New learning and leadership for front-line community health workers facing danger

Reda Sadki Global public health, Learning design, Scholar Approach

This presentation was prepared for the second global meeting of the Health Care in Danger (HCiD) project in Geneva, Switzerland (17–18 May 2017). In October  2016, over 700 pre-hospital emergency workers from 70 countries signed up for the #Ambulance! initiative to “share experience and document situations of violence”. This initiative was led by Norwegian Red Cross and IFRC in partnership with the Geneva Learning Foundation, as part of the Health Care in Danger project. Over four weeks (equivalent to two days of learning time), participants documented 72 front-line incidents of violence and similar risks, and came up with practical approaches to dealing with such risks. This initiative builds on the Scholar Approach, developed by the University of Illinois College of Education, the Geneva Learning Foundation, and Learning Strategies International. In 2013, IFRC had piloted this approach to produce 105 case studies documenting learning in emergency operations. These are some of the questions which I address in …

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Webcasts, then and now

Reda Sadki Events, Video

(No, this is not a post about the Apple keynote meltdown.) When I started organizing live webcast events for the first time in 2006, they required extensive technical preparation, specialized software and hardware, and – most important – a group of really smart people gifted with more than a little bit of luck to pull off each event. Even as recently as 2011, I remember a time in Budapest when my young cameraman (one of a team of four) announced to me that his fancy P2 broadcast-quality camera could not connect to his equally-fancy webcasting software. I ended up hacking our MacBook Pro’s webcam, piloted remotely from another laptop using VNC… It was exciting to transform what had been a local, 19th Century-style lecture series into a series of global participatory learning events, but so much energy had to be expended on the technical issues that many people missed the point about the amazing affordances of technology …

ULTIMA™ 4: QUEST OF THE AVATAR

Games for health: 14 trick questions for Ben Sawyer

Reda Sadki Interviews

Ben Sawyer is the co-founder of both the Serious Games Initiative (2002) and the Games for Health Project (2004). He is one of the leading experts on the use of game technologies, talent, and design techniques for purposes beyond entertainment. He answered 14 questions by e-mail ahead of his presentation to the IFRC Global Health Team. 1. What is your favorite game? I used to reference an old RPG (role playing game) called Ultima IV. But, in reality, it’s Minecraft. Just such a great achievement and fun to play. 2. What is the worst “serious game” you have ever played? Most of them. 3. What is a game, anyway? A game by definition is a system, defined by rules, where people engage in defined competition to achieve a quantifiable outcome either against an opponent or the system itself. There are many dictionary-style definitions. In reality, a game is a mediated experience. …

Community health into the scalable, networked future of learning

Reda Sadki Writing

“At the heart of a strong National Society” explains Strategy 2020, “is its nationwide network of locally organized branches or units with members and volunteers who have agreed to abide by the Fundamental Principles and the statutes of their National Society.” To achieve this aim, National Societies share a deeply-rooted culture of face-to-face (FTF) learning through training. This local, community-based Red Cross Red Crescent culture of learning is profoundly social: by attending a “training” at their local branch, a newcomer meets other like-minded people who share their thirst for learning to make a better future. It is also peer education: trainers and other educators are often volunteers themselves, living in the same communities as their trainees. Although some National Societies have been early adopters of educational technology to deliver distance learning since the early 1990s – and IFRC’s Learning network has scaled up global educational opportunities since 2009 –, such …

View from the Learning Executive: Reda Sadki

Reda Sadki About me, Interviews

This article was first published by the ASTD’s Learning Executive Briefing. By Ruth Palombo Weiss Q: Why do you think the Red Cross Movement has a deeply rooted culture of face-to-face training for its 13.6 million volunteers? A: There is a deeply rooted culture of face-to-face training at the Red Cross because of our unique brick and mortar network of hundreds of thousands of branch offices all over the world. What drives people to the branches is that they want to learn a skill, such as first aid, disaster risk reduction, and we’re really good at teaching those things. In the future, educational technology might enable us to connect branches to each other. Imagine what the person in Muskogee, Oklahoma, can learn from the Pakistani Red Crescent volunteer who lived through the Karachi, Pakistan flood in 2010, and who participated in the recovery efforts afterward. That sharing of knowledge and skills …

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Thinking about the first Red Cross Red Crescent MOOC

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud

You have no doubt heard about the Red Cross or Red Crescent. Some of you may be first aiders or otherwise already involved as volunteers in your community. My organization, the IFRC, federates the American Red Cross and the 186 other National Societies worldwide. These Societies share the same fundamental principles and work together to build resilient communities by reducing risks associated with disasters and, most important, by leveraging a community’s strengths into a long-term, sustainable future. The only distinguishing feature from one country to the next is the emblem in an otherwise secular movement: Muslim countries use a red crescent and Israel’s Magen David Adom uses the red “crystal” (offically recognized as an emblem) inside the star of David. Learning is a fundamental driver for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. People become volunteers, very often in their youth, to develop life-saving skills through extremely social forms of …

Chronology of a new transit camp on the Tunisian border (Part 2 of 2): Going live

Reda Sadki Published articles

Part 1: Like clockwork | Part 2: Going Live 10:45 – The distribution of relief items starts At the far end of the camp, four volunteers led by Arturo, a logistics specialist from the French Red Cross, get basic relief items ready for distribution. The items are NFIs, as we call them, or non-food items. 11:00 – A clean bill of health for the camp’s youngest baby Omar is just 20 days old. If the International Organization for Migration (IOM) can find the funds, he should be out of the transit camp and back in his home country before he turns one month old. His sister, four-year-old Khadija, cries as Boutheïna talks to their parents, Aïcha and Mohammed. “She’s scared,” they explain. It turns out her lip is cut and hurting. Aïcha will also sit down with Marwa Ben Saïd, 22, a fourth-year psychology student from Bizerte, who meets them …

Chronology of a new transit camp on the Tunisian border (Part 1 of 2)

Reda Sadki Published articles

Part 1: Like clockwork | Part 2: Going Live 06:00 – Base camp wakes up Base camp wakes up. A cool breeze has risen along with the bright sun, whipping up sand and dust. The first crews of volunteers move out to the transit camp at Ras Jedir. Some of the volunteers, like 32-year-old Moaz, have spent the last four weeks installing tents that are now ready to provide shelter. “We learnt on the job,” he explains. Together with a group from the Finnish Red Cross, he carried out his work by referring to guidance manuals. But all the hard work has paid off and today, Moaz is proud that the tents are ready and safe. In total, 20 National Societies – from Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxemburg, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Qatar, Syria, the UK and US, and, last but certainly not least, …

Ras Jedir: feverish early days and freezing nights

Reda Sadki Writing

ZERZES, 4 April 2011 — “We stopped everything we were doing”, exclaims Mahfoud Bessah, the 39-year-old community-based programme coordinator at IFRC’s regional delegation in Tunis. On 21  February, he headed over to the eastern border immediately upon hearing the first reports of people crossing over. The Tunisian Red Crescent and UNHCR were already discussing how to respond. Together with Fadhel Goudil, a first aid doctor, Bessah arrived in Ras Jedir, fearing the worst. What they found was staggering. Up to 15000 people were crossing the border from Lybia into Tunisia every day. Equally impresive was the response: spontaneous solidarity and generosity, with the local population organizing “khafila” (caravans) to carry food and other goods to those arriving at the border, whatever their origin. It is this spirit of solidarity and volunteerism that saved the day, Bessah believes, as the international community had just begun to understand the significance, scale and …