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R4D’s most popular blogs in 2021

As we begin a new year at Results for Development and set our annual goals, we like to take a moment to look back at achievements and trends. So, we’ve curated a top 10 list of R4D’s most viewed and shared blogs of 2021.

Many of these posts were centered on how to seize this unique and challenging time we’re living through to strengthen health and education systems. Other blogs provided a snapshot of R4D’s strategy in action. Take a look, and leave a comment on the topics you’d like to learn more about in the coming months.

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1. R4D’s New Strategy: Partnering with country leaders who are driving systems change

Gina Lagomarsino

The localization and decolonization movements have highlighted the need for global development funders and implementing organizations to move beyond the rhetoric of “doing development differently.” At the same time, country leaders have demanded recognition that the challenges they face are complex and require new approaches. To meet this moment, R4D launched a new strategy around how to be a better partner to country change agents and what the roles of INGOs should be. R4D’s President and CEO Gina Lagomarsino explains the shift, and shares examples of our strategy in action. Read now.

2. 6 lessons from holding virtual focus groups during the COVID-19 pandemic

Damilola Iyiola, Laura Keen

How can important qualitative research continue during a pandemic? R4D shares lessons learned in conducting a virtual focus group that may prove useful to others who continue to innovate and refine their remote research techniques. Read now.

3. Raising the visibility of health systems experts from around the globe

Mark Roland, Cheryl Cashin, Cheickna Toure, Omotayo Willoughby 

The reckoning in global health around who is considered an expert and how development assistance is delivered is long overdue. That’s why R4D and the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center launched The Experts Database — a networking platform, like LinkedIn, that makes it easier to find health systems and health financing experts and institutions in low- and middle-income countries. Read now. 

 4. Q&A: Meet R4D’s newest managing director

Tanya Jones, Kelly Toves

In July 2021, R4D welcomed its newest managing director: Dr. Tanya Jones. In this Q&A, Dr. Jones shares her reflections on supporting change agents in navigating complex systems challenges, the movement to decolonize development, and more. Read now. 

5. Can COVID help accelerate universal health coverage progress?

Gina Lagomarsino

The short answer is yes. In this post, R4D’s president and CEO posits that countries have an opportunity to achieve universal health coverage, if we harness this moment to strengthen health systems. She also shares what a strong health system looks like — and five ways we can support country leaders to achieve health for all. Read now. 

6. How COVID affected financing for essential health services in Kaduna state

Oluwafeyikemi Agbola, Alex Nzobiwu, Zainab Abdurrahman, Uche Ebenezer, Felix Abrahams Obi, Hope Uweja, Folake Oni (Sydani), Oluwatosin Adenipekun (Sydani) 

Nigeria, like most countries, has grappled with the realities of COVID-19. To understand the impact of the pandemic on key health financing functions in Kaduna state, R4D’s Nigeria team and partners at Sydani Initiative examined the state’s ability to mobilize funding for essential health services. In this post, they share their assessment, which sheds light on the macroeconomic challenges that COVID left for policymakers in resource-constrained settings, like Kaduna state. Read more. 

7. Elevating mothers’ and women’s nutrition

Abigail Conrad

A World Bank study in 30 African countries found that nearly 75% of underweight women live in households with a male head who is not underweight. Fortunately, there is evidence that nutrition-sensitive interventions can be more effective when combined with women’s empowerment efforts. In this post, R4D unpacks this issue and which interventions are most effective. Read now. 

8. Reducing global hunger — a personal journey

Albertha Nyaku

Last year, Albertha Nyaku joined R4D as the head of our nutrition practice. With 100 days under her belt, she wrote this post sharing why she’s passionate about global efforts to combat malnutrition. She also details how her team is working to advocate for evidence-based approaches that support change agents to lead reforms — and how they’re leveraging approaches like adaptive learning and market shaping to achieve maximum impact. Read now. 

9. Championing Inclusive dialogue to support health system reforms

Conrad Tonoukouen, Léandre Hounhoui, Romaric Houessou, Hashim Hounkpatin, Kéfilath Bello, Venant Quenum, Cheickna Toure, Allison Kelley

Policymakers in Benin who have been leading health insurance reforms understood the necessity to adopt a collaborative approach and continuous dialogue with diverse stakeholders. In this post, R4D’s African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions team shares how they supported policymakers and facilitated an inclusive dialogue around universal health coverage. Read now. 

10. Ensuring that mining resources support community development

 Chloe Schalit, Supriya Sadagopan, Mario Picon

In many countries, widespread corruption and abuse of public resources means revenue generated from natural resource extraction doesn’t get invested in sectors such as health, education or nutrition. In this post, members of R4D’s Accountability & Citizen Engagement practice examine Peru’s most recent presidential election, where the use and distribution of mining revenue rose to the center of debate. Read now. 

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