2020 was a tough year. From the COVID-19 pandemic to a reckoning with systemic racism in the U.S. and countries around the world, we found that visitors to the R4D site were most interested in topics related to adapting to working remotely and navigating how to decolonize global development by ensuring programs are led by country partners.

In the post below, you can find 5 of our most-viewed blogs that reflect these themes — and 5 blogs that are just as helpful, but didn’t get quite as many clicks. Take a look, and let us know in the comments which topics you’d like to see us explore this year.

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Top 5 Blogs of 2020

1. The Coaching Approach: Changing the way development assistance is done

Cheryl Cashin

This post by the managing director of R4D’s health practice was popular when it was first published and continues to attract a lot of views each month. It explores a signature approach for R4D called “The Coaching Approach,” which brings together a global community of stakeholders committed to improving technical assistance and learning from one another. The approach draws mainly on country and regional experts to support country change processes, supported by global coaches and mentors as needed — and emphasizes working through existing infrastructure and processes, not creating parallel systems. Read now.

2. Workshops in the Time of Corona: Flattening a different curve

Nathan Blanchet

With one month under our belts of quarantine and social distancing, the technical lead for the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator shared how the USAID initiative was adapting to a new normal. In this post, Nathan shares how to lead virtual stakeholder-driven co-creation workshops. Read now.

3. Challenges of remote surveying during COVID-19

Zara Ali, Luz Azlor del Valle (EDI Global), Erin K. Fletcher, Julius Josephat (EDI Global), Taylor Salisbury

As part of R4D’s work with the government of Tanzania to reduce childhood pneumonia in the country, R4D and EDI Global led a survey of public health facilities to understand trends around the availability and stocking of amoxicillin dispersible tablets and other essential medicines. In this post, the team shares some of the challenges they encountered in conducting this survey remotely. Read now.

4. 5 principles for building an innovative primary health care model

Tamara Chikhradze, Elizabeth Hammah, Ezinne Ezekwem, Chris Atim

Strong primary health care (PHC) can address up to 90 percent of a population’s health needs — and save lives — by providing access to comprehensive and high-quality services throughout a patient’s life. That’s why bolstering PHC systems is essential to achieving universal health coverage. In this post, several members of R4D’s health practice share a primer on why Ghana sought to implement a primary provider service delivery model in 2017 — and five key principles underpinning its success. Read now.

5. R4D’s response to COVID-19

Gina Lagomarsino

In this post by R4D’s president and CEO, we share how our program teams and partners quickly pivoted project goals to support countries’ COVID-19 responses. Read now.

5 must-reads you may have missed

1. Decolonizing global health assistance through listening

Seyni Mbaye, Conrad Tonoukouen, Jane Abaleng Alfred, Cheickna Toure, Allison Kelley

Ensuring programs are truly country-led begins with this first step. Find out more from the experiences and learnings of R4D’s African Collaborative for Health Financing Solutions project, including four ways to get started. Read more.

2. A teacher’s one-stop shop for localized literacy tools

Sonaly Patel

R4D’s Center for Education Innovations (CEI) recently launched several new tools to promote literacy. In this post, we explore the Teacher Resource Inventory — a database of practical tools and guidance for adapting literacy curriculum to diverse cultural and classroom contexts around the world. This tool was designed to help literacy practitioners understand parental realities and co-design more informed parent engagement programs. It was created by a community of practice supported by CEI and Pearson’s Project Literacy campaign. Read now.

3. Exploring innovations to address a shadow pandemic

Felicia Khan

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a shadow pandemic of domestic violence has spiked. A new report by the International Development Innovation Alliance serves as a call to action to further develop and scale innovative solutions to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) and address the root causes of gender inequality. This post, in particular, highlights several of the innovations included in the report that can help accelerate progress in tackling GBV. Read now.

4. As the pandemic shrinks fiscal space, will governments prioritize nutrition funding?

Kyle Borces, Mary D’Alimonte, Jack Clift

Using recent expenditure data, R4D experts provided a breakdown of the latest trends in domestic nutrition spending. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t look good. These trends are extra concerning, as the COVID-19 crisis has created an even more challenging fiscal environment for countries and donors. Read now.

5. 4 opportunities to enrich guidance for public-private engagement in health

Michael Chaitkin, Cicely Thomas, Daniela Gutierrez

There were lots of great pieces about universal health coverage around UHC Day last month. This was one of them. We wanted to resurface this post, which focuses on the role of strengthening mixed health systems to achieve UHC. As part of an evidence review conducted through R4D’s Strengthening Mixed Health Systems (SMHS) project, we share new insights on how to improve guidance for public-private engagement to achieve UHC goals. Read now.

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