Blog Post 19

Conceptual Framework

^ Click the link above to view my Conceptual Framework.

The Framework lays out the innovation of our solution in the furthest left framework. It details how our product addresses the current issues and how it covers the given requirements for a sustainable solution. The middle framework detail the problem that our team is addressing, of malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone. Finally, the rightmost framework details the system solution we created to add value to the project. Not only did we create a product, but we created a system that can be applied to more regions than just Sierra Leone, and thus can address the issue of global malnutrition.

Blog Post 18

What is Creativity Creativity – Thinking outside of the box.

-Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects.

Where does Creativity Happen? 

-When collaboration, isolation, need, not thinking about the problem, 

What is Emergence?

-Being the first of a new thing or the sum of several systems, for example, a bird flying 

8 Tenets of System Thinking 

Multifinality – The idea that even though all the inputs into different systems are the same, different outcomes will develop. How does it address the needs of several stakeholders? 

-For Ukweli, this is almost the base of the operations we are creating. The input is the test strips into the sierra leone healthcare system in order to lower maternal mortality rate but in doing so the CHWs are also given a supplemental income.

-For NewTrition, this is an example of the muffin serving the purpose of helping eliminate malnutrition in children, but also creating a system that can be implemented in various other countries with similar issues. 

Equifinality – Given different incomes with the same goal, all end in the same output. 

-Equifinality is present in Ukweli’s operations of training different PHUs and different CHWs throughout the Bombali District/SL. The various community health workers/PHUs/Villages that have Ukweli’s Test Strips can potentially be very different inputs, but all of these players are working towards the same goal of using Ukweli’s strips to lower the maternal mortality.

Abstraction – The idea of describing a system in more than one dimension, speaking to the interconnections and interdependence of the system.

-CHWs and NICs and all other health workers do different jobs to work towards the solution of a healthier Sierra Leone

Leverage Points- important points in a system that have a large impact with minimal changes

-Changing the ingredients in the magic muffin can change the nutrient profile along with the flavor. That could affect who buys or who gets the right nutrients

– For NewTrition, changing the branding of the muffin from a “therapeutic food” to just a healthy food allows for us to avoid the stigma attached to it. By just creating healthy food without claims we can easily merge into the current markets. 

Regulation – The idea that in order for a system to be successful, it requires feedback in multiple aspects of said system to manage the high points and pitfalls of a system

-Ukweli Test Strips data collection systems are used to effectively understand the current standings of the operations of the venture

– For NewTrition, recipe questionnaires were collected to determine whether the product our team felt was best, was also accepted by the mothers and children of Sierra Leone. 

Interdependence* – Mutually beneficial relationships between systems 

-Sustainable development goals, better education improves health, improving health makes a better population, a better population can do bigger and better things. All of our projects work on one problem being faced in a developing country, but the improvement in one aspect helps to improve the others. 

– For NewTrition, the team needs a local to cook to make nutritious products to address malnutrition in Sierra Leone, so a local bakery partnered with us and allowed us to use the bakery. In return, we helped them work out a business model for their bakery and did odd jobs they needed assistance with. 

Holism* – The idea that the sum of the individual parts of a system is less valuable than the system as a whole:

– For NewTrition, giving children separate serving of each of the ingredients used in the recipe would be ineffective, but combining them into a muffin, in this case, makes a product that is better than the sum of its individual components. 

Differentiation* the idea that a system needs different systems working together to achieve a cohesive solution

-Bundle of sticks i.e. marketing, sale, dissemination, teaching, transport, etc…

– For NewTrition, when we first arrived in Sierra Leone, we weren’t differentiated within the team and it led to problems of ‘who is in charge of what’. After a meeting with Khanjan, he helped us differentiate ourselves and the team was much more productive. 

* Differentiation, Holism, and Interdependence are essentially the same thing


Design a multifinal solution to the water hyacinth problem discussed in class. Explain the solution and describe how it exhibits the system tenets of multifinality, holism, and regulation.


To fix the water hyacinth problem, I would compensate the region we are using to harvest the crop with a fair percentage of our profits. This would allow the locals to not feel as though they are being taken advantage of and allows the business to continue to help the community and provide income for the employees. This solution shows multifinality in that it serves to eliminate the problem of the locals being upset at the use of their local areas, and solves the issue of the business now missing a produce supplier. This also serves to add a new revenue stream for the locals on the water. It shows holism, as there is a now a codependent between the locals on the water, and the business. The hyacinth by itself doesn’t have any value and is actually a negative thing in the water. This solution allows for the people on the water to have a healthy waterway with less hyacinth and additional money for access to the water for harvesting. The business is allowed a free source of input material that allows them to have a business. The separate parts of this relationship gather no money, but together everyone makes a profit. Finally, regulation is incorporated in that the locals will determine what we pay, to some extent, and keeps our company in check-in that we want our product partners to be happy so the relationship is strong and stays for many years. If the people we get our source material from have to leave, we won’t have partners, so their health and well-being are crucial as well.

