Old cash register (Andrés Moreira/flickr)

Inventing by investing in new business models for humanitarian training

Reda Sadki Education business models, Thinking aloud

Through research and broad sector collaboration, a consensus has emerged on the recognition that uneven quality of personnel is a major limiting factor in humanitarian response, and that serious effort is needed to address the global gap in skills and build capacity of countries and local communities. At the same time, there is growing recognition that existing models for learning, education and training (LET) are not succeeding in addressing this gap, and that new approaches are needed. Structured learning has long been assumed to be an expenditure and, for a long time, remained unquestioned as a necessary investment. Yet learning advocates increasingly find themselves in a defensive posture, in part due to the complexity involved in correlating education initiatives with measurable outcomes for a cost centre. However, new business models point to education driven by demand that can not only cover its own costs but generate revenue to be reinvested …

Empty Seats (Jon Candy/flickr.com)

Workshop culture

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

We live in a “workshop culture”. On the one hand, it is costly and exclusionary. Few can afford to travel, and the organization finds it more difficult to afford and justify the expense of moving bodies and materials to meet. Its outcomes are difficult to clearly identify, much less measure. They often contribute to communication overhead. Their format and content may be superficial or stiffen participants through overly formal approaches, thereby stifling creativity. On the other hand, occasions to physically meet with colleagues in the network are increasingly rare. “I meet everybody not even once a year,” bemoans a senior manager. In between, we have learned to blend online and face-to-face communication. Yet, we strongly feel that there is high value to those face-to-face exchanges, even if some of that value may not be immediately tangible. The formal work of a conference may itself be productive because of its process (including reflective practice) …