The limitations of expert-led fellowships for global health

How to overcome limitations of expert-led fellowships for global health

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Theory

Coaching and mentoring programs sometimes called “fellowships” have been upheld as the gold standard for developing leaders in global health. For example, a fellowship in the field of immunization was recently advertised in the following manner. We will not dwell here on the ‘live engagements’, which are expert-led presentations of technical knowledge. We already know that such ‘webinars’ have very limited learning efficacy, and unlikely impact on outcomes. (This may seem like a harsh statement to global health practitioners who have grown comfortable with webinars, but it is substantiated by decades of evidence from learning science research.) On the surface, the rest of the model sounds highly effective, promising personalized attention and expert guidance. The use of a project-based learning approach is promising, but it is unclear what support is provided once the implementation plan has been crafted. It is when you consider the logistical aspects that the cracks begin …

How does peer learning compare to expert-led coaching fellowships

How does the scalability of peer learning compare to expert-led coaching ‘fellowships’?

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Theory

By connecting practitioners to learn from each other, peer learning facilitates collaborative development. How does it compare to expert-led coaching and mentoring “fellowships” that are seen as the ‘gold standard’ for professional development in global health? Scalability in global health matters. (See this article for a comparison of other aspects.) Simplified mathematical modeling can compare the scalability of expert coaching (“fellowships”) and peer learning Let N be the total number of learners and M be the number of experts available. Assuming that each expert can coach K learners effectively: For N>>M×KN>>M×K, it is evident that expert coaching is costly and difficult to scale. Expert coaching “fellowships” require the availability of experts, which is often optimistic in highly specialized fields. The number of learners (N) greatly exceeds the product of the number of experts (M) and the capacity per expert (K). Scalability of one-to-one peer learning By comparison, peer learning turns …

Collective Intelligence Cambridge Digital Education Futures Initiative

The COVID-19 Peer Hub as an example of Collective Intelligence (CI) in practice

Reda SadkiGlobal health, The Geneva Learning Foundation

A new article by colleagues at the Cambridge Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI) illustrates academic understanding of Collective Intelligence (CI) through the COVID-19 Peer Hub, a peer learning initiative organized by over 6,000 frontline health workers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with support from The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), in response to the initial shock of the pandemic on immunization services that placed 80 million children at risk of missing lifesaving vaccines. Learn more about the COVID-19 Peer Hub… From the abstract: Collective Intelligence (CI) is important for groups that seek to address shared problems. CI in human groups can be mediated by educational technologies. The current paper presents a framework to support design thinking in relation to CI educational technologies. Our framework is grounded in an organismic-contextualist developmental perspective that orients enquiry to the design of increasingly complex and integrated CI systems that support coordinated group problem solving …

Digital challenge-based learning in the COVID-19 Peer Hub

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Learning, Writing

A digital human knowledge and action network of health workers: Challenging established notions of learning in global health When Prof Rupert Wegerif introduced DEFI in his blog post, he argued that recent technologies will transform the notions and practice of education. The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) is demonstrating this concept in the field of global health, specifically immunization, through the ongoing engagement of thousands of health workers in digital peer learning. As images of ambulance queues across Europe filled TV screens in 2020, another discussion was starting: how would COVID-19 affect countries with weaker health systems but more experience in facing epidemic outbreaks? In the global immunization community, there were early signs that ongoing efforts to protect children from vaccine preventable diseases – measles, polio, diphtheria – would suffer. On the ground, there were early reports of health workers being afraid to work, being excluded by communities, or having key supplies disrupted. The …