Blog Post 17


Partners in our Venture:

  1. World Hope
    1. We worked at World Hope and with their staff.
    2. They helped us because they provided us with workspace and connections in Sierra Leone. We helped them too because we expanded their reputation by involving them and tying them to our research.
    3. We should continue to participate in important projects so that we can continue our relationship with them.
  2. Betteh Bakery
    1. They allowed us to use their spaces for baking the muffins and roasting the sweet potatoes
    2. We helped them develop their business model and they gave us access to resources we needed. We attempted to make it an equal relationship but there were some kinks that we needed to work out.
    3. It would have been a stronger relationship if they were further along in their business and we were able to fully rely on them for the things that they said we could rely on them for. 
  3. Wesleyan Church
    1. We were able to establish this partnership through our relationship with the Betteh Bakery. Betteh Bakery is owned by the Wesleyan Church.
    2. They allowed us to use their church as a platform to administer our questionnaires. They provided us with tables, chairs, and volunteers who helped us effectively gather data. We helped the church by helping them with their core goal: helping the people of Sierra Leone.
    3. To strengthen this relationship, we should be sure to keep communications strong even when we are not in Sierra Leone.
  4. Allieu Bangura, Director of Nutrition at World Hope International
    1. Partnered to help us drive our project ideas, connect us with the Director of Food & Nutrition, and to give us general guidance in the first stages of our project
      1. Introducing nutritious product for them
    2. More communication
  5. Clinics/CHOs
    1. Our partnership with clinics and CHOs allowed us to gather data from mothers and children.
    2. The clinics allowed us to come and receive data from mothers and children. Mothers and children got to taste our food.
    3. This relationship was very beneficial. In order to make it more equitable and stronger, we would need to bring enough food for everyone.
  6. University of Freetown
    1. Students from the university who interned at World Hope we’re able to help us with whatever we needed for our project.
    2. We gave their students real-life experience in their fields that they were interested in and they helped us further our project. We worked together nicely but it was not necessarily equitable; we are students in charge of other students. 
    3. This partnership would have been strengthened if we were positioned closer locationally 
  7. College of Engineering (funding partner)
    1. The college of engineering gave us funding to conduct our research in SL this summer.
    2. To strengthen this relationship we can write a publication to bring publicity to the university and the college.
  8. GELH (funding partner)
    1. GELH funded $1000 for each of us to travel to Sierra Leone.
    2. GELH helped us by making it financially feasible for us to go. We help them because we are giving them a good reputation and helping them contribute.
    3. It will be a stronger relationship after we do the GELH presentation at the end of October; they will know exactly what we did and how they helped us.
  9. Creative Inquiry Dept
    1. The Creative Inquiry Department gave us funding for in-country expenses 
    2. We gave them publicity for the project by coming back and producing projects
    3. We can make the relationship better by continuing to advocate and recruit new GSIF members 
  10. Health Ministry of Sierra Leone
    1. Aminata Shamit Koroma- the Director of Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone is the originator of the project
    2. We would like general/official approval of our products from the Ministry of Health. If we hope to distribute our product in hospitals in the future, we will need a strong relationship with the Ministry of Health in order to gain necessary approvals as well. 
    3. This partnership still needs to be established in order to see how each of us can benefit one another, but we could help the Ministry of Health by expanding the number of affordable foods that can be used to fight malnutrition and stunting. 
  11. Translators
    1. World Hope employee (Jawara) helped us connect with them and establish a partnership
    2. They helped us to effectively communicate and administer our questionnaires to the Sierra Leonean people. We compensated them for their work and time.
    3. To strengthen this relationship, we must keep in touch with the translators so that we can use them in the upcoming years.


Ultimate Outcome that we want to see:

  • Elimination or minimization of micronutrient deficiencies/malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone.   

How to build a larger movement to get to this cause?

  • Build a coalition 
    • A diverse group of individuals and organizations who work together to reach a common goal


Ultimate Goal: Elimination or minimization of micronutrient deficiencies/malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone.  

Name: NewTrition Coalition 


  • Sierra Leone President
    • Why the relationship is critical: approval of the products and support for marketing and distribution purpose
  • Sierra Leone Honorables
    • Why the relationship is critical: support for marketing and distribution purpose
  • Director of Food & Nutrition, Aminata Shamit Koroma
    • Why the relationship is critical: brains behind the project, so we would like her approval of the products we create
  • Ministry of Health and Sanitation
    • Why the relationship is critical: potentially need to approve the products we create in the future
  • WHI
    • Why the relationship is critical: help us build relationships with officials, companies, and mothers in Sierra Leone and give us credibility; can help us secure funding and approvals 
  • Mother Support Groups
    • In-country
    • UNICEF
  • Soccer Player
  • Sierra Leone Standards Bureau


