Week 9

  • Interdependence: The relationship, dependence, and connectedness of different systems on each other


  • Ukweli relies on Hassan to accomplish his mission of distributing test strips and collecting data to ultimately reduce maternal mortality in Sierra Leone, and Hassan relies on Ukweli to get paid.
  • The Malnutrition team relied on Bettah bakery for baking space, while Bettah bakery relied on us for business knowledge and help to grow.


  • Holism: Individual parts are dependent on each other and produce more value together than they would on their own


  • The Malnutrition team has many bioengineers that have taken similar classes, but when put together, they know more than what they know themselves
  • The Sickle Cell (SC) Screening team needs to pair their final test strip with a treatment program. Without the treatment program, the knowledge from the test strip (positive for SC or negative for SC) is useless because medication/treatment is necessary. 


  • Multifinality: Achieving different outcomes from the same original process, “win-win for everyone” 


  • The network we have formed in GSIF has our own goals for our own projects, but overall, GSIF wants to find sustainable solutions to health and development problems in Sierra Leone
  • Mushrooms team creates income for Jwara and rice farmers and addresses issues of nutrition in poor communities.
  • Khanjan satisfies his own ego and keeps his job when we succeed  
  • Equifinality: There are many approaches that can be taken to reach the same goal


    • There are several different recipes that the Malnutrition team can use to lower child malnutrition rates in Sierra Leone
    • There are many different aspects (travel to clinics, light in birthing rooms, ANC days)  of maternal healthcare that can be focused on by the Safe Motherhood Documentary in order to reduce material death/improve maternal healthcare. 


  • Differentiation: Within a given system, specific and unique parts are performing specific functions distinct from one another.


  • In the Ukweli operation, Wancheng is responsible for shipping the test trips to Freetown, Allieu is responsible for getting them to Makeni and Hassan is in charge of getting the strips to the clinics and CHWs. Each needs the other in the larger operation to function, but each is also its own subsystem.
  • For all teams we must be able to balance and divide our personal and professional relationships. We have to be able to disagree, agree, and build off of each others ideas in order to make progress as a group. 


  • Regulation: Making sure that intentions and actions match up with each other.

    • The Malnutrition team will be having clinical trials to make sure that we are actually reducing child malnutrition the way we say we are
    • The Sickle Cell group will be running many confirmatory tests, including a clinical trial (with a verification test, the gold standard), in order to insure the test strip is able to diagnose Sickle Cell Disease with a certain level of accuracy.


  • Abstraction: viewing a system from a birds eye view approach, thinking through complex scenarios with a level of higher context and in broader terms
    • Thinking of the Ukweli operation through a context of the larger Ministry of Health perspective and what they need and deal with at a nationwide perspective
    • Expanding projects to multiple countries eg. whatever Khanjan is doing in Liberia and Madagascar


  • Leverage Points: A small area within a given system where a small change can be made in order to produce big change.
    • CHWs are an easily accessible and effective part of the healthcare system
    • By charging a fee (~$5) to mothers giving birth at home, mothers will go to the clinic saving many lives.
    • A small change in the Malnutrition team’s product can make a huge change in the effectivity of our product.

2. Emergence is when a whole bunch of sub-systems combine to create one system that cannot function without the existence and support of any of its connected sub-systems. A bee hive is one example of emergence, in which a complex system of hierarchy and designated functions combines to produce one unified and productive bee community.

Part 3: The solution to water hyacinth

Processing Side 

  1. Employ community to gather hyacinth and pay for the supply by the kilo


Marketing Side 

  1. Partner with the fishermen to sell the briquettes with the fish, they can make money and will help the entrepreneur collect the hyacinth. Only fisherman than want to be involved will be hired/become a partner. The other fisherman who aren’t involved originally will feel like they are missing out once they see the success of the original fisherman and will then want to join the venture. 



  1. Sell briquettes to community
  2. Partner with a certain group of fishermen, in a certain area and provide discounted or free briquettes.

Blog 10/8

Friends of Ukweli

  1. Hassan 
    1. Acts as a translator while we are on the ground. He currently is our community outreach employee and later he will be the distribution manager once we obtain product registration. 
    2. Hassan helped us with translation and country relations. We gave him money.
    3. Not a symbiotic relationship yet because we have not properly compensated him, he’s being paid federal minimum wage and is our most important employee. He should be compensated at a surplus rate, not the other way around.


