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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

What does the changing nature of knowledge mean for global health?

Reda Sadki Global public health, Learning strategy

Charlotte Mbuh and I will be welcoming Julie Jacobson, one of the founders of Bridges to Development, for our 15-minute Global Health Symposium about neglected needs of women’s health, and specifically the upcoming Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) workshop being organized by the FAST package, a group of international and country partners. Join the Symposium on Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn. (If you miss the live stream, the recording is immediately available afterward, via these same links.) During the Ebola crisis response of 2014-2015, I sweet-talked Panu Saaristo into doing the first “15-minute global health symposium”, giving him just 6 minutes for an update about the complex work he was leading. (You can read about it here.) I still remember every point of his presentation and the emotion associated with it, as he described how Red Cross volunteers were risking their own lives to help families bury their dead safely. It turns …

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 …

Efteling gold fish. Personal collection.

Why learning professionals should strive to be leaders, not just service providers

Reda Sadki #DigitalScholar, Leadership

The learning landscape is changing fast. Even the most jurassic face-to-face trainers I know are now embracing the digital transformation or at least trying to. Ephemeral fads such as the Social Age or gamification are proliferating alongside newer, more sustainable and productive approaches that match the learning contexts of humanitarians and support the development of their capabilities in a volatile world. Everyone in workplace learning – save a few proverbial ostriches going the way of the dodo bird – is trying to learn the new skills needed to operate in new ways to do new things. This is like a dream come true. But rethinking our roles, I believe, is going to be far more important than learning to run a webinar. Are we service providers? Are we a support service (like HR, security, and finance)? Who are really our clients, when those who pay are seldom those who learn? …

Aboard the USS Bowfin (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States of America). Personal collection.

Implementation of guidelines, officially

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is everything that the World Health Organization’s Handbook for Guideline Development says about implementation.  Implementation of a guideline should be taken into account right from the beginning of the guideline development. Implementation is generally the responsibility of national or subnational groups, which explains why their participation in guideline development is critical. WHO headquarters and regional and country offices can support implementation activities by promoting new guidelines at international conferences and providing guideline dissemination workshops, tools, resources and overall coordination [emphasis mine]. Implementation strategies are context-specific. The basic steps for implementing a guideline are: convene a multidisciplinary working group to analyse local needs and priorities (looking for additional data on actual practice); identify potential barriers and facilitating factors; determine available resources and the political support required to implement recommendations; inform relevant implementing partners at all levels; and design an implementation strategy (considering how to encourage theadoption of the recommendations and how …

USS Bowfin diving plane control levers

From guidelines to impact

Reda Sadki Global public health, Thinking aloud

Most global public health organizations issue guidelines that are of a high methodological quality and are developed through a transparent, evidence-based decision-making process. However, they often lack an effective, scalable mechanism to support governments and health workers at country and sub-country level in turning these into action that leads to impact. Existing activities intended to help countries build public health capacity carry potential risk for these organizations, as they rely on high-cost, low-volume workshops and trainings that may be characterized by startling disparities in quality, scalability, replicability, and sustainability, often making it difficult or impossible to determine their impact. In some thematic areas, stakeholders have recognized the problem and are developing their own frameworks to improve quality of training and improve capacity-building. A few stakeholders are experimenting with new capacity-building approaches to empower local actors and strengthen the resilience of communities. The global community allocates considerable human and financial resources …