years. She also addresses how the organization has changed since it was first established and how it’s adapting to meet the demands of global development’s changing landscape. Read now.

3. Q&A: What is strategic purchasing for health?

Cheryl Cashin, Nathaniel Otoo

In this Q&A, R4D’s Cheryl Cashin, managing director, and Nathaniel Otoo, senior fellow, explain strategic purchasing — one way to get more value for money spent on health. They also provide some examples of strategic purchasing in practice and shed light on how countries can improve the quality of care and services they provide with limited funds. Read now.

4. Three shifts are needed in the global health community’s support for health financing to advance UHC

Allison Kelley, Cheryl Cashin

In this blog, Allison and Cheryl look at how the international community is supporting countries in their efforts to achieve universal health coverage and describe three shifts that are needed to increase impact: moving from projects to processes, from “fly-in/fly-out” assistance to local expertise networks, and from static knowledge creation to co-produced practical resources. Read now.

5. What are the right roles for international NGOs?

Gina Lagomarsino

Instead of speculating about what change agents need (and appreciate) most, we asked them. After conducting in-depth interviews with partners from 11 countries, and many more informal conversations, some themes have emerged. Our country partners tell us that the best solutions to address pressing systems challenges emerge when local ideas and analysis are inspired and influenced by global evidence and experience. They want to learn more about the challenges their peers have faced and what solutions have worked. They want access to experts that can help them answer, in a timely on-demand way, specific technical questions, by applying global knowledge and experience to their context. And sometimes it helps if these experts can reinforce and validate ideas and messages to increase country buy-in. Read now.

5 R4D Must-Read Blogs You May Have Missed

1. Q&A: Why is market shaping an important force in global development?

Cammie Lee

In this interview, Cammie Lee, a senior program director, provides a primer on market shaping and explains how R4D is using this approach to increase access to and appropriate use of lifesaving commodities. Read now.

2. Can non-state schools provide educational services in times of crisis and conflict?

Robert Francis, Mark Roland, Suezan Lee

Given the potential of affordable non-state schools to both mitigate and exacerbate the effects of conflict, it is vital for governments and donors to understand these schools’ scope, potential contributions and strategies for addressing violence and insecurity. In this blog, Robert, Mark and Suezan explore the role of the affordable non-state education sector in a post-conflict context — and the trade-offs of working with this sector when compared with the public sector in conflict-affected environments. Read now.

3. Can collaborative learning accelerate progress on adolescent health and nutrition?

Yashodhara Rana, Augustin Flory, Leigh Golden, Marion Roche

Investments in adolescent health and nutrition confer a triple dividend of returns — today, into adulthood and, potentially, for the next generation of children. Therefore, they are critical for the overall success of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, while the evidence base is emerging on what needs to be done, implementation remains slow. Read now.

4. Q&A: How to improve dialogue between health and finance ministries

Marty Makinen, Midori de Habich

Marty Makinen, R4D’s executive vice president for health, sat down with the former Minister of Health of Peru, Midori de Habich, to hear her tips on improving dialogue between health and finance ministries. Ms. De Habich also talked about ways to make the case for greater investments in the health sector. Read now.

5. Four ways we can support the early childhood workforce

Vidya Putcha

In this blog, Vidya Putcha explores how we can better support the many women and men who work with our youngest children to ensure their healthy development, including child care workers, preschool teachers, teacher assistants, social workers, community health workers, and nurses and doctors. Through their day-to-day work and interactions, these individuals have the opportunity to transform a child’s developmental trajectory, but often do not receive adequate pay, training, support or incentives to maximize impact. Read now.

Photo © Karen Dias for CHMI/Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd

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