    1. Symbiotic because we are providing some sort of livelihood. We benefit in that he gets our test strips into the market and publicized.
    2. Transitioning to the Distribution contract will make our partnership stronger
  1. Carrie Jo
    1. World Hope Consultant on healthcare issues
    2. helped us meet the DMO in 2018 and find data on Koinadugu, Tonkolili, and Bombali districts. Helped Jordan with radio programs.
    3. CHAMPs project lead, useful to our venture because we can model our venture off of some of the things CHAMPs employs (ex: messaging strategy)
    4. Symbiotic relationship: Carrie Jo wants to improve maternal health in Sierra Leone, was even willing to give up some of World Hopes talk segments to promote our venture. We ask her for advice on how to establish relationships on the ground. 
  2. Lori Herz
    1. Laboratory/ Technology advice for the project. 
    2. Not a symbiotic relationship. (She does get acknowledgments on the papers) We basically go and ask her for advice for chemistry stuff. 
    3. She gives us lab space. 
  3. Allieu
    1. The Ukweli team relied on Allieu, as the health director of WHI, to assist operations in Sierra Leone, providing logistical support for Hassan and to champion our product at the Pharmacy Control Board. 
    2. Allieu pushed our product at the PCB and helps Hassan manage his job of distributing test strips to clinics. He also helps out with getting the test strips from the Freetown port to the WHI Makeni office.
    3. Symbiotic because Allieu took this project on as part of his paid job responsibilities, and Ukweli benefits from his expertise and knowledge in-country
    4. This partnership could be strengthened by Allieu internalizing our venture’s mission more and pushing the PCB and MOHS to procure our test strip nationwide. Ukweli could also strengthen the partnership by providing earmarked funds for his responsibilities with the venture, instead of allowing Ukweli to fall as a side gig to his larger role with WHI. 
  4. Sue Baggott 
    1. She served as an outside partner to Ukweli in regards to funding acquisition.
    2. Sue provided us with insights regarding how to go about crowdfunding prior to fieldwork and checked in on us while on Mountaintop
    3. Not a symbiotic relationship, we gave her a gift from SL (I think?) but other than that we didn’t really do anything to help her out. She seems to enjoy advising and helping people with venture creation
    4. Continue to utilize her for help on potential funding sources to strengthen the partnership
  5. Saidu
    1. Mr. Country Director 
    2. John Lyon and Khanjan connected us with Saidu
    3. He makes big funding decisions, facilitates decision-making forums
    4. Yes it is a symbiotic relationship because he wants World Hope to have as many successful projects as possible. Also his livelihood. We benefit because he makes progress happen with people on the ground. 
    5. Hasson and Allieu report to him, he holds them accountable which helps us
  6. Bockarie
    1. Works in the finances office and keeps track of the test strip inventory. He also gives Hassan support on the ground. He sends updates every week. 
    2. He helps us by keeping us updated with what is happening on the ground. We help him in the way we help Allieu. It is his job. 
    3. This is a symbiotic relationship he gets paid. 
  7. Sylvester 
    1. Finance administrator and Makeni office lead (unofficially)
    2. Oversight on Hassan, he helps us with storage of test strips
    3. We provide him an impactful project and more capital in the office
    4. Symbiotic because he benefits from being a good manager


What constitutes the partnership 

How did the partner help you? How did you help them 

Was this a symbiotic relationship? Why or Why not 

What would help strengthen this partnership and make it more equitable? 




Friends of Ukweli Coalition

    • Our Vision: 
      • 0 maternal mortality rate
      • Government of SL (Ministry of Health) Takes over the operations and distributes throughout the country
      • Expansion into Liberia and surrounding countries in West Africa
      • Focused on repairing damaged healthcare systems in developing contexts
      • Want more hospital partners to get the screen-diagnose-treat continuum 
    • Would invite:


  • WHO


      • We Care Solar
      • Malnutrition team
      • Documentary team


  • Government of Sierra Leone: MOHS, Pharmacy Board


      • Funders in US and international markets
        • Grand Challenges Canada 
        • Venture Well
        • USAID
        • Gates Foundation
        • NORAD
        • DFID


  • Nurse society (from Freetown)
  • World Hope International



  • IEEE representatives



Two Cases in One

Case 1:


1: Facts of situation:

  • The 14 million trees in India have been used extensively over the past 2,000 years for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides
  • Azadirachta indica (Neem) a tree indigenous to India
  • Neem is sacred
  • Neem is used for medical purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides
  • India employes about 100k people and used in pesticide industry
  • Pesticides are used widely across India
  • Chetan lives in Agra, India and operates a small business of neem tree products
  • including pesticides, skin creams, contraceptives, lamp oil and many other products
  • Family owned biz Chetan has HS education
  • Chetan employs 60 people
  • Does quality control reference 
  • Chetan does not know the exact name of the neem seed extract, Azadirachtin
  • Has cultural knowledge but not a lot of knowledge in the science end
  • Tom Johnson is developing neem seed pesticides (affiliated with OOPS)
  • Johnson’s co invested 5mil to conduct safety and performance tests over last decade
  • Tom’s company has certification (patent) through the EPA to sell pesticides (worldwide patent)
  • Tom has made profit of 12.5 million during his first year
  • OOPS wants to set up biz in India
  • Economy of scale at play bc OOPS selling all over world and will likely put Chetan out of business
  • OOPS is demanding a royalty from Chetan’s business and other small industries that make neem-based insecticides


What rights does Chetan have and is it ethical for the US company to uphold their patent rights? 


