Welcome, Devex readers. We are a Swiss non-profit. We research, develop, and scale up new ways to learn and lead against critical threats to our societies.
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The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) has developed a unique approach, grounded in learning science and a decade of research and practice, to nurture digital networks. We build collective capacity for transformation. We do this in ways that motivate participants to implement thousands of their own locally-designed projects, leading to measurable, lasting impact. Our Impact Review explains how we do this – and how it can help your organization.
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The need for change is evident.
How do we transform what we are today?
Is your organization rethinking how it contributes to achieving global goals?
- Humanitarian INGOs headquartered in Geneva, London, or Washington are striving to “localize aid”.
- A growing concert of voices is calling for the decolonization of global health.
- Some donors are trying to listen to feedback from communities, not just metrics.
How do we shift our capacity to embrace a volatile, complex world?
- The potential of digital networks to support change is obvious.
- So are, increasingly, some of the risks: from navel-gazing social media “bubbles” to data breaches and surveillance.
The skills and processes that we need are not yet embedded in our systems. That is why people leading change need to form human knowledge networks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for a digital-first Renaissance.
- The next 20 years of working for change are likely to be about harnessing digital transformation through hybrid networks fusing digital and physical.
- Learning how to develop people is a vital investment for the promise of digital to be realized.
We are seeking partners that share our yearning for transformation, and that can bring their challenges, resources, and capabilities to make this yearning a reality.
We stand ready to support any organization or network that needs to mobilize people at scale in support of meaningful change.
We are actively fundraising to develop our global platform so we can support more partners tackling ‘wicked’ problems.
Join us to honor women who deliver vaccines
Experience first-hand the power of a human knowledge network that is enabling women from all over the world – who would otherwise never meet – to join around a shared purpose to overcome gender barriers in immunization.
Our programmes span a range of disciplines but they share a single obsession: to connect and empower thousands of practitioners on the frontlines to rise up to their toughest challenges by supporting, caring for, and learning from each other.
Join changemakers from endemic countries and those who support them for the Special Event that kicked off the first Impact Accelerator to tackle Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS), a neglected tropical diseases that affected 56 million women and girls.
Last year, we nurtured 15 learning and change programmes and 10 global leadership and impact networks that grew exponentially, catalyzed by over 200 digital events.
Participants working in local communities and countries from 110 countries found intrinsic motivation to implement thousands of real-world local projects, using their own indigenous expertise and their own resources to achieve impact.
See below what’s next on our calendar.
“My ‘Eureka moment’ came 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. This gave me motivation and confidence that by unifying on a platform and by discussing the challenges, we can reach a solution.”
Connect with the Geneva Learning Foundation on your preferred platforms
We build open digital communities for change. This means we try to meet you where you are, rather than force you to register to access a closed platform.
Our story: how we learned to nurture digital communities of changemakers
“You are doing magic” –Molly Abbruzzese, Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“I can tell you this experience changed my life. It has changed my practice and made me think differently about the way I work, considering things I did not think about” – A health facility nurse in the Foundation’s immunization programme
We developed and crash-tested our approach on the outer cusp of chaos:
- First, working with the Norwegian Red Cross and the ICRC in support of pre-hospital emergency care staff and volunteers, we connected 5,000 men and women facing danger when trying to provide care. Ambulance volunteers inside Syria, for example, were able to share their experience with emergency workers from the rest of world.
- Then, in 2020, we nurtured what became the world’s largest platform of 40,000 immunization professionals from health facilities, districts, and national teams to share ideas and support each other first in recovery, then to roll out COVID-19 vaccines.
Such connections led to remarkable outcomes, with learners turning into leaders and implementers, supporting each other to achieve impact.
- Leaders making their voices heard at the global level, while continuing their daily work.
- Implementers using ideas from all over the world to turn ideas into action, results, and impact, and documenting their results and impact because they wanted to.
- Leaders reporting to each other because they wanted to support each other and to hold each other accountable, as peers with a shared purpose.
