A bunch of hot air

Rising together: promoting inclusivity and collaboration in global health 

Reda Sadki Global health

The ways of knowing of health professionals who work on the front lines are distinct because no one else is there every day. Yet they are typically absent from the global table, even though the significance of local knowledge and action is increasingly recognized. In the quest to achieve global health goals, what value should professionals within global health agencies ascribe to local experience? How do we cultivate a more inclusive and collaborative environment? And why should we bother? A recent roundtable discussion, attended by technical officers and senior leaders, provided an occasion to present and explain how the Geneva Learning Foundation’s Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030) platform and network could be used to support “consultative engagement” between global and local leaders. This platform and network is reaching over 50,000 health professionals, helping them build connections with each other – defying boundaries of geography and health system levels – to transform …

Credible knowers

Credible knowers

Reda Sadki Global health, The Geneva Learning Foundation, Thinking aloud

“Some individuals are acknowledged as credible knowers within global health, while the knowledge held by others may be given less credibility.” – (Himani Bhakuni and Seye Abimbola in The Lancet, 2021) “Immunization Agenda 2030” or “IA2030” is a strategy that was unanimously adopted at the World Health Assembly in 2020. The global community that funds and supports vaccination globally is now exploring what it needs to do differently to transform the Agenda’s goal of saving 50 million lives by the end of the decade into reality. Last year, over 10,000 national and sub-national health staff from 99 countries pledged to achieve this goal when they joined the Geneva Learning Foundation’s first IA2030 learning and action research programme. Discover what we learned in Year 1… Learn more about the Foundation’s platform and network… In global health, personal experience is assumed to be anecdotal, the lowest form of evidence. We are learning, as one …

What is a rubric and why you should use it in global health education-small

What is a “rubric” and why use rubrics in global health education?

Reda Sadki Global health, Learning, Learning design, Theory

Rubrics are well-established, evidence-based tools in education, but largely unknown in global health. At the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), the rubric is a key tool that we use – as part of a comprehensive package of interventions – to transform high-cost, low-volume training dependent on the limited availability of global experts into scalable peer learning to improve access, quality, and outcomes. The more prosaic definition of the rubric – reduced from any pedagogical questioning – is “a type of scoring guide that assesses and articulates specific components and expectations for an assignment” (Source). The rubric is a practical solution to a number of complex issues that prevent effective teaching and learning in global health. Developing a rubric provides a practical method for turning complex content and expertise into a learning process in which learners will learn primarily from each other. Hence, making sense of a rubric requires recognizing and appreciating the value …

Epidemic preparedness through connected transnational digital networks of local actors-small

Pandemic preparedness through connected transnational digital networks of local actors

Reda Sadki Global health, Learning strategy

In the Geneva Learning Foundation’s approach to effective humanitarian learning, knowledge acquisition and competency development are both necessary but insufficient. This is why, in July 2019, we built the first Impact Accelerator, to support local practitioners beyond learning outcomes all the way to achieving actual health outcomes. What we now call the Full Learning Cycle has become a mature package of interventions that covers the full spectrum from knowledge acquisition to implementation and continuous improvement. This package has produced the same effects in every area of work where we have been able to test it: self-motivated groups manifesting remarkable, emergent leadership, connected laterally to each other in each country and between countries, with a remarkable ability to quickly learn and adapt in the face of the unknown. In 2020, we got to test this package during the COVID-19 pandemic, co-creating the COVID-19 Peer Hub with over 6,000 frontline health professionals, …

Reinventing the path from knowledge to action in global health

Reda Sadki Global health, Learning strategy, The Geneva Learning Foundation

At the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), we have just begun to share a publication like no other. It is titled Overcoming barriers to vaccine acceptance in the community: Key learning from the experiences of 734 frontline health workers. You can access the full report here in French and in English. Short summaries are also available in three special issues of The Double Loop, the Foundation’s free Insights newsletter, now available in both English and French. The report, prefaced by Heidi Larson who leads the Vaccine Confidence Project, includes DOI to facilitate citation in academic research. (The Foundation uses a repository established and maintained by the Geneva-based CERN for this purpose.) However, knowing that academic papers have (arguably) an average of three readers, we have a different aspiration for dissemination. As a global community, we recognize the significance of local action to achieve the global goals. The report documents vaccine confidence practices just …

Digital learning at Learning Strategies International

How we work

Reda Sadki Learning design, Skills

We achieve operational excellence to provide a high-quality, personalized and transformative learning experience for each learner – no matter how many are in the cohort. We achieve this by: Building on the best available evidence from research and our own practice in adult learning to address, engage, and retain busy, working professionals; Responding as quickly as we possibly can to learner queries and problems – and ensuring that individual problem-solving are used to improve the experience of the entire group; Finding the sweet spot between structure (unambiguous instructions, schedule, and process) and process agility (adapting activities to improve support to learners); and Designing for facilitation to empower learners, scaffolding their journey but recognizing that they are the ones who best know their context and needs. Together, these capabilities combine to: Offer a personalized learning experience in which each learner receives the support they need, and feels a growing sense of …

Renaissance for global health


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 …

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 …

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 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 …