Define problem and stakeholders Motivations

  • Chetan
    • Professional
    • Chetan wants to maintain his business without the royalties charged by OOPS ruining his venture
    • Wants to see his families generation long venture continue
    • Personal
    • Can be assumed that Chetan would struggle supporting his family members if his co. collapses bc royalties
  • OOPS
    • Prof: They want the business to work in India. 
    • Personal: they want to provide effective organic solutions to pesticides so people do not get sick and that they can protect the patent 
  • Tom Johnson
    • Prof: Tom wants money and he wants his business to be successful. He wants to tap into the market in India 
    • Personal: He might want to give back.. I.e. help indians
  • Chetan’s Family
    • Prof: not really
    • Personal: Wants to see the business grow. Distrust for westerners. They know the market very well. They hold the plant sacred and might be sus of the westerners. 
  • Chetan’s employees (60+)
    • Personal: Want to keep their jobs to provide for their families. Same distrust of western influence as Chetan’s family. 
    • Professional: Want a stable job that gives them income. Love u @ maria THX
  • OOPS investors
    • Personal: n/a
    • Professional: Want the company to be as successful and profitable as possible. Also want the company to act ethically so that there are no scandals. 
  • Other small Indian ventures that will have to pay royalties
    • These ventures will be charged royalty by OOPS on products that are tied to their patent. This would negatively impact their ventured greatly and may put them out of business
  • Indian People
    • Personal: want the product to stay the same price or go down 


Alternate Solutions (4)

  1. Legal way (Patent binding)
    1. Because Tom obtained the patent so Chetan has no option to pay the royalty
      1. Pros: Tom gets mad money and he is successful 
      2. Cons: Tom puts people out of business and he is disliked by many people 
  2. Something in between: Tom Johnson and OOPS understand that entering the Indian market and collecting royalties from Chetan’s business will put Chetan out of business. To compromise, OOPS hires Chetan and his employees for a standard working wage. 

OR OOPS buys Chetan’s company

    1. Pros: Chetan and his employees already know how to make neem based products. Chetan and his employees retain a job. 
    2. Cons: Wages under OOPS might not be the same as the wages Chetan and his employees were making independently. 
  1. “Moral Way”


Case 2: 


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

  • OOPS launched 6 months ago, crushing market
  • 20 different products
  • neem based soap – most successful 
  • OOPS wrapper features a photo of Tom Johnson
  • Chetans wrapper features a photo of the founders great grandfather
  • Chetan has tried to confince Tom to leave the market or collab
  • Tom will not leave market 
  • Tom is open to collaboration if it will make him money
  • Chetans business if suffering will have to lay of half his staff
  • Employees and families have worked with him for centuries
  • Chetan will not suffer as much from declining business because of his investments
  • Chetan s employees know he met with Tom 
  • Believe chetan has cut a deal with Tom/OOPS
  • Employees feel cheated and abandon 
  • Some employees have resigned to their fate
  • Some are confident Chetan will find a way out 
  • Some want to physically want to beat Chetan up 


Step 2: Define the problem and the stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome

  • Problem: Tom is dominating the neem product industry and small business owners like Chetan and his employees are in danger of going bankrupt and want tom to leave the market or collaborate. 
  • Stakeholders 
    • OOPS 
    • Tom
    • Chetan
    • Chetan’s family
    • Chetan’s employees 
    • Employees’ family
    • Neem customers
    • Other small neem product businesses
    • Neem growers/gardeners


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


  1. OOPS
    1. Personal/professional: want to keep business growing and keep control over the market 
  2. Tom
    1. Personal: wants to be the top dog
    2. Professional: want OOPS to grow bigger and make more money. Provide neem products for indians. 
  3. Chetan
    1. Personal: family legacy is on the stake. Employees are friends and he doesn’t want to seem like a bad friend by betraying them. 
    2. Professional: don’t want to go out of business and don’t want to lay off their long term loyal employees
  4. Chetan’s family
    1. Personal: family legacy. They’d feel sad if they have to fire employees who are also their friends. Also don’t want to feel financially unstable when invested money later decreases too low. 
  5. Chetan’s employees
    1. Personal: they’re long term employees and so are their relatives so it’s a personal business to them. 
    2. Professional: they need the money to make a living so they can’t be fired. 
  6. Employees’ family
    1. personal/professional: they need their breadwinners to make money to provide at home otherwise they could starve and die. 
  7. Neem customers
    1. Personal: Desire to get neem products at the cheapest price
  8. Other small neem product businesses
    1. Professional: Continue making money/grow profits
    2. Personal: Keep their employees’ jobs
  9. Neem growers/gardeners 
    1. persona/Professional: want to make money selling neem 


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, to have a win-win situation for your relationship and your venture. Approaches [1/2/3: repeat for every action]

  • Solution 1: Chetan leaves his business and negotiates with Tom to find jobs for his employees at OOPS
  • • How does it solve the problem?
    • o Pros: Chetan’s employees have jobs 
    • o Cons
  • • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Chetan like the hero helping to find jobs for employees
  • • Implications on relationships
    • o Short-term: Chetan and Tom develop strong partnership
    • o Long-term: Sustains good terms in the long form with employees
  • • Implications on the venture
    • o Short-term: Chetan has to part ways with his business
    • o Long-term: This may be for the better in the long run to work toward joint mission


