Category Archives: CINQ 2019-20

CINQ Blog #2

Case Study 1 – Dangerous Water Pathogens in Lesotho 

Step one: 

Facts of the case 

  • Goal is to test water for disease causing pathogens in Lesotho, Africa. 
  • Specific pathogen only found in this one place – no where else to do it
  • Communities only contribution is leading to water source
  • 11  researchers, 10 days


Step two and three: 

Stakeholders and Motivations 

  1. You and research team- 11 people. Motivations: To benefit from publication, professional clout, to further science 
  2. The community members. Motivations: May be harmed by bacteria, may benefit from the results of this research in the future
  3. The community members who help you. Motivations: reward of some kind, possible employment opportunities, social rise from working with foreigners 
  4. Anyone who reads the report. Motivations: Learn, profit of implementing a solution
  5. The University. Motivations: Make connections in other countries, further science, gain clout in academia from publications. 
  6.   Government of Lesotho. Motivations: possibly gain clean water, help their citizens


 Step Four 

Ethical Question: Should people be compensated for their time and resources? Is it ethical to conduct this study from a human standpoint? Is it ethical at all?

Is this research ethical at all? Yes, this research is ethical. From our class discussion no arguments were made for the research being unethical. The most damage it might do it lead people to worry over their water sources more than previously. Additionally, from a human standpoint this study is ethical.

The results of the study have the potential to help those involved or at the very least spread more knowledge about the pathogen in the water source. If the communities resources are depleted from the work being doing yes they should be compensated but that is not a foreseen effect of the study. As to should people be paid, we will get into that in further steps…

Alternative solutions

1) Give conclusions and results for free for the community members and relevant government departments, insure understanding

2)      Don’t pay them, faith based 

3)      Reimburse them for gas or only resources you use, no tip

4)     Get approval from the water ministry 

5) Pay everyone you encounter a tip 

6) Incentivize people to help with a low cost good like coke but not monetary payment 

Or any combination of above options.


Step Five : 

Previous cases and personal experience 

Past case from the Ebola team. Their research  did not pay anyone except for reimbursements. They also made sure anyone involved knew that. They introduced themselves and explained fully what they needed before asking for assistance. In this way they weren’t letting people agree to something thinking they might be paid. 

Personal experience: Paying people tends to get you the most reliable and useful assistance, however, when traveling you shouldn’t be expected to tip everyone you encounter just because you come from a wealthier country.


Step six: 

Best Course of Action 

My team decided that the best course of action is to go through all the proper channels but not pay any community members for their help with directions.

We would get a letter from the Ministry of Water Resources and come prepared with maps and areal photos of the place. However, we don’t feel that paying community members for this work is the best course of action.

Offering to pay for knowledge that everyone has and some might give for free puts people who need or want the money in a situation where they need to be the first to please you and disadvantages those you aren’t aware of the opportunity. In a very poor area this might cause resentment among citizens and also put you and your team in an awkward place.

The results of any study should be explained to all relevant parties in Lesotho and this will be free.


Step seven: 

Implications of our Best Course of Action 

The worst case scenario is that nobody is willing to help us. In that case we have listed other possible scenarios that include offering a good in return or tipping.

Best case, the research can be pulled off without wasting resources and keeping strong connections with the community.

The results of the study will be made free to the community and the government so they will be informed about their water sources. The information is also published so there is the possibility that a solution to the problem can be found and implemented.

CINQ 388 Blog Post #1

Blog Post Number 1, 8/27/19

  • What are the top 3 things I learned during my GSIF trip this summer?
    • Most importantly, all the possible ingredients for substrate
      • Learned by going to the markets
      • It matters for cost of bags and successful mushrooms
      • We now have to test all these new ingredients
    • Second, I got a greater understanding for the weather in Sierra Leone and factors that will change by season
      • I learned this by talking to Jawara and others about the dry season and experiencing the wet season
      •  This matters because it will impact the structures that we decide to grow and the durability of materials that we will need to be testing and eventually using
      • In light of this we need to let the structure we currently built survive and see how long it takes to break, we also need to find alternatives
    • Lastly, I learned that the tap water is not safe to drink
      • I learned this by bringing a water drinking test that I purchased
      • This matters because some fungus leach heavy metals out of waters
      • I will make sure that nobody can be harmed by eating our mushrooms, we need to get grant money to test them, we can also look into using rain water instead of tap water or water from harmful pipes.
  • How did the GSIF trip facilitate my professional development?
    • Taught me how to be a leader
      • Sierra Leone taught me how to take responsibility that I knew I was qualified to take and take charge. I needed to be more confident and more vocal as well as stricter in what I knew was required
      • I learned this because there was no way around it. If I didn’t take charge things wouldn’t get done. It was the way it had to be done whether or not I was seen as an authority figure I had to act like one
      • This matters because it will be applicable to any job that I take
    • Changed my world view. I now believe that I have a better understanding about how the world works and what is really required to make an impact.
      • I learned this by experiencing Sierra Leone
      • This matters because I have arranged my professional and personal life goals around experiencing the world and creating sustainable impact
      • In light of this I am considering other projects and programs I can be a part of
    • This trip taught me the importance of networking which before I thought was fluff and bs
      • I learned this through interacting with Jawara’s boss on accident and afterwards realizing the impact that conversation can have on our employee.
      • The success of our project will rely on the positive connections we make in country and also in the US.
      • Through this myself and my team should always be prepared and practiced before going into situations. Our elevator pitch should be spot on.
  • How did the GSIF trip help me grow personally?
    • Seeing the disparity in wealth up close and personal was really hard and makes a person face the reality of living on earth.
      • I learned this through experiencing Sierra Leone and her people and culture
      • This changed me personally which is why it matters to me? To be more specific the larger the world view you experience the more people you can relate to.
      • In light of this I believe I have more respect and understanding of the world I live in.
    • Makes everybody grow up a little to have that much responsibility
      • I honestly feel as though I have aged and entire year in this trip. I feel more mature and responsible
    • I was alone in a foreign country with people I barely knew and I kind of need friendship to survive so it was really helped me get out of my safe bubble of people I already know and am familiar with.
      • The friendships and professional relationships I made on this trip will stay with me forever.