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, …

How close to the village can a global, digital education initiative get?

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the final in a series of five blog posts reflecting on what is at stake in how we learn lessons from the Ebola crisis that erupted in 2014 and continued in 2015. A new blog post will be published each morning this week (subscribe here). “Opportunities to contain the virus were lost soon after, largely because of a lack of trust between local communities and the officials and medical professionals trying to nip the epidemic in the bud.” (Petherick 2015:591) Online training of humanitarian professionals is one thing, but what about community participation? “Beneficiary communications” and “listening” approaches have emerged to encourage inclusive approaches to all aspects of humanitarian work. Learning needs to include not just professionals but also volunteers and affected families, whether or not they are involved in social mobilization efforts. As the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has taught us, volunteers are far more than part-time humanitarians. They are embedded in …

Humanitarian Health Lessons Learned: Ebola

Learning in emergency operations: a pilot course to learn how we learn

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts reflecting on what is at stake in how we learn lessons from the Ebola crisis that erupted in 2014 and continued in 2015. A new blog post will be published each morning this week (subscribe here). “Continuous learning at the individual level is necessary but not sufficient to influence perceived changes in […] performance. It is argued that learning must be captured and embedded in ongoing systems, practices, and structures so that it can be shared and regularly used to intentionally improve changes in knowledge performance.” (Marsick and Watkins 2003:134) Scholar is an online learning environment for collaborative learning developed through the education research and practice by Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope of the University of Illinois College of Education. It is designed to produce (and not simply consume) knowledge, in order to develop higher-order thinking, analysis, reflection, evaluation, and application. It closely models forms …

Humanitarian Health Lessons Learned: Ebola

Online learning around Ebola so far

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the third in a series of five blog posts reflecting on what is at stake in how we learn lessons from the Ebola crisis that erupted in 2014 and continued in 2015. A new blog post will be published each morning this week (subscribe here). “The responsible use of technology in humanitarian action offers concrete ways to make assistance more effective and accountable, and to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience. Distance learning and online education are good examples of technology supporting these goals” (World Disasters Report 2013:10). There have been a number of online courses organized by humanitarian organizations as well as by higher education institutions. International organizations have developed e-learning courses such as MSF’s Ebola ebriefing and WHO’s Health Security Learning Platform, or leveraged existing online training packages such as IFRC’s scenario-based simulation modules on public health in emergencies. American, British, Dutch, and Swiss universities are amongst those who have produced open online …

Humanitarian Health Lessons Learned: Ebola

Why learning is key to the strategic shift in how the world manages health crises

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the second in a series of five blog posts reflecting on what is at stake in how we learn lessons from the Ebola crisis that erupted in 2014 and continued in 2015. A new blog post will be published each morning this week (subscribe here). “Whereas health is considered the sovereign responsibility of countries, the means to fulfill this responsibility are increasingly global, and require international collective action and effective and efficient governance of the global health system.” (Stocking 2015:10) “Effective crisis management for health”, writes the World Health Organization in its management response to the Stocking report, “requires a series of strategic shifts” (Chan 2015:5). Calls for substantial modernization of emergency management capacity and preparedness have focused on resources to ensure rapid mobilization for the provision of logistics, operational support, and community mobilization. Yet, “the primary lesson so far has not been about the need for new response methods, but about human resources …

Humanitarian Health Lessons Learned: Ebola

Lessons learned from Ebola

Reda Sadki Global public health

This is the first in a series of five blog posts reflecting on what is at stake in how we learn lessons from the Ebola crisis that erupted in 2014 and continued in 2015. A new blog post will be published each morning this week (subscribe here). The unprecedented complexity and scale of the current Ebola outbreak demonstrated that existing capacities of organizations with technical, normative culture, methods and approaches are not necessarily scalable or adaptable to novel or larger challenges. Large and complex public health emergencies are different each time. Each new event poses specific problems. Hence, traditional approaches to standardize “best practice” are unlikely to succeed. What are the appropriate mechanisms for learning from each of them? More broadly, how do we change the capacity of individuals and systems to learn? “Huge praise is due to those who have responded to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. At the …