How will these organizations help us get these products

What does each partner bring to the table

What do the partners gain from being a part of the coalition

Blog Post 16

Personal Goals:

  1. Neena – To contribute in any and every way possible so that we are able to advance our project forward to achieve the goal i have always had coming into this project: to help children become healthier. Personally, I hope to become a better teammate and learn better communication and leadership skills that can help me attain this goal.
  2. Kayla – I want to help with the project to see it pick off the ground. My goal is to find ways to preserve the muffins so that our shelflife can be extended and I want to set up the process in laying the groundwork for clinical trials. It is important to me that I also have the ability to grow in my role in this project as we are losing some team members and I want to learn from them as well. It’s important to me that we remain one team and connected like we were in Sierra Leone.
  3. Karli – I hope to bring my unique background as an Economics major to our team to ensure that the business side is realistic. I have gained a lot of passion for this project, especially after seeing the impact that it will have on families in Sierra Leone. For this reason, I want to make sure that we will be able to execute our project in a cost-effective, and smart way.
  4. Chris – My goals align with the development of the project’s products. I plan to continue the development of our recipes and the supply chain management to match it. I will also be focused on gathering grant funding for the project to do nutrition research and fund my trip there next year. 
  5. Seanna – My goals for this semester are to have a successful GHTC conference and for us to draft papers that explain our fieldwork experience. I also hope that we are able to define both recipes and develop successful business and marketing plans in order to take the next steps for our products.
  6. Rachel – Moving into this semester, my main goal, in the beginning, will be to research how we can preserve our pudding recipe through the possible use of antioxidants/preservatives or through packing mechanisms, this way the product is more accessible for families.  After that, I am hoping to help collaborate with the rest of my team to make a publishable paper of sorts on our research for a journal potentially. In general, I want to keep our team close-knit working as one entity and start ‘passing the baton’ to new members to forward the project.
  7. Matt – Over the next few weeks, I am hoping to analyze our research and use the data we gathered this summer to move forward. I would really like to publish a paper and apply for any grants that are available. Technically, I would like to determine the appropriate packaging to prevent the pudding from spoiling.

Project Goals:

Create sustainable and effective change for the children of Sierra Leone by providing them with a healthy, nutrient-dense, easily accessible, and cost affordable muffin and pudding.

– Scaling to resources 

  • We got a much better sense of what resources would be available to us in Sierra Leone and what a realistic cost for those products would be. These are things that we will implement in our product going forward this semester
  • In Sierra Leone, we also learned to optimize how we use our biggest resources: our team members. We learned that by divvying up roles and responsibilities we work together better and get more done.
  • Once we know what our budget will be, and understand what grants will help fund us, we will know how to make sure we optimize these resources

-Scaling to constraints

  • We do have limited time especially because there are deadlines for submitting papers to be published
  • Switch over of team members

-Our metrics for success

  • Business success
  • How many people are producing/selling our product?
  • Are people making more money?
  • How many children are our products actually reaching?
  • Is NEWtrition sustainable (eventually)?
  • Improving health: Our hope is that the malnutrition rate among children in Sierra Leone will eventually decrease in response to our product
  • What is the malnutrition rate for children in Sierra Leone?


Every team member was assigned to focus on one part of the data, and we will use each of our findings to write a paper and really understand our product and its capabilities in Sierra Leone.

  • Neena – microbial testing in the muffin, nutrient testing in muffin, shelf-life testing in muffin
  • Kayla – preservative use in muffin, clinical studies for both products, liaison to WHI and other SL organizations for muffin
  • Karli – supply chain and marketing plan for both products, 
  • Chris – muffin recipe improvement, grants for both products
  • Seanna – pudding recipe improvement, nutrient testing in pudding, liaison to WHI and other SL organizations for pudding
  • Rachel – antioxidant use in the pudding, preservative use in the pudding
  • Matt – shelf life testing in the pudding, packaging for pudding

Project Manager – At this point in the project, we have not decided on a project manager. At the end of this semester, we will need to decide on new project leaders because Chris and Seanna will be graduating.


Decision Making Procedure – We will communicate and voice opinions and ideas about a certain decision altogether. We will try to work towards a consensus at first. If there is a large divide and a consensus does not seem possible, we will make a majority rules type of decision.

How we will have effective meetings – We will come into meetings with a clear sense of what we want to accomplish in that time. Decisions are best made in person when we are all together so we must make use of our time together to talk about bigger decisions and next steps. We will follow up on shared documents online and keep records of all discussions in meetings so that everyone has access to all the information. Kayla is officially our meeting scribe. Neena will be the facilitator and the timekeeper.


  • We have a shared google drive in which we all have access to documents from each meeting, resources from SL, and all of our data


Although we do not have much diversity in majors within our group (6/7 of us are bioengineers), we do have Karli who will be very helpful with the more business-oriented aspects of the products. However, we are diverse in ages. We range from sophomores to seniors and have different perspectives because of it.