  • Solution 2:Cut a deal with Tom to use Chetans’ business’ image and brand name to further penetrate the Indian market, Chetan receives compensation from this deal (for using his brand) and his employees receive jobs.
  • • How does it solve the problem?
    • o Pros: Chetan gets to continue employing his workers, and his family’s legacy will continue on 
    • o Cons: Will likely have to surrender business capital and/or oversight. Chetan won’t have much of a say in how the business is run. 
  • • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Chetan will be able to continue employing the same families and continue to generate a profit. Tom will grow his business and profit margin.
  • • Implications on relationships
    • o Short-term: Chetan will maintain his relationship with his employees and generate a relationship with Tom and OOPS
    • o Long-term: Chetan’s relationship with his employees may remain strong, but as his business and Tom’s continue to dominate the market, there could be increased tensions with other Indian Neem businesses and their employees
  • • Implications on the venture
    • o Short-term: No layoffs will occur, management will likely change
    • o Long-term: the employees’ jobs will be safe, the overall business structure will be permanently altered, they will edge out other small Neem businesses


  • Solution 3: Chetan and Tom do nothing. Chetan will help his employees find jobs (letters of rec). 


  • How does it solve the problem?
    • o Pros: Chetan’s employees can find new jobs and provide for their families and maybe even find a new passion outside of producing and selling neem. Tom won’t be bothered by Chetan’s family business anymore. 
    • o Cons: Chetan’s family legacy dies. Employees may not be able to find a job because Chetan is not guaranteeing them one. 
  • • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Tom won’t be bothered if he doesn’t collaborate and if he gets rid of his competition
    • Chetan won’t feel too bad since he’s still helping his employees but at least he isn’t cheating them and going behind their back to collaborate with Tom without giving them benefits.
  • • Implications on relationships
    • o Short-term: Chetan will probably hate Tom. Employees might dislike Chetan for not fighting harder. 
    • o Long-term: in the long run, everyone will find their own ways and be fine. 
  • • Implications on the venture
    • o Short-term: OOPS will continue running without interruption, at least from Chetan’s business. 
    • o Long-term: bye Chetan’s business. Tom will continue dominating the industry. If the employees try hard enough, they’ll all probably find some kind of job. Some may find better ones and others may find worse ones. 


Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection


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 1 is the best course of action because although Chetan gives up something, the greater good is benefited, and Chetan isn’t totally lost, either. Together, Tom and Chetan can collaborate on figuring out the best solution that maximizes benefits and minimizes harm, rather than one man attempting to constantly best the other at the expense of jobs and innocent people’s livelihoods. This solution has the most potential to sustain longer form relationships and work toward a joint mission with as few lost jobs and hurt feelings as possible.  

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


  1. Convince the workers that Solution 1 will benefit them the most, going with a bottom-up approach.
  2. Get Chetan on board, citing widespread agreement among the workers. 
  3. Devise plan to save the workers and execute the mission. 
  4. Business will be better off in the end after all the complexities are sorted out.

Team Dynamics

Team Name:Ukweli Test Strips



Cassidy: Ensure that the marketing license gets approved so our test strips can be distributed and sold to CHWs and clinic staff around Makeni. Maintain communication with Allieu to ensure he is working and collaborating with the Pharmacy Board.

Jordan: Solidify funding sources for the team moving forward as a means to comfortably fund operations and Hassan’s salary and help out with logistics as the project moves forward (with our product registration in the near future) and as issues arise.

Naakesh: Maintain and monitor the interactions between our partners on the ground in Sierra Leone and Lehigh. Optimize Ukweli’s operations while the Marketing License is still being processed. Optimize the con-ops for when the Marketing License gets approved. Identify and address potential failure modes for the venture.

Rohan: Perform necessary lab work like comparative accuracy results for the test strip. To research and find a company that can perform proper sensitivity and specificity analysis at an absolute level.

Sage: Finish and publish Gabi’s paper. Keep internal budget of project expenses on World Hope end and flag any discrepancies. Searching for funding sources to sustain Ukweli. Government relations with Sierra Leone.

Zach: Create a WhatsApp group to communicate with Community Health Workers and other Ukweli Health Workers to provide them with information on how to market and use the test strips. Another goal is to produce at least 1 article that is published for Engineer 4 Change, which will help publicize Ukweli and help with possible funding plans.

Project Goals/Scale of Goals: One of the shorter term goals for Ukweli is to expand fully throughout the Bombali District. Currently we have the resources to create relationships with PHUs and CHWs by having Hassan travel throughout the district, but further expansion will require more resources.

Metrics of Success: Hassan’s relationships with clinics and CHWs based on the number of test strips sold. The CHW responses we get from Jawaras randomized calling.


