oo4. ethics #3


Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation

  • 35% of the children in this East African region have stunted growth.
  • If children are breastfed for too long they have a higher chance of contracting HIV
  • Maize and banana gruel is the common food for the babies starting around 2 months to 24 months and accompanies breastfeeding. The gruel isn’t that nutritious even though people think it is
  • People are skeptical of the pesticides and the adverse health effects they can give to the babies
  • You have a grant to establish a women’s cooperative to improve the nutritional status of the children and improve the livelihoods of rural households.
    • The funds will help women’s group make a nutritious shelf-stable porridge to help children ween off breastfeeding.
    • Approximately 500 women in the area are willing to join
  • WHO says to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months 
  • The longer someone with HIV breastfeeds the more likely they are to transmit their diseases to their child 

Step 2: Define the Stakeholders 

  1. Children at breastfeeding ages
  2. Lactating mothers
  3. Women joining the co-op 
  4. Women’s cooperative grant donor
  5. You as a researcher
  6. Local farmers
  7. Doctors / Health network 
  8. The actual co-op 

Step 3: Assess the motivations of the Stakeholders

  1. Children at breastfeeding ages
    1. Although they are no aware of their stakes, they probably don’t want to get HIV nor do they want pesticides in their food that may poison them and stunt their growth. They want to grow up healthy and alive
  2. Lactating mothers
    1. They want their babies to grow up healthy while also being able to do so in an affordable and sustainable way. 
  3. Other Women
    1. They may be in the women’s cooperative making the porridge as part of the project because it is a potential employment opportunity that they otherwise may not have. They will want their future children to be healthy and overall good community health and wellbeing. 
  4. Women’s cooperative Grant Donor
    1. They want women to be healthier and want their money to go towards a productive venture that is worthy of their investment. They also want to see results as soon as possible before donor’s fatigue and feeling like their money is being wasted. 
  5. You as a researcher
    1. You would want to make everyone happy and professionally speaking, you need to develop a successful co-operative as the receiver of the grant. 
  6. Local Farmers
    1. Your crops may be used to produce the porridge that will be created with the women’s cooperative and you do not want to be sued or get a bad reputation for poisoning young children with their crops. You also see the cooperative as a money-making opportunity that you do not want to miss out on. 
  7. Doctors
    1. They want healthy communities and want to be equipped in the case of new health problems arising because of pesticide use.
  8. The future co-op
    1. They want to be motivated to stay open in the long run and help empower women and ensure a healthy life for the youth of their country while also profiting. 

Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions 

Solution 1:

  • Potential solution: Form a section on the cooperative and educate women on the different risks of the porridge and HIV and let them decide, also produce the porridge and sell it. 
  • Ethical Principle: virtue-based because a good person would educate the community about the problems so that you engage them in the decision-making process. 
  • Pros: Promotes healthy choices among the women and the cooperative can also be put to work by making and selling the porridge. 
  • Cons: the women could possibly make the wrong decision and put their child in danger. Also, educating women could be a difficult process because it would have to involve doing it in an engaging way and then having an outreach system to educate women in rural villages who are not near the cooperative. 


Solution 2

  • Potential solution : Form the porridge – based on the assumption that pesticides are better than HIV, don’t tell women about the dangers of pesticides and sell the porridge. 
  • Ethical Principle or code- consequence-based thinking because if your goal is just to get the cooperative up and running and promoting a healthy lifestyle, just choose the one that does the least damage and take the fastest path by telling the women to make and sell/buy the porridge without educating them about anything.
  • Pros: You don’t risk damaging the reputation of the porridge and thus don’t give babies HIV
  • Cons: this is not informed consent and the women may not know that they are getting pesticide-infected porridge that may also harm their babies and give them deformities. 


Solution 3

  • potential solution: cooperative grows its own crops without pesticides and uses those ingredients to make the porridge and give the porridge to every mother so that there is no risk of the babies getting HIV
  • ethical principle or code: virtue based. Be a good person and look for the best solution to improve the standard of living for the community. 
  • pros: ensure that every child is getting healthy nutrients and not getting HIV. women are employed and actively contributing to making sure their nation’s youth are not being poisoned or diseased. 
  • cons: growing own organic crops can get expensive. 

Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate

Finding the middle ground is important in ventures like these and also just choosing the one that does less damage. 

Step 6: Select the best course of action

 Go with SOLUTION 3. growing your own crops will eliminate the risk of poisoning kids and also giving mothers an alternative option that doesn’t involve passing on HIV through breastfeeding. Although it is better for the kids to grow up on breastmilk in their early years, there is no treatment for HIV and if there is, it’s not affordable for people so it’s best to solve the immediate problem for now.

Step 7: (If applicable) What are the implications of your solution on the venture. Explain the

growing your own crops is not cost or time-efficient and it might surpass the grant amount.



Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible. Clearly state the ethical issue.