Our team name is NEWtrition. We want to create a new type of nutrition in Sierra Leone. We are creative and want to use our skills to make children healthier through our social venture.

Blog Post 15

Part 1: 

The facts:

  • Neem is indigenous to India and is considered sacred
  • neem used extensively over the past 2,000 years for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides. 
  • Neem products used widely across India and the industry as a whole employs many poor people
  • Chetan operates a small business of neem tree products
  • Chetan’s family has owned this business for the last seven generations
  • The business employs 60 people in different functions
  • Despite being familiar with over 200 applications of the tree and its derivatives, Chetan does not know the exact name of the neem seed extract, Azadirachtin. 
  • Ten years ago, Tom Johnson (OOPS) discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide. 
  • Tom received a patent for the pesticide formula and brought the product to market
  • They have a worldwide patent and financial capital to manufacture and sell the product on a large scale.
  • People are likely to prefer buying products from US companies over small Indian cottage, affecting Chetan’s business


  • OOPS
    • Prof: Make a lot of money
      • Gain a huge market share
    • Personal: Also make money
  • Chetan
    • Prof: Keep his employees, and provide goods to his community, make money
    • Personal: Keep his employee’s jobs and put food on his family’s table
  • Chetan’s employees
    • Prof: Want to keep their jobs 
    • Pers: Need money for their families
  • Other Indian growers of neem trees
    • Prof: money/job security
    • Personal: feeding families, social worth
  • Secondary Stakeholders:
  • Competing companies (Chetan could help them instead)
  • Consumers in India


1. Try to design a new molecule that is different

Pros: Even a slightly different molecule is then patentable and Chetan can compete with OOPS. Chetan maintains his market control and can keep his employees and business.

Cons: Requires a lot of capital, and no guarantee new molecule exists

Ethics: It’s a risk to try this, but ethically you are trying to save your employees jobs and your family’s income.

2. Fight the patent

Pros: OOPS patented a molecule that wasn’t native to their country, therefore Chetan has some ground to stand on to fight the patent. If he wins, he can continue his business as usual.

Cons: Requires a lot of money to do so, and no guarantee the patent is reversed.

3. Work out a deal

Pros: Can possibly get OOPS to drop the royalty so the business can return as normal

Cons: No guarantee OOPS agrees to the deal, could increase royalty.

Speak to an expert:

We asked Prof. Cheng what she would do, and she stated that she would try to reverse the patent. She also believes that the patent is reversible, and at the minimum, the patent should only apply to the exact pesticide formula that they sell.

My solution choice:

I would also try to fight the patent. I believe that Chetan has solid ground to stand on, and the patent, if it stands, would only apply to the pesticide formula. This solution begins by Chetan gathering capatial to get a patent lawyer to help with the case. I don’t know the direct pathway to do this, but that’s the job of the lawyer. After the results come back Chetan can hopefully return to business as usual and support his family and emplyees.


Part 2:

The facts: 

  • Six months after launch, OOPS is crushing the Indian market.
  • OOPS now has over 20 different neem-based products being sold through partnerships with supermarket chains.
  • Tom refused to abandon the market but was open to collaboration if it would help him make more money
  • Chetan’s business is suffering and he will likely have to lay off half of his staff at the end of the month.
  • Chetan’s employees saw him meet with Tom Johnson several times and believe that he has cut some kind of a deal with OOPS.

The stakeholders: 

  • OOPS
    • Prof: Make a lot of money
      • Gain a huge market share
    • Personal: Also make money
  • Chetan
    • Prof: Keep his employees, and provide goods to his community, make money
    • Personal: Keep his employee’s jobs and put food on his family’s table
  • Chetan’s employees
    • Prof: Want to keep their jobs 
    • Pers: Need money for their families
  • Other Indian growers of neem trees
    • Prof: money/job security
    • Personal: feeding families, social worth
  • Secondary Stakeholders:
  • Competing companies (Chetan could help them instead)
  • Consumers in India


1. Do the deal with OOPS

Pros: Save money, stay in business, keep employees

Cons: Employees lose faith in Chetan, OOPS has control over Chetan

2. Focus on one product

Pros: Can possibly survive by only focusing on one item, reduce the production cost of it, and sell it for a lower price than OOPS and gain market control

Cons: Not guaranteed to work, and if this plan doesn’t work, Chetan and his business will go broke.

3. Don’t do the deal with OOPS

Pros: Chetan saves his name and doesn’t sell out to OOPS

Cons: His business will probably go bankrupt and he will lose his employees and business

Speak with an expert: 

I asked my friend from Penn State that works on his own global social venture and he stated that he would do the deal with OOPS, becuase while some people may think that you sold out, at the end of the day, you keep your business, food on the table, and your employees.

