Renaissance for global health

Renaissance

Reda Sadki Education business models, Global health

For decades, learning in global health has depended on a conventional model premised on the scarcity of available knowledge and an emphasis on establishing mechanisms to transmit that knowledge from the center (capital city, headquarters) to the periphery (field, village, training room). With the Internet, scarcity disappeared. But the economy of high-cost, low-volume training has persisted, with little or no accountability. Worse, transmissive training – replicating the least-effective practices from physical spaces – began to proliferate online in video-based training and webinars. That economy need to be rebuilt in a digital-first age. It requires a new, long-term infrastructure. The platforms that could do this are the ones that deeply care about the people they reach, with teams who understand that trust in boundless digital spaces must be earned. It has to come from the heart. The quality of content also matters, but it is not sufficient. The quality of conversation in …

Leaders among us

Listening for leadership

Reda Sadki Leadership

On 30 May 2021, Convenors Karen Watkins and Reda Sadki were joined by eight Key Contributors: Nancy Dixon, Bryan Hopkins, Barbara Moser-Mercer, Renee Rogers, Catherine Russ, Esther Wojcicki, Laura Bierema, and Emanuele Capobianco. This was the third Dialogue convened by The Geneva Learning Foundation for learning, leadership, and impact. Each Key Contributor has a fascinating, singular leadership journey. This trajectory may have a collective dimension, of movements, of belonging, or of affiliation that have and continue to shape it. Even when this is so, it is also profoundly personal and individual. It is also a process of accretion – although we tend to recall quantum leaps in significant learning. For some, there may be discomfort with calling oneself a ‘leader’, given the conflation between leadership and authority, leadership and management, leadership and perceived value in society. Then, there is the moment of coming to consciousness, about the significance of leadership. …

blue skies and rainbow

A round table for Immunization Agenda 2030: The leap from “bottom-up” consultation to multidimensional dialogue

Reda Sadki Global health

They connected from health facilities, districts, and national teams all over the world. 4,769 immunization professionals from the largest network of immunization managers in the world joined this week’s Special Event for Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030), the new strategy for immunization, with 59 global and regional partners who accepted the invitation to listen, learn, and share their feedback. (The Special Event is now being re-run every four hours, and you can join the next session here.) “My ‘Eureka moment’ was when the presenter emphasized that many outbreaks are happening throughout the globe and it is the people in the room who can steer things in a better direction”, shared a participant. “This gave me motivation and confidence that by unifying on a platform and by discussing the challenges, we can reach a solution.” Two of the top global people accountable for executing this new strategy, WHO’s Ann Lindstrand and UNICEF’s …

Arve Henriksen – Groundswell

What is the value of strategy in the middle of a global crisis?

Reda Sadki Global public health, Learning strategy

A new global vision and strategy titled ‘Immunization Agenda 2030: A Global Strategy to Leave No One Behind (IA2030)’ was endorsed by the World Health Assembly less than a year before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Today, the cumulative tension of both urgent and longstanding challenges is stretching people who deliver vaccines. Challenges include immunization service recovery, COVID-19 vaccine introduction, and the persistence of epidemic outbreaks of diseases that can already be prevented by vaccines. Is this the right time to launch a global strategy – especially one developed before the pandemic – to achieve the immunization goals? Yes, immunization staff the world over – and the societies we live in – are still reeling from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, in times of crisis, thinking and acting strategically can help each of us stay focused on the global immunization goals, keeping us on the path to equitable …

Defoe in the Pillory

Accountability in learning

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

What if you were the key internal resource person with learning expertise? What if you advocated, recommended, and prescribed low-volume, high-cost face-to-face training? What if your advocacy was so successful that global partners invested hundreds of millions of dollars in what you prescribed – even in the absence of any standard to determine the return on that investment? What if your recommended approach resulted in zero measurable impact? What if partners nevertheless kept spending on training, entrenching perverse incentives like per diem to substitute for motivation, evidence, and results? What if you ignored and then dismissed, for as long as you possibly could, the relevance and potential of digital networks to support learning? What if you then managed to replicate the worst, least effective kinds of training through sterile digital formats of slides with voiceovers and a quiz at the end? What if you kept badgering managers to get their …

