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 …

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 …

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 …

Social network and citation network in the COVID-19 Peer Hub

Disseminating rapid learning about COVID-19 vaccine introduction

Reda Sadki Global health, Global public health, Learning strategy

In July 2019, barely six months before the pandemic, we worked with alumni of The Geneva Learning Foundation’s immunization programme to build the Impact Accelerator in 86 countries. This global community of action for national and sub-national immunization staff pledged, following completion of one of the Foundation’s courses, to support each other in other to achieve impact. Closing the loop from learning to impact produced startling results, accelerating the rate at which locally-resourced projects were implemented and fostering new forms of collaborative leadership. Alumni launched what immediately became the largest network of immunization managers in the world. Then the pandemic dramatically raised the stakes: at least 80 million children under one were placed at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupted immunization service as worldwide. Alumni were amongst the first in their countries to respond, leveraging the power of being connected to each other …

Solidarity across public health and medicine silos during a pandemic

Reda Sadki Education business models, Global health, Global public health, Learning strategy

We are launching a new Scholar programme about environmental threats to health, with an initial focus on radiation. (I mapped out what this might look like in 2017.) As part of the launch, we are enlisting support of immunization colleagues. Our immunization programme is our largest and most advanced programme, and still growing fast since its inception in 2016. At The Geneva Learning Foundation, we have spent 5 years pouring mind, body, and soul into building what has become the largest digital platform for national and sub-national immunization leaders. Along the way, we discovered that it is not only about scale. Social Network Analysis (SNA) by colleagues Sasha Poquet and Vitomir Kovanovic at the Centre for Complexity and Change in Learning is now helping us to understand the power in the relationships not just one-to-many but many-to-many across the network. Yes, there is a linkage as most vaccines are for …


Four billion

Reda Sadki Global health

A few months ago, a malaria guy showed me the $20 dumb Nokia phones he buys in a Geneva convenience store and then gives out to trainees who then use it to collect data via SMS text messages. ARM says that the US$20 smart phone (read: Android with an ARM chip) will arrive this year. At stake: how to get the next four billion people online. Source: ARM says $20 smartphones coming this year, shows off 64-bit Cortex-A53 and A57 performance. Photo: Fr3d.org/Flickr