My choice and the following actions: 

I would also do the deal with OOPS. Although OOPS may be the villain in this story, in order for Chetan to keep his own income, the income of all of his employees, and the business that has been passed down for generations. I would work out what figure keeps Chetan in business and make that the bottom line for the deal. Tom will not leave the market, so as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them”, and I feel that applies to this situation very well.


Blog Post 14

Part 1 :

  1. The facts:
  • Gruel currently made of corn and bananas 
  • the growth of ~35% of the children are stunted due to poor nutrition
  • Mothers believe that gruel is effective 
  • HIV/AIDS is bad in this region
  • More breastfeeding = higher chance to get HIV/AIDS
  • Mother’s think gruel works
  • 500 women are involved 
  • Crops used can cause health issues because of pesticides
  • Ween off children at 6 months of age
  • Women are skeptical of early weaning
  • Cash crops are: maize, sorghum, cassava, several varieties of legumes (dried beans), French beans, coffee, pineapple, bananas, pumpkins, tomatoes, carrots, kale, white (Irish) potatoes, and sweet potatoes
  • The goal of the coop is to have a shelf-stable porridge product that weens kids off of mothers milk 

2. Stakeholders 


  • Professional- An effective solution that keeps their children from getting HIV/AIDS while keeping them nutritious
  • Personal- They want their kids to be healthy and safe

Potential Women’s cooperative

  • Personal- want to make a positive impact 
  • Professional- bring in stable income to support families

Infants involved  

  • Personal – Want to be healthy and grow up healthy
  • Professional – none


  • Professional- they want a porridge that is nutritious and that the coop is doing well. They want to make an impact. I.e. they want people to use their product and they want people to be healthy and safe 
  • Personal- Recognition, basically the same as the professional 

Local government 

  • Professional- potential to profit if people are healthier/economic gain, social capital gain
  • Personal- happier and healthier residents, a better quality of life

Local Farmers

  • Professional- Might lose business if their crops are no longer used for gruel/Might gain business if their products ARE used for the gruel
  • Personal- N/A

3. Solutions

Utilitarian- Give kids porridge, forget about pesticides. HIV is a more serious issue

  • Pros: Kids are much less likely to get HIV and get the nutrients from the porridge
  • Cons: possibly poison kids with pesticides

Deontology – Give children porridge that is sourced from all-natural farms no matter the time and resource cost 

  • Pros: All food is sourced from organic farms, nobody will get sick and will be well nourished. 
  • Cons: more expensive/more work

Solution 3: educate

  • Pros:
  • Cons:

4. Ask an advisor for advice

We spoke to Khanjan Mehta, our advisor, for his advice and what course of action he would take on the project. He said that he would have tried different techniques to clean the food first, but at the end of the day, the pesticides are less of a risk than the HIV/AIDS, so he would still implement the product.

5. Best solution

I feel the best solution here is to give the children porridge, knowing the pesticides could cause harm, but I feel getting the children off of breast milk to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS is more important and a larger risk.

6. Implementation

The way to implement this solution is to continue to grow the porridge business by finding local food producers, training the women to work in the coop, gather information about the children’s sensory preferences to make a desirable product. I work on a similar product, so our process involved building a code that could optimize recipes based on the nutrients in the foods to get as many nutrients to children as possible for the lowest cost. Our next steps include doing shelf-life testing and nutrient profile testing to ensure the products have the content we intend, and that our products are safe to consume.

Part 2: 

  1. The facts:
  • Business is thriving
  • Women work for about nine hours every day and earn KES 300 (about $3)
  • Women sell produce grown on their farms to the coop
  • Sold at market rate
  • Women are happy. Saves them time and money. Strong sense of community/identity
  • Women have to give their earnings to their husbands/fathers/brothers
  • Husbands use the money for alcohol and “frivolous” things
  • Children in this community are not getting nutrition 
  • You are one of seven members on a leadership committee 
  •  The committee is elected on an annual basis and you have six months left on the committee
  • The other six members of this committee are local women 
  • Women are not opposed to the men taking away their money
  • Women are upset that their hard-earned money is not used to feed their children
  • Women are hopeless/convinced nothing can be done

Ethical issue: issue of autonomy/who decides how money is spent

Twin social outcomes  goals are: improving the nutritional status of children and improving the livelihoods of rural households

We need to: get the cooperative back on track to meet the twin social outcomes for the cooperative on a sustainable basis

2. Stakeholders

  • Women not on Committee
    • Prof: Make money
    • Social: Feed children, improve livelihood
  • Us as part of the innovators/ community
    • Prof: Achieve both outcomes with no backlash. Our success depends on the success of coop in the future 
    • Social: recognition and reputation
  • Committee:
    • Prof: They want the best for the coop and community
    • Social: they want to be reappointed/want more votes
  • Male: secondary stakeholder
    • Prof: N/A
    • Social: social norms, wants control over household
  • Children of workers
    • Prof: Need nutrients
    • Social: N/A

3. Solutions

a. Cut pay and give them some porridge 

  • Pros: Easy to do. Their kids get better nutrition
  • Cons: Males could be upset at the lack of money 

b. Give vouchers instead of cash/partner with vouchers

  • Pros: Better relations with food vendors, could be for other necessities.
  • Cons: males could be upset at the lack of money

c. Women acquire shares in coop instead of cash/women build equity

  • Small amounts of money are spent quickly
  • Allows the family to save up for larger purchases

4. Ask an advisor for advice

I spoke to a friend of mine that now works at a non-profit providing nutritious foods in Southeast Asia. He suggested that the best solution is to supply the women with common necessities that they need on a weekly basis to supplement some of the money they would receive. This way the mothers can help their children and stay on the good side of the men in their family.