We all depend on each other to succeed. However, there are some roles we have designated on the team based on the team member’s major. For example, Rohan and Naakesh collaborate more closely on the lab and quality control side of operations. We do try to play by strengths and people’s interests for when we assign a task. However, we also like to encourage anyone to take up certain tasks because they can offer a different perspective.

The roles and responsibilities our team typically takes are:

-Naakesh: project management

-Zach: graphic design, marketing and messaging

-Rohan: quality control, assay research & development

-Sage: budgeting, grant writing, research

-Jordan: messaging, grant writing

-Cassidy: device and medical regulations, messaging


In terms of decision making, Ukweli has generally been able to discuss our plans and then modify them to the point where the whole team can come to a consensus on what to implement.

The team meetings that we hold are more than doing work on the project. The meetings are more used to discuss steps to take for the immediate future and to update the rest of the team on the progress of individual team member’s work. Zach usually keeps notes on the meeting as a whole, but the rest of the team contributes to note-taking when necessary. The team keeps up good communication through GroupMe where the whole team is responsive to any requests and questions other team members may have. Ukweli utilizes Google Drive for the majority of the teams work so the team can see any changes a team member makes as soon as the changes are made.


Our team is fortunate to have built, maintained and sustained solid relationships between the six of us. Each team member not only is committed to the success of the project, but also remains steadfast in supporting one another. No matter what occurs, we are all ready and prepared to jump in and be flexible and do whatever is required to correct or resolve the situation or advance the project. The connections we have developed have allowed us to understand one another in a more personal way outside of the project, which in turn translates to greater chemistry and a smoother experience when doing work related to Ukweli.


Fall Blog Post 4


  • Gruel is used to wean children off breastfeeding from 2-24 months
    • Cornmeal and bananas
  • The gruel is not nutritionally valuable
  • The mothers believe it is nutritionally valuable
  • The mothers don’t believe in the efficacy of the new gruel
  • The women would own the new formula through a co-op and make the new gruel
  • 35% of children have stunted growth due to poor nutrition in a certain region of East Africa
  • HIV/AIDS is prevalent in the region and is spread through breastfeeding
  • Cultural Belief: Women tend to breastfeed until around 2 years of age 
  • Has a solid funding base 
  • Pesticides are used in the crops and could have adverse health effects on the children
  • The prevalence of HIV/AIDS transmission is increased over time
  • I received a grant to start the women’s co-op
  • The goals of the co-op
    • Help the women make money
    • Have a shelf-stable product for the children/babies



  • Children
    • Personal Motivations: 
      • Want good tasting foods 
      • want to be breastfed
    • Professional Motivations:
      • n/a
  • 1: Mothers
    • Personal Motivations:
      • Want healthy kids
      • Want to do what is socially acceptable 
      • Don’t want to pass on HIV
    • Professional Motivations:
      • Child-rearing
  • Gruel makers/manufacturers
    • Professional Motivations: 
      • May think that their food is actually helping
      • Weaning babies off breastfeeding
      • Want to keep making money
      • Provide cheap food
  • Women’s co-op = formula makers (are they a stakeholder yet??) They exist through shared social bonds currently) 
    • Professional
      • Potentially making money from this
        • Support their family
      • Make porridge from local materials and sell the product as a shelf-stable product
    • Personal
      • Help raise the next gen. Properly 
  • Donor
    • Professional
      • Want the women’s co-op to be successful 
      • Expand the co-op
    • Personal
      • To create social impact 
  • Grant recipient (myself)
    • Professional
      • Developing a women’s coop that can create a sustainable food product
    • Personal
      • Social impact– personally invested in seeing it through
  • Local farmers (secondary stakeholders)


Ethical question:

How would you address the ethical health issues associated with prolonged breastfeeding in an area where there is

  • a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and few women are tested for the virus
  • very early introduction of supplemental foods to the diets of infants
  • possibility of pesticide residues in foods developed for infants and young children 


Drawing the line between education on HIV/AIDS education and running a business that makes nutritionally beneficial gruel. 


Drawing the line between what is in your court and what is not


Finding balance between using pesticides and educating on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS

How invested should the co-op be in education ‘against’ HIV while still working on the sustainable food and recipe


Cultural implementation issues

  • Standard introduction of supplemental food at 2 months
  • Standard weaning period from 2 months until 24 months. 


Solution insight: the co-op can be designed to be whatever you want it to be


Solution #1:

  • Mass education program with the marketing of the porridge product
    • Workshops, fun women empowerment group days, mother support groups
    • Informative advertising
    • Educate mothers on the importance of feeding children the porridge and the importance of stopping breastfeeding at 6 months for mothers that are HIV+
      • Importance of peeling and washing fruits and vegetables
  • Pros:
    • Can lead to positive behavioral change that can impact nutrition levels and lower HIV levels
    • Positive press for the women’s co-op
  • Cons:
    • Lots of effort and money to implement these programs
    • Still have to compete with gruel makers 


