Looking back at the most popular posts and prolific authors in 2018

Annette Brown and I started 2018 with the goal of bringing you informative and thought-provoking blog posts from FHI 360 researchers. We always aim to highlight innovative methods and findings from across the development spectrum, and I feel confident in saying our 50 new blog posts from this year hit the mark.

In this final post of 2018 (number 51!), I look back at some of our most popular posts and prolific authors.

In this final post of 2018, I look back at some of our most popular posts and prolific authors.
Popular blog posts in 2018

First, I want to highlight five of our most popular posts from the year.

In the top spot, Theresa Hoke defines implementation research as the “heart and soul of implementation science.” She details why it makes for such a useful concept in development. Since being published early in the year, Theresa’s post is one of our most read posts every single month.

Next, Carina Omoeva outlines five features that describe a monitoring, evaluation and learning system for equity in education. She provides the list of features to show the reader how to “operationalize” equity and move the education field closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Merle Froschl and her co-authors take home the bronze. The team argues future research must focus on developing effective solutions to foster girls’ interest and engagement in STEM. The authors are conducting a systematic review to answer how improving girls’ math identity supports participation, engagement and achievement in math.

My most recent post features in the fourth most-read position this year. I summarize new evidence evaluating a toy-in-soap intervention testing handwashing among kids in emergency contexts. Surprise (or not), the intervention works!

Hannah Skelly rounds out the most popular list. She highlights three pieces of research from a soon-to-be published ICT4D evidence map and the women behind the work.

Prolific blog post authors

The R&E Search for Evidence blog features 49 different blog post authors in 2018. Here I profile three of those authors that stand out as the most prolific.

Annette Brown is more than the editor-in-chief of this blog – she’s also one of our more frequent authors. In one post, she summarizes her 2018 “which tests, not witch hunts” article that provides tips for conducting a replication study (as well as tips for what not to do). In another post, she explores the current evidence base for evaluating disability interventions.

Carina Omoeva directs research and evaluation for the Global Education, Employment and Engagement team at FHI 360. One of her posts made the top five list above and another of her posts (co-authored) is profiled below as a top read in the U.K. In a third post, Carina shows how disaggregated data can make a difference to understanding impact around equity in education. And in another, she outlines five steps to measure education equity.

Felix Fernandez directs research and evaluation for our U.S. Programs team. He co-authored the STEM post mentioned above and also co-authored (with the same research team) a second post about addressing bias in a systematic review of STEM research. In other posts, Felix writes how to enhance college readiness for underserved students and how to strengthen capacity to track, store and use data effectively in non-public schools.

Most shared blog posts on social media

I tweet about all R&E Search for Evidence blog posts on our @fhi360research account. Our readers engage with us there and across other social media platforms. Measuring that reach is an inexact science, but the following three posts consistently pop up in all social media lists this year.

You probably know Emily Namey’s name from her 2017 blockbuster post about qualitative research. In 2018, Emily grabs a top social media spot with a summary of findings from a new review of evidence linking household economic strengthening interventions with HIV outcomes.

Another top spot goes to Tim Mastro and Greg Beck. Their post aims to draw attention to knowledge gaps in addressing health needs in humanitarian crises.

Emily Keyes focuses on maternal health in the third most-shared post. She says we need to move from relying on one-dimensional indicators of coverage and use to indicators that better capture the complexity of facility capability and quality.

Top countries outside the U.S. with the most blog readers

R&E Search for Evidence has readers from 185 of the world’s 195 countries. It makes sense then that over half our blog readers are based outside the U.S.

Over half our blog readers are based outside the U.S.

In this last section, I want to highlight some of the countries with the most readers and what they have been reading this year.


Our readers in Nigeria are keenly interested in research presented at conferences. Both of the most popular posts are written by our Chief Science Officer, Tim Mastro. In the first post, Tim (together with Otto Chabikuli) summarizes FHI 360 science presented at AIDS 2018. In the second post, Tim writes about some of the great research presented at the annual INTEREST Conference in Kigali. INTEREST is widely known as the “African CROI.”


In India, our readers love Annette Brown’s post about what not to do when conducting a replication study. Additionally, Amy Weissman caught their attention with her post outlining two studies working to determine which multisectoral nutrition interventions are most affordable and feasible for widespread scale-up.


Yvonne Cao and Carolyn Moore take the top spots in the Philippines. First, Yvonne (with Annie Smiley and Fernanda Soares) describes the fidelity of implementation monitoring models from two FHI 360-implemented early grade reading projects in Ghana and Nigeria. Next, Carolyn shares what we learned about handwashing from published research in 2017. Her highlights are pulled from an annual summary featuring 117 studies!

United Kingdom

Our U.K. readers want to know what disability screening tools are available to use in low-resource schools. This post comes from a review conducted by Rachel Hatch, Stephen Luke and Carina Omoeva. The U.K. readers also want to know if contraceptive method matters when it comes to self- versus provider-administered injectable contraceptives. New evidence from Malawi summarized by Katherine Whitton shows that method matters.


Finally, our readers in Kenya like our how-to posts. In the first post, Nathalie Louge shows how to successfully apply the Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) approach in your programs. And in the second post, I show readers three ways to promote published research.

Hyperlinked names take you to the author’s personal research website.
What’s in store for 2019?

I hope you take time to check out some of these popular posts and authors (hyperlinked names take you to the author’s personal research website) from 2018.

We already have a great line-up ready for our weekly posts in 2019. Stay tuned for posts about research in Durham, North Carolina; new evidence about push button replication; new evidence about gender-based violence; and much more.

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