5. Best Solution

I personally feel the best solution is to give the women vouchers that can compensate for some pay reduction but guarantees the mothers will be able to use some of their income for their children needs.

6. Implementation

The best way to make this solution work is to first identify what the voucher can best be used for whether that be food or clothing, etc. and set up a system for how vouchers will be able to redeem goods. We will need to find suppliers of the goods and estimate what the exchange rate can be. After that, a test-run with 50 women should occur before the system rolls out entirely.


Blog Post 13

Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible

  • Jack is American 
  • Kids are in charge of handing out gifts 
  • The staff have not acknowledged the problem, they think it’s a “trivial” matter 
  • The 4 kids who received hats are angry at Jack 
  • Jack wants the kids to like/trust him
  • Jack works at a youth center working on a social venture 
  • The kids think the gifts were from Jack because he was assigned to give them out
  • There weren’t enough gifts for all of the kids
  • The staff members want Jack to solve the “problem”
  • All the gifts were labeled and assigned to the kids
  • Jack will be in Kenya for 5 months

Step 2: Define the Stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome 

  • The kids
  • Jack
  • The youth center staff

Step 3: Determine and distinguish between the personal and professional motivations of the stakeholders.

  • The kids (that did not get gifts)
    • Personal-
      • They want gifts that were given ceremoniously
  • The kids (that got gifts)
    • Personal-
      • They got great gifts and probably want to show it off
  • Jack
    • Professional-
      • Jack wants to have a good relationship with the kids because he will be working with them  for five months
      • Jack wants a good relationship with the staff, doesn’t want things to escalate unnecessarily 
    • Personal-
      • Wants to be seen as a good person
  • The youth center staff
    • Professional-
      • They want to keep their reputation 
      • Don’t want Jack to disrupt the way things currently work

Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions

Approach 1: Utilitarian 

  • Potential solution: Jack should not take any additional action as what was previously done was enough. The other children still were given a black hat so no extra action is required. 
  • How does it solve the problem: This solution means that there really was not a problem. It is not worth the time and effort to address the mistake, rather, the kids will soon forget that day. Using time and resources on this side-project takes away from the end goal as a whole.
    • Pros:
      • No additional time or money cost, in agreement with the staff of the center
      • The Staff does not have to “deal” with jack 
    • Cons: 
      • Kids could hold a grudge, and could emotionally weigh on Jack
      • Jack would be upset 
  • How does it save face for those involved: It saves Jack’s face to the youth center staff as he is now in agreeance with them, its doesn’t save his face to the 4 kids that only got hats. 
  • Implications:
    • Short Term: The children who were forgotten are still upset. The staff is content with the situation. No resources used up for the children. 
    • Long Term: Hopefully the children will forget. Kids could hurt the project, but money and time are saved

Approach 2: Deontology 

  • Potential solution: Go out on your own and purchase gifts and give them to the kids who got left out and hold a ceremony.
  • How does it solve the problem: The kids who were left out now get gifts presented to them in a special way. They not don’t feel as left out and now have more trust in Jack.
    • Pros: 
      • the kids who were left out are now happy and think of Jack in a positive way
    • Cons: 
      • Money (to purchase more gifts), time (you have to hold an additional ceremony), effort (to find those four kids and plan when you will give them the gift)
  • How does it save face for those involved: Jack makes it up to the left out kids and makes them feel equally as important as the other kids did. Jack emotionally feels less guilty and awkward. 
  • Implications:
    • Short term: Kids trust Jack. Awkward with youth center staff because they didn’t see it as a problem
    • Long term: The problem will happen again, there’s no system in place or no guarantee that this won’t happen again and it will be up to Jack to make the situation “right” to himself

Approach 3: Absolutism 

  • Potential solution: Organize another gift ceremony for the four kids who did not receive the main gift before. 
  • How does it solve the problem: The kids would feel as though they were given the same emotional and material satisfaction as the others.
    • Pros: 
      • Everyone is on the same level again; equality
      • No one is left out
    • Cons:
      • Is a large undertaking requiring more time and money from Jack 
      • Staff might get upset he is making a big deal out of it 
  • How does it save face for those involved:
    • All the kids are now on the same level and no one feels left out in the long run. The staff might be initially upset he went to such lengths to fix a relatively small issue.
    • Implications:
      • Short term: Kids are satisfied. Staff might be a little upset.
      • Long term: Will not fix the underlying problem and would set a precedent for Jack so he has to keep fixing the mistakes. 

Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate 

  • The group reached out to Khanjan, our leader in these projects, and he informed us that he would go with option 1 in this scenario.  Khanjan feels that setting up another ceremony would set a dangerous precedent. 

Step 6: Select the best course of action

The best choice is option 1. This action is the most focused on the work that Jack is trying to accomplish, and keeps a strong relationship with the staff that he works with. While the children being upset could make some problems; Jack upsetting the staff is a much larger problem.

Step 7: List the sequence of actions you will take to implement your solution

The beautiful part of this solution is that there are no future action points.

Blog post 12

Lesotho is a small developing country contained within South Africa. You and your team of academic researchers (10 in all) are spending the next two weeks traveling to different communities throughout Lesotho to test water sources for disease-causing pathogens. The testing you need to do is simple but requires significant assistance from the community – showing your team all the different locations where individuals get their water from, and places/methods for storing the water. You do not see the need to pay the community members, considering if someone asked you about your water source, you would not mind driving them up to the lake! The ultimate goal of the project is to understand the lifecycle and characteristics of a specific pathogen, which is found only in this region of Lesotho. Several publications are expected from this research study. A comprehensive profile of this pathogen can help in many ways including the development of chemical additives to make the water safe to drink. Is it ethical to conduct this research study? What will you do next? 

Step 1

There are, 10 researchers in Lesotho for 2 weeks, publications expected from the work but not by the researchers, community members not being paid, and there is a pathogen in multiple water sources in the country. There are multiple methods of collection/storage, there is a promise of solution chemically derived from the research of it is successful.

Some of the ethical issues we have identified are, not paying the helpers, if there is no solution it can not potentially improve quality of life, and some people own the water so permission is key.

Step 2

The stakeholders are:

  • the community members
  • the government
  • the researchers
  • the research funders
  • the solution preparers

Step 3

The stakeholder’s motivation is as listed:

  • the community members
    • health
  • the government (Lethoso and South Africa)
    • political capital, economic growth
  • the researchers
    • a desire for success, meet research goals, income
  • the research funders
    • publications
  • the solution preparers
    • business
    • HOPATWWF = helping out people around the world with fluoride

Step 4

Our solutions follow different ethical principles:

  • utilitarian: pay them
    • long term utilitarian: do research, pay community
    • short term: government water truck
      • pros: finishing research by any means necessary
      • cons: if you get nothing you wasted resources
  • duty-based: don’t pay them
    • long term: do research, don’t pay
    • short term: might be hard to convince people to help
      • pros: work comes from the goodness in people’s heart and is free
      • cons: might be challenging to convince people to help
  • virtue-based: do it yourself or don’t do it
    • long term: if you can do it  yourself then do it, if not, then don’t
    • short term: work to find ways to accomplish research
      • pros: No effect on other stakeholders
      • cons: Lower chances the research will be accurate and accomplished

Step 5

  • We asked Khanjan about what he would do, and he said that he would pay them

Step 6

The course of action I would choose is the consequential approach of paying the community for help. You can always just budget that cost into your expense report. I feel that it is more important to conduct the research efficiently and accurately than it is to save the small sum of money required to do some. If one’s priorities are rooted solely in the quality of the research, or the “end result” than it is obvious that the best choice. While the other options may seem more ethical since they come from a sense of duty or not wanting to impose any negative effect, the option that has the best potential at providing the most good, is paying the community members.

Step 7

Our impact:

The work we do in Lesotho would add some money into local villages money stream and could disrupt the market there, so we will be sure to only pay the regular hourly wage. Our research has the potential to save drinking water for an entire country and all of South Africa as well since they get their water from Lesotho. This research could also lead to new papers which could be used to make a profit and maybe even reinvest into the project.