  • The women in the cooperative are making alright money off of the venture (about $3 USD)
  • Cooperative also gives the women the option to sell their own family’s crops to the cooperative, gives them a little more money
  • Children of cooperative women aren’t getting fed
  • Money is being wasted by the men

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

  1. Cooperative women
  2. 7 women on committee
  3. You as the entrepreneur
  4. Children
  5. Husbands, brothers, fathers 
  6. Grant donor

Step 3: Assess the personal and professional motivations of the Stakeholders

  1. Cooperative women 
    1. Personal: they want the money to be used for their children. If they speak up, they might be subjected to domestic abuse. 
    2. Professional: they want their hard-earned money to be put into good use. 
  2. 6 women on committee
    1. Personal: they want their fellow women to have control over their paycheck because feminism, duh. and also in a culture where community is important and highly valued, women supporting women is important because they are like family and they don’t want their friends being abused by the men in their family. 
    2. Professional: same thing but as committee members, they want to do what’s best for the cooperative
  3. You as the entrepreneur
    1. Personal: the morally good person in you just wants equality
    2. Professional: you want the grant that went into creating the cooperative to be used wisely for the sake of the cooperative’s future and the grant donor’s satisfaction.
  4. Children: 
    1. Personal and professional: they want and need healthy food to grow up healthy
  5. Husbands, brothers, fathers
    1. Personal and professional: they want that extra pocket money to spend on useless shit that will give them a good reputation among their men friends and have that cultural capital for socializing.
  6. Grant donors
    1. Personal: they want to empower women
    2. Professional: they want their money to be used well.  


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on the information available, using

basic ethical core values as guide


  • Potential Solution: Convince the board to economically incentivize families to spend money responsibly by showing receipts spent on food, water, etc. If they are spending the money responsibly they get an X% raise so long as they continue spending responsibly
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros: incentivises the families to spend money better. the cooperative holds the women and their families accountable by asking for receipts. 
    • Cons: in order for a receipt system to work everywhere, there needs to be a bureaucracy to enforce it nationally on a larger scale and plus many people may not even know what a receipt is or how to write one.
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term: Gives women more power and ensures their children are being well-fed and supplied with necessary childhood materials. 
    • Long-term: the men might feel restricted that they don’t have control over the house money especially because the cooperative is run by women and they might not like the idea that their money is controlled by women. they might lash out that anger on their wife/mother/sister.
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term: should solve the problem for the women 
    • Long-term: might not work at all, might lose money. the more raises the more money from the grant donor needed.



  • Potential Solution: Convince the board to:  Barter instead of money for the goods because then the women will have no money to give to their husbands 
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros: Takes away the ability for the men of the households to take the money and use it for their personal use
      • The women will still be rewarded for their work but will be given things that will benefit them and their whole family such as house supplies or crops
    • Cons: Men might get heated, cooperative would probably have to create some sort of store that the women can go to and exchange their points for goods, goods offered to barter for might not be what the women need for themselves and family and also bartering doesn’t create a standard system of equal exchange for every woman. 
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Women feel better knowing that there isn’t money being wasted and their kids can still get fed if some of the exchanges include the porridge itself. the cooperative can also sleep well, knowing money isn’t going towards useless things like alcohol and gambling. 
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term: Women are bringing something home to their families that will be used. men might be frustrated that they’re not getting cold hard cash but they’ll have to do with the items that help them make a living. 
    • Long-term: men might seriously not be able to take it that the women are going out to work but not getting compensated in money that they can use on anything they want. 
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term: how do you get the goods to trade for and how do you decide the exchange rate to make it equal for everyone? – will give more responsibility to the co-op 
    • Long-term: over time women might start needing actual money and get frustrated that they’re not being compensated properly and strain relationships with the cooperative, you and the grant donors. 



  • Potential Solution:  Cooperative keeps the money and keeps track of what each woman has earned, this is like a “share” within the co-op: money reinvested results in better wages eventually. The co-op makes rules about what you can withdraw money for.
  • How does it solve the problem? 
    • Pros: money isn’t being wasted
    • Cons: possibility that this system can be abused and some women will be able to take out money whenever and for whatever while others don’t. also sometimes women might need some immediate cash but they can’t take it out because the rules say they can’t or something. also the men might abuse the system and force their women to take out money or else they’ll get beaten and so the cooperative will be forced to let the woman take out the money. 
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Cooperative grant donor and you can establish a trustworthy relationship with the cooperative women and all together ensure that money isn’t being wasted. 
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term- women feel happy that there are rules in place so that the males in their family won’t be able to take advantage of them. you and the cooperative are also happy about the system. 
    • Long-term: men might get mad later on and demand that they take out money and women will have no choice but to do so. 
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term: it solves the job for the short term because men can’t waste the money and can’t access it without going through the cooperative. women are able to be in control of the money and discuss it amongst each other to decide when money should be taken out and for what reason. 
    • Long-term- if the system is not kept in check then it can easily be abused and used discriminatorily. cooperative grant donor and you will lose face if this happens. 


Step 6: Select the best course of action – that solves the problem, saves face and has the best short term and long-term implications for your relationship and venture. Explain reasoning and discuss your solution vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in class.

Solution 3 is the best option because it creates a system with a standard set of rules and regulations that are enforced by you and the cooperative. this system creates accountability and also keeps track of expenses so that it’s good business education. The men are also unable to just take out money whenever they want and the children are happily fed. However, this may not last forever because of how easily corrupt a system can get and if there is no proper enforcement and trust amongst the cooperative women, then this solution could fail. but I think in the short term this is the best solution that could solve the problem immediately and temporarily without angering men, giving women access to money instead of barter items, and relying on a receipt system in a country where there isn’t bureaucracy to enforce it properly.

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

  1. gather and write down rules of when money can be taken out and when it cannot be
  2. make contracts and make sure everyone is properly informed about the content before they sign it so that they can be held accountable and they know what their responsibilities are

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