Solution #2

    • Research what sociocultural norms are causing women to start breastfeeding at 2 months, and not want to stop after 6. Meet with the elder women to recruit them as sponsors to change that behavior by using our product. 
      • Bring gifts, use the local language, stay there for a small extended period of time → building rapport and trust. 
    • Pros:
      • Elders are respected
      • Are more in touch with the community
      • Change in behavior of the mothers
      • Nobody is intervening, we just plant the seeds and leverage an already existing cultural norm
    • Cons:
      • Actually convincing the older people to help and endorse the product
      • Recruiting will take lots of time and money
      • Network of impact is limited


  • Which communities would we choose and how would we fund this education/scalability



Solution #3:


  • Questionnaire to screen for HIV and target those women who are at high risk
    • Not practical – ethics questionable by itself



  • Need to be able to say who will educate and how many customers we will reach across the country — and at what cost



Our role: achieve both outcomes of improving nutritional status of children and the livelihoods of rural households

  • Convince other board members and constituents of what needs to be done



Drunk Case



  • Co-op is very successful and the women are overwhelmingly satisfied
    • Livelihood improvement was not attained
      • It’s going to the husbands instead of the women or children 
    • Empowerment was attained by the co-op
    • Men take all the money from the women 
    • The money goes to alcohol and “frivolous things” instead of supporting their children
  • We are still a board member for 6 months and we are loved and respected by the community 
  • Other 6 board members are local women who also want things to change but they are not necessarily for or against taking away the money from the men
  • Not achieving strategic social outcomes of improving the nutritional status of children and the livelihoods of rural households



  1. 1: The original entrepreneur
    1. Personal 
      1. Leave with an impact that is aligned with your personal ethics and morals and reasons for engaging
    2. Professional
      1. Align women with the advantage of their opportunity
  2. 1: Board members
    1. Personal 
      1. Avoid stirring up too much of a dilemma for something they don’t massively care about
    2. Professional
      1. Have a fully functioning co-op
  3. 1: Women involved in the co-op
    1. Personal 
      1. Feed their children good food
      2. Make their husbands happy
    2. Professional
      1. Make money that goes towards the family
  4. 3: Children and families in the cities who have improved nutrition
    1. Personal 
      1. Continue purchasing this decent product
      2. Health of the children
    2. Professional
      1. none
  5. 2: Children and families with unimproved nutrition (co-op worker families)
    1. Personal
      1. Health
    2. Professional
  6. 2: Husbands taking the money
    1. Personal 
      1. Drink more
    2. Professional
      1. Not look embarrassed


Ethical problem: The husbands are taking the money from the women and it doesn’t go to improving the conditions of the family.

 What is your strategy to get the cooperative back on track to meet the twin social outcomes for the cooperative on a sustainable basis? 

Do we have any say in how a family spends their money?

  • No – must recognize this limitation from the start

Rob’s notes: the women are currently secondary stakeholders. A solution requires a top-down approach from 


Benefit to making the co-op work in the long term is to enhance your own credibility



  • Do nothing

    • Pros
      • Less risk of alienating potential partners by “stirring the pot”
    • Cons
    • Morally and ethically questionable to allow harm to continue and perpetuate
    • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Implications on relationships (short and long term)
    • Implication on venture (short and long term)


  • Paying them in nutritious food or with free porridge to feed and benefit their children with their salary

    • Pros
      • Goes back to twin social outcomes for benefitting family and providing nutrient to foods
      • Give food that will go bad/porridge that is already made so that it cannot be sold on a black market
        • Tumbler can be refilled each day 
    • Cons
      • Men can still waste the rest of the money
      • Potential of a black market
    • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Implications on relationships (short and long term)
    • Implication on venture (short and long term)


  • Having medical programs, food banks, and other benefits for mothers and children that work at the co-op

    • Pros
      • Program you can opt into
    • Cons
    • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Implications on relationships (short and long term)
    • Implication on venture (short and long term)


  • Embarrass the men for depending on their wives’ money to have fun by stamping pacifiers onto the bills

    • Pros
      • Easy to implement
      • Easy to a/b test
      • Easy to get approved by the board
    • Cons
      • Potentially patronizing the men → they could hurt the women


  • Not liquidate cash- women get shares in country and build equity

    • When you have small amounts of money you tend to spend it
    • Requires no corruption and strong book-keeping
      • Women must be ensured that there would be a return on investment


  • If women have children, set up daycare at facility and make porridge and food available to children

    • Pros
      • Women would love to see their children at work


Next steps: really focus on how to get other 6 women on board and make this happen

  • Play politics
    • Informally talk to women individually
    • Or hold a meeting
    • If you can get 6 women on board, they can get more (20 workers) on board 


  • Self interest
  • Common interest and goals
  • Trust
  • Desire to be around a group of people
  • How do you help people build trust and build the social capital to work together

Fall Blog Post 3

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

  1. Jack is in Kenya for 5 months
  2. Center for former street youth
  3. Jack was the gift distributor because he was a guest
  4. Gifts were from a separate donor
  5. The kids thought that Jack got the kids the gifts
  6. Four kids didn’t get gifts and blamed Jack 
  7. The four kids without gifts were unhappy
  8. The four kids got a black hat at the end
  9. Jack wants a good relationship with the kids and the center 
  10. The people at the community center don’t care that the kids didn’t get gift