Dialogue for learning, leadership, and impact

Now is not everything

Reda Sadki Leadership, Writing

“Everything is now. Knowledge flows in real time. Global conversations are no longer restricted by physical space. The world has become immediate.” – George Siemens in Knowing Knowledge (2006) Twenty Key Contributors have now joined the Geneva Learning Foundation’s monthly Dialogue on learning, leadership, and impact. They include: Laura Bierema, Emanuele Copabianco, Nancy Dixon, Katiuscia Fara, Bill Gardner, Keith Hampson, Bryan Hopkins, Iris Isip-Tan, Barbara Moser-Mercer, Aliki Nicolaides, Renee Rogers, Alan Todd, Bill Wiggenhorn, Esther Wojcicki, and Chizoba Wonodi. If you are curious, a few quick Google searches should make obvious two points: First, each one is a singular thinker and leader. Second, with a few exceptions, they might otherwise never meet. Why do we need such a dialogue? Who is it for? And what do we aim to accomplish? By learning, we mean the process by which humans come to know, organized into the discipline of education. The science of …

On learning, leadership, and impact: a new kind of dialogue to tackle the challenges that threaten our societies

Reda Sadki Writing

The Geneva Learning Foundation’s new Dialogue is an invitation-only global conversation exploring learning, leadership, and impact. Our aim is to explore new ways to connect individuals who are tackling the challenges that threaten our societies. In the past, one observation has been that conversations around learning and leadership tend to happen between nearly-identical peers. One of the bets we are making is that to progress our understanding on leadership, diversity is a necessary condition. And, indeed, I am struck by the radical diversity of the Dialogue’s participants so far. My conviction is that such improbable connections could create new possibilities for facilitated dialogue to surface new insights into the nature of leadership in the Digital Age. Below are three examples, connecting a disease control student from Ghana, an engineer working on a water pipeline in Libya, and an NGO worker from New Zealand.

Time travel

What lies beyond the event horizon of the ‘webinar’?

Reda Sadki Learning design, Learning strategy, Thinking aloud

It is very hard to convey to learners and newcomers to digital learning alike that asynchronous modes of learning are proven to be far more effective. There is an immediacy to a sage-on-the-stage lecture – whether it is plodding or enthralling – or to being connected simultaneously with others to do group work. Asynchronous goes against the way our brains work, driven by prompts, events, and immediacy. But people get the benefit of “time-shifting” their TV shows and “on demand” is the norm for media consumption now. Most webinars still require you to show up at a specific time. With live streaming of the Foundation’s events, we are observing growing appreciation for asynchronous “I’ll watch it when I want to” availability of recorded events. The behavior seems different from the intention of viewing a recorded webinar, which almost never happens. (This is, in part, the motivation question: does anyone watch …

Two false dichotomies: quality vs. quantity and peer vs. global expertise

Reda Sadki Global health, Global public health

The national EPI manager of the Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), just addressed the COVID-19 Peer Hub Teams from DRC and Ivory Coast, saluting both teams for their effort to prepare and strengthen COVID-19 vaccine introduction. I am honored to have been invited and pleased to see how this initiative is not only country-led but truly owned and led by its participants. She has joined the Inter-Country Peer Exchange (reserved for COVID-19 Peer Hub Members) organized by the Peer Hub’s DRC Team to share rapid learning from COVID-19 vaccine introduction. In the room are immunization professionals, primarily those working for the Ministries of Health, directly involved in vaccine introduction from both countries and from all levels of the health system. Other COVID-19 Peer Hub country teams are organizing similar inter-country exchanges, in response to their own needs, building on what they have …

Walled garden

Can the transformation of global health education for impact rely on input-based accreditation?

Reda Sadki Education business models, Global health, Learning strategy

Burck Smith wrote in 2012 what remains one of the clearest summaries of how accreditation is based primarily on a higher education institution’s inputs rather than its outcomes, and serves to create an “iron triangle” to maintain high prices, keep out new entrants, and resist change. It is worth quoting Smith at length (see this link) as we think through the proposal that the transformation of global health education for impact should rely on accredited institutions. Global health efforts are focused on outcomes and aim to achieve impact. Of necessity, this requires rethinking a broad swath of fairly fundamental issues, from how to construct education to what philosophy should underpin what we design and develop. And the focus on results makes the prevailing input-based accreditation criteria unlikely to be the most useful ones to help achieve global health goals. The call for a “revolution” in education for public health is …