Blog post 11

  1. We can adjust the muffin recipe as we see fit, and it won’t affect the customers taste preference drastically. We can optimize our food to be as cost-effective as possible. We must stay in normal ranges for the product, but by cutting some of the cornmeal and the bananas that we use, we can cut the cost of the muffin by 20%.
  2. Our business plan is viable. After talking with local street vendors, and larger-scale contacts that work all over Sierra Leone, as long as we sell for between 1,000 and 2,000 SLL, our product has the ability to be very popular in Sierra Leone.
  3. The other solutions truly aren’t working. Nobody uses the therapeutic foods on a regular basis due to price and the long term effects they have, not to mention not all children will eat them. Plumpy’nut averaged between 3,000-5,000 SLL, and Bennimix for a weeks supply was close to 50,000 SLL. Nobody buys and uses them. We can fix that.
  1. We were in charge. Having no faculty leader with us meant that we really had to get work done by ourselves or it won’t happen. Learning to be a leader in a more uncomfortable position like Sierra Leone was an amazing experience. Not to mention that we were in charge of our budgets and paying our employees which is just an added responsibility but it made us better for it.
  2. Interaction with a different culture. I’ve only ever been inside of the United States my whole life. Traveling to Sierra Leone opened up a whole new side to me. Seeing the living conditions and the way that people are affected just by everyday life truly changed my life forever. The world is much larger than I ever thought possible and I’m excited to continue to learn and explore and meet the people of the different culture around the world.
  3. Meetings with world leaders in Health care. I was able to meet with Kerry Joe from CHAMPS and was offered a position doing research with Naakesh if we ever wanted to. That along with the experience, in general, changed my career path and I am now driven yo go back and spend 1-2 years hopefully working on clinical trials for the muffins and their effectiveness while I am there. I was there for 20 days, but it was not enough.
  1. Before this trip, I had a very limited view of the world. I’ve lived in Bethlehem my whole life. Now that I’ve been to Sierra Leone, I know I want to go back. Experiencing another culture like that, and truly being integrated into it was an experience I could not have gotten anywhere else. It truly has opened my mind up to a new way of thinking.
  2. The trip taught me to be more self-sufficient. Everyone has a shock when they first go to college, an overhauling feeling of freedom and power. Going to Sierra Leone was like that but amplified. You had to ensure that you were taking care of yourself and watching out for others around you as well. This trip taught me how to work and live really on my own and how to prioritize what is really important day to day.
  3. I made life long friends. One of our translators Yakuba really had an impact on me in Sierra Leone. He was inspirational in his drive to do good work and help us however he could. He and I would wind-up in long conservation about everything from Man U soccer to life in general. One the day when I had to leave him it really sunk in, that I was able to go back to my privileged life, but he would stay in Sierra Leone. That thought and the thoughts that followed really changed me as a person and Yakuba himself did as well.

Blog post 10

1. Two specific sources of funding:

  • The first promising source of funding I was able to identify is the NESTLE malnutrition Pilot Grant. This grant serves to allow start-up companies looking to address the problem of world hunger. The grant is primarily for young teams and companies that are still in the early stages of their design. This fits our team both in purpose and in the stage of development. The grant is for $20,000 which would allow us to run a large scale trial of our recipe in Sierra Leone and make connections in country to lower our production cost.
  • Another option for funding is the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group Research Grant. This grant is given for innovative research relating to vegetarian nutrition. Luckily, our product, the sweet potato cake is 100% vegetarian and vegan. Our recipe only uses sweet potato, cornmeal, banana, and palm oil, we fit the criteria. The grant is for $10,000 and would also allow for us to do a trial run of the cakes in Sierra Leone and do nutrition testing to gather a true nutritional profile of our cakes.

2. Develop a detailed income statement for your venture for two years (at six month intervals). Explicit state the assumptions that underlie your financial model.

In general, the business plan is somewhat simple. Our estimates currently project that we can produce each cake for 4.5 cents. Our target wholesale price is 10 cents. This leaves us with 5.5 cents per cake of overhead cost. Some overheads will include our employees, cost of rent to use a facility, cost of machinery and power, and finally costs to get the product through the food administration in Sierra Leone. We are basing our costs off of the costs a contact named Jawara was able to provide us with. However, we expect the costs to vary quite a bit and will cause us to adjust our recipe and marketing strategy. Another assumption we are making is that we will not require packaging. Currently, we believe that these can be made the day before, rest for that day, and then be sold the next day, thus eliminated the need for long term packaging. The plan is to then sell the cakes to local street vendors at 15 cents per cake, which they can then sell to their customers for 20 cents each. One of our assumptions is that the cake manufacturer will be able to make to produce 100 cakes a day to ensure the company is profitable for ourselves but also for our employees and partners.

  • First 6 months

The first time interval will be focused on gathering research to determine which of our products is best received by the children and mothers in Sierra Leone. After that, we will gather data on creating that product and create an extensive business plan to build around the product.

  • 6-12 months

The second timeline will be dedicated to the testing of our product that we decide on in Sierra Leone. This will be nutritional testing for a full level of details regarding what is in our cakes. We will also do shelflife testing to ensure we can leave the cakes out for a day, and that they will still work well. The goal is also to make enough connections and partnerships to ensure we can produce 500 cakes a day.

  • 12-18 months

In this section of time, the work will be focused on implementing our product in multiple regions throughout Sierra Leone. The goal is to produce 500 cakes a day in each location we have to ensure profit for ourselves and everyone involved in the project. Hopefully, we can expand to 2 regions at the minimum and produce 1000 cakes a day.

  • 18-24 months

This last timeline is going to be focused on expanding the company to more and more regions of Sierra Leone and expanding the product that we create using AMPL. Licensing AMPL will be a large part of our company at this stage, as we will have a proof of concept and can market the success of the cakes to help sell our recipe design tool.