We are actively fundraising to develop our global platform so we can support more partners tackling ‘wicked’ problems.LEARN MORE
Charlotte Mbuh: How the COVID-19 Peer Hub sparked the implementation of thousands of local projects to keep immunization going
I worked for ten years in Ebolowa, Cameroon, in my country’s immunization programme. When the pandemic hit, I joined more than 6,000 fellow immunization professionals to create the COVID-19 Peer Hub. Most of us are from Asian and African countries, working in health facilities and districts side-by-side with colleagues from our national teams. Wherever we work, whatever our status, role, or rank, we pledged to support each other.
In the first 10 days, we shared over 1,200 ideas and practices that were helping us face the consequences of the pandemic.
Building on each other’s successes and sharing lessons learned to overcome our challenges, we worked to turn these ideas into practice, results, and ultimately impact.
By the end of 2020, one third of participants had already implemented and documented tangible improvements to support the recovery of immunization services.
Examples of outcomes we have been tracking since July 2019
The following are some examples of immunization-related interventions that we are tracking data on to learn about outcomes:
- Following up on finding and vaccinating zero dose and defaulting children
- Tracking & vaccinating migrant populations
- Setting up a Missed Opportunities in Vaccination (MOV) system to ensure eligible children present at outpatient/other PHC “stations” in a facility receive vaccinations
- Improving geographic equity by increasing outreach sites in hard-to-reach areas
- Increasing frequency of services in higher volume urban facilities
- Using community engagement approaches to bring on board leaders to support immunization, who were previously opposed.
How Dr Franck Monga, one of over 6,000 health professionals who co-created the COVID-19 Peer Hub, transformed his health district by plugging into the global digital network he helped build
“Bringing together the different immunization stakeholders in a group at each level of the health pyramid, discussing the challenges for the well-being of the population, was extraordinary.”
Using only locally-available resources, Franck set up a system to catch missed opportunities for vaccination, a dashboard to track planned and conducted sessions, and follow-up with community members after each immunization session to identify and then vaccinate all defaulters and potential zero dose children.
To do this, he drew on ideas, received feedback, and learned from community health workers, nurses, and doctors in Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as in Pakistan and Indonesia.
This resulted in turning around district performance that then strengthened his district’s resilience when the pandemic hit.
Do not miss the point. The significance of this story is not only that an exemplary leader was able to achieve results. It is that he did so while connected in a digital network of like-minded leaders, each also working toward the same goal, sharing successes, lessons learned, and challenges.
Watch Charlotte Mbuh speak at the Seventy-Third United Nations General Assembly
Charlotte Mbuh took the floor at the United Nations General Assembly side event dedicated to Immunization Agenda 2030, the world’s strategy to protect everyone from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Although we started in global health, we worked with partners to adapt this same approach to support humanitarian response and global development work.
And, each time, the result has been the same: highly-motivated cadres of connected leaders from all levels, job roles, and ranks, inspiring each other to lead change, to do more, better, faster, to achieve their goals.
Here are some of the organizations whose staff contributed to our first Teach to Reach conference, connecting over 60 global partners with more than 7,500 people who deliver vaccines in health facilities and districts.
Some of our partners tell us that, at first, it sounded too good to be true
In three days, we build a new change programme from scratch.
- Within four weeks, a global community has formed, by purely digital means, at any scale, with no upper limit to the number of participants. (We are fine with small groups, too.)
- Within three months, the community has found its own, intrinsically motivated rhythm, sharing successes, lessons learned, and challenges, as individual participants share their progress toward achieving impact to support each other.
- There is no per diem, travel, or other extrinsic incentive offered.
Participants can continue to perform their daily work while in the programme (lowering opportunity cost).
Value comes from the explicit pathways that lead from our programmes to impact on the ground
- We combine high volume at low cost, achieving learning outcomes beyond those achievable through low-volume, high-cost face-to-face approaches.
- These outcomes take participants beyond knowledge retention to practice the digital, analytical, and leadership capabilities that are the most difficult to achieve in any medium.
- Beyond learning outcomes, our programmes support the development of context-specific projects and their field implementation to exercise these capabilities, supported by a global network of peers.