Top Blog Posts: Best of 2017

Photo By: Md Rafayat Haque Khan is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license

Top Blog Posts: Best of 2017

Last year was one of the most memorable and eventful for our community. We celebrated a number of victories, such as passing the READ Act and securing supplemental  funding for famine response, while simultaneously enduring a number of challenges, including destruction left by Hurricane Harvey and other major hurricanes, and budget uncertainty.

To kick off 2018, we’re looking back at some of our most-read blog posts published in 2017. Shared from InterAction staff, members and the greater international development and humanitarian communities, these blog posts represent the progress we’ve made thus far, while reminding us what remains to be done in the new year.

Foreign Assistance may be the United States’ Ace in the Hole

Alicia Phillips-Mandaville, vice president for Global Development Policy and Learning, InterAction

I grew up in the deep south of Reagan’s America. My father was a veteran and I lived near two Air Force bases, so just about everyone around me talked constantly about how great this country is. Maybe that is why during Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of State yesterday, some deep-seated part of me couldn’t help but love his metaphor for the state of the world. “…We’ve got a tough hand of cards … and we’re just gonna play that hand out… because what I know is that America still holds all the aces.”  Read More

Creating a New Reality One Street at a Time

Dr. Tessie San Martin, president & CEO, and Kate Ezzes, Program Manager of Youth & Economic Empowerment, Plan International USA

If you closed your eyes you would believe you are listening to a group of experienced urban planners outlining their solutions to bring sanitation, lighting, and a sustainable water system to one of Dhaka’s largest urban slums. When you open your eyes you quickly realize that you are listening a group of experienced urban planners; however, they are all volunteers and no member is over the age of 20. Read More

What Trump Means for International Development

Sam Worthington, CEO, InterAction

Last November’s presidential election in the United States was one of the most consequential and divisive in recent history. With both parties playing to very divided political bases and strong anti-establishment sentiments in many parts of the nation, the question of what role the United States should play as a global leader received scant discussion on the national stage. Read More

Towards a Major Public Health Milestone: Sierra Leone’s Progress Towards Eliminating River Blindness

John Uniack Davis, West Africa Regional Director for Helen Keller International, and Mary Hodges, Country Director of Hellen Keller International in Sierra Leone.

River blindness (onchocerciasis) has been known to humankind since “biblical times”. It was second only to cataract as a cause of blindness in Sierra Leone until recently – It used to be so common in some highly-affected riverside villages that people accepted the inevitability of visual impairment from their mid-30s. Read More

What’s Going on in South Sudan?

Kristin Meyers, Communications Officer, Concern Worldwide

It’s hard to ignore the numbers: more than 50,000 killed, more than three million forced to flee their homes, and millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. It’s stunning to observe South Sudan’s decline from an American foreign-policy success story to a country on the verge of collapse, so soon after its 2011 independence — and largely out of the spotlight. Read More

Thank you to all our staff, members and partners who contributed to the blog in 2017. You can see all the blog posts we published last year by visiting To contribute to the blog in 2018, view our blogging guidelines or reach out to InterAction’s Blog Moderator.