Top FP2P posts for 2019 and the decade + reader stats

January 6, 2020

     By Duncan Green     

I always start the year with stats and most-read posts from the previous 12 months, but guess we better add a ‘best of the decade’ section this time. Yep, FP2P has been going since the noughties – the first post went up in July 2008. WordPress tells me that 2,757 posts have been published to date, but has happily stopped adding up the total number of words involved.

Let’s start with 2019. We had a lot of fun on FP2P, in large part down to the arrival of Maria Faciolince in April to head up the #PowerShifts project with support from Amy Moran.

Overall, we had 354,070 ‘unique visitors’ in 2019 – separate IP addresses registered by Google Analytics. That’s a continuation of the slow upward trend of recent years (329,000 in 2018).

And the decade? 2,689,121 of you visited from 2010-2019. Blimey.

Most read posts

One of the consequences of longevity is that some posts acquire an afterlife, presumably because they have made it onto assorted reading lists. So let’s separate out the new most-reads from the golden oldies, starting with the most-read pieces published during 2019:

The spike in October is down to some shameless clickbait: The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet pulled together some of the critiques of RCTs from previous posts and clearly struck a nerve.

Second most read was Six things INGOs need to fix to be fit for the future. Mark Goldring’s outgoing reflections.

Such was the interest in the Nobel prize that Naila Kabeer came third with Why Randomized Controlled Trials need to include Human Agency.

A smart polemic from ODI’s Tiina Pasanen, Are we suffering from obsessive measurement disorder?, came fourth

Finally, Mark Goldring is back again with the 5th most read post of the year Does Strategic Planning Make a Difference? He clearly needs his own blog….

As for the golden oldies, taking the readers’ stats for the decade, we have a clear winner – a pretty run-of-the-mill 2009 post on climate change in South Africa. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me why it remains such clickbait, still getting thousands of reads every year.

Number 2 is a relative newcomer – a 2018 post by Oxfamer Ed Cairns: Violence v Non Violence: which is more effective as a driver of change? Again, can anyone tell me what reading lists it has ended up on?

The other most-read posts for the teenies are also from 2018: Development Studies is fun, but is there a job at the end of it? comes in at number two, followed by the twin sausagefest posts: 10 top thinkers on Development, summarized in 700 words by Stefan Dercon and The Perils of Male Bias: Alice Evans replies to yesterday’s ‘Sausagefest’.

We have lots of exciting plans for 2020/the new decade (better podcasts, Instagram and more), but we do need your advice, via the Reader Survey, which will remain live for a few weeks.

So once again, a big Happy New Year and huge thanks to all FP2P readers, commenters and supporters!

January 6, 2020
Duncan Green