Step 2: Define the problem and the stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome
The problem is that 4 kids did not get gifts during a ceremony, and were given black hats afterward (unceremoniously)


  1. Jack
  2. Kids
  3. Center
  4. Funders of the gifts
  5. Funders of Jack’s venture

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

  1. Jack
    1. Personal: He wants to be liked
    2. Professional: wants to have a good long term relationship with the children while he is in Kenya.
  2. Kids who didn’t get the gifts: Everyone wants to be recognized in the ceremony and receive the same gifts
    1. No one wants to be left out
  3. Kids who did 
    1. Personal: Feel superior to other kids who didn’t get gifts, might make fun of other children 
  4. Center
    1. Personal: think Jack is dramatic and they just want to stop being bothered, might be offended if Jack comes in and criticises them. 
    2. Professional: They don’t want Jack to become a children’s rights activist → criticism for things that they are doing because they are working with what they have, they want to focus on bigger problems in the center and dont want 
  5. Funders of gifts 
    1. Want to maintain a good reputation and a good relationship with the center for future gift-giving which is really just a form of publicity.
  6. Funders of Jack’s venture
    1. Professional: don’t him to get sent home and lose their investment

Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, to have a win-win situation for your relationship and your venture.

  1. Solution: Jack can approach the children separately and give them real gifts by themselves – privately while not involving the center
  • How does it solve the problem?
    o Pros: kids have the gifts
    o Cons: this will not improve their standing with the other children because it is not in the ceremony
  • How does it save face of those involved: Jack saves face with the children; they will like him now
  • Implications on relationships
    o Short-term: kids will be happy and have a good relationship with Jack
    o Long-term: they might still feel awkward that they were left out and have strained relationships with the other kids
  • Implications on the venture
    o Short-term: kids more willing to take part in his study and may give better anecdotal evidence
    o Long-term: would need to get to the root of the problem – why did they withhold info from him?
  • 2. Solution: Hold another non-related party but have Jack present those 4 kids gifts 
  • How does it solve the problem?
    o Pros: kids will get the gifts ceremoniously and be recognized in front of their friends
    o Cons: kids might be embarrassed
  • How does it save face of those involved: children are saved face because they are given gifts in front of their friends, Jack saves face with the children
  • Implications on relationships
    o Short-term: Kids will be happy
    o Long-term: center might feel overlooked and resentful Jack worked around them
  • Implications on the venture
    o Short-term: it will be costly to buy new gifts and throw a new party
  • o Long-term: could harm the professional relationship between Jack and the children and Jack might have trouble continuing the work
  • 3. Solution: Do not give the children gifts
  • How does it solve the problem?
    o Pros: no cost and the center is left unbothered.
    o Cons: kids are sad and don’t get gifts
  • How does it save face of those involved – center does not have to deal with continuously worrying about the kids and the quantity of gifts given.
  • Implications on relationships
    o Short-term: kids may not like Jack or the center
    o Long-term: kids might be less willing to work with Jack and help him accomplish his goals
  • Implications on the venture
    o Short-term 4 kids are upset still but other kids probably don’t care
    o Long-term the center will be happy you obeyed them, con- might be more confident in rolling over Jack in the future 

Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection

Some of us have met “Jack” at Mountaintop and know that he is a nice person, and think that he would give the children gifts 

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 1: it won’t harm Jack’s relationship with the center, and the kids will like Jack and be willing to work with him over the next 5 months. He needs to have good relations with both the center and the kids and this solution makes that possible. The kids wouldn’t save face in front of the other kids but they wouldn’t feel slighted by Jack anymore.

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

  1. Jack will buy the gifts
  2. Jack will give the children gift without the center seeing
  3. Jack will ensure the center is more cautious in the future when considering buying gifts for the children to avoid a similar controversy.

Fall Blog Post 2

Is it ethical to conduct this research study? What will you do next?


  • What would make it fair?
    • Informed consent, benefits the people, benefits outweigh risks
  • Why would it not be fair?
    • Payment for time
      • How do you decide who gets paid and when they get paid? And in what format?
    • After your findings, you don’t do anything to address the problem



Step 1—What do we know:

  • There is a disease-causing pathogen in the water
  • Chemical additives can make the water safe
  • You are in a developing setting
  • You need many people involved in your research
  • We are interested in where they store water and where they get it from


Step 2—Stakeholders:

  • Researchers
  • Community members
  • Publishers
  • Government of Lesotho
  • Grant funder
  • Healthcare providers



For Researchers:

  • Clout
  • Money
  • Impact
  • The need to make a difference
  • Prestige
  • Professional pressure
  • Love of science
  • Personal tie to the country of Lesotho


For Point Community Members:

  • Their own health
  • Willingness to work with a foreigner
  • Money


For Publishers:

  • Contributing to the greater understanding of science
  • Sell copies/money
  • Clout
  • Cutting-edge


For Government of Lesotho:

  • Public safety
  • Votes
  • Tax payer money
  • Good foreign relationships


For Grant Funder:

  • Money is well spent
  • Good record
  • Remain reputable
  • Clout


For Healthcare Providers:

  • More medical knowledge
  • Better treat/care for community members


Step 4—three solutions


Solution 1 – Pay the community members for their time and fuel (in cold hard cash $$$$$)


  • Ethical principle/code – duty-based
  • Pros – good relations, engaging with the community, relationship-building
  • Cons – costly, spending unnecessary money (?), difficulty in ensuring fairness in pay (could lead to future complications), may need to pay everyone every time for everything, how do you compensate?


Solution 2—Compensate community members in means other than cold hard cash (ex: food or dinner)

  • Ethical principle/code – virtue-based
  • Pros – save money but still give feeling of reward for their time, easier to decipher (no raw statistical calculation)
  • Cons – anything other than money means nothing, food allergies, no calculation so how do you know you’re being fair


Solution 3 – Don’t pay or compensate for anything

  • Ethical principle – consequence-based
  • Pros – get the job done with expending as little resources as possible, maximize the grant money, allocate funds for other priorities/expenses
  • Cons – risk alienating the people you need most, people pissed off and backfiring, bad reputation, people not accommodating for your research needs because of lack of compensation


Step 5— We all have a personal experience in Sierra Leone where the people we worked with were compensated with money. This seemed to work well and people were happy to work with us.


Step 6 – Pay community members with money $$$$$$ for their time, knowledge and fuel with clear boundaries/contracts for terms and conditions of the amount of pay

  • We chose this because our research team values quality data. Our main reason for traveling so far is to obtain great data and therefore we cannot risk or work with people who are uncooperative.
  • 1ststep: Determining the average pay of community members in the workforce
    • This will help us calculate hourly time spent or how much we should pay someone for a task
  • 2ndstep: Mileage, wear and tear of car and determining rates based on what people currently pay


Step 7— Paying people will hopefully cause community members to prioritize our work. However, now they may have the assumption that foreigners who come to their country will always pay them for their time/knowledge. To prevent this from happening, we need to make it clear with people about our intentions and reasoning for paying. We also will choose the people that we work with wisely by involving stakeholders (ex: ministry of health) who can provide us with a list of point contacts that they feel are trustworthy and diligent.

Fall Blog Post 1: Lessons Learned from Fieldwork

Top Three Things I Learned in Sierra Leone:

  1. I learned to have thick skin. Not everything will go my way – sometimes, nothing will go my way. But it’s important to keep the larger mission in mind, even in times of struggle, frustration and turbulence.
  2. The problems are real, vast and personal, not abstract and imaginary. And statistics can rarely capture the scope, magnitude and personalization of the problems each of the teams in Sierra Leone focused their efforts on. People’s lives are at stake, so to think of this as a class project or as a credit-bearing activity demeans the work we do.
  3. Fight for what you think is right. Even if you lose, your contribution can better refine the final product or push the conversation forward in a productive way.

How did the GSIF trip facilitate your professional development?

  1. When communicating cross-culturally, an important skill is learning how to get a point across in simple and understandable terms without being patronizing to the individual’s life, level of education and experiences within his/her context.
  2. Fairness must be balanced with a motivation to get results from yourself and others, and neither one should outweigh the other. Including all stakeholders is the only way to produce a result that satisfies, or at least reaches a compromise, between all relevant people’s positions and perspectives. But being fair should not go so far as to delay the project’s goals or to reduce efficiency in the decision-making process.
  3. Dream big: think of ways to achieve results both within and outside of the current system. The current system works sometimes in some ways, but may not in other instances. Sure, not reinventing the wheel saves time and can have its benefits, like minimizing confusion and not appearing to be “radical.” But thinking of ways to accomplish a task in a way that is revolutionarily different from what is currently done is less restricting in the idea and innovation phase and can lead to results that would never have occurred otherwise.

How did the GSIF trip help you grow personally?

  1. I think I improved my ability to balance speaking with listening in a team setting. I hear other opinions out and jump in to the discussion when I feel I can contribute a valid point or to synthesize what has already been said, but without dismissing, overshadowing or talking over my teammates.
  2. I handled multiple, often competing personalities in a team environment in a manner that still produced results and minimized the damage these personalities could do to the project if weaponized in such a way.
  3. I honestly felt like I simply became a much more empathetic person from this trip, and I had the unique opportunity to turn this empathy into action. It is so easy to forget all the privileges and true luxuries we at Lehigh are afforded, and on the flip side, it also very easy to “feel bad” for people but get reserved to a state of inaction. Both of these extremes became apparent to me on the GSIF trip, and I was able to navigate the middle ground of remembering to feel empathy in a deep way but also become moved in such a way to act on it for the betterment of humanity.

GSIF Blog Post #10

One funding source that Ukweli Test Strips could qualify for in the design phase of the project is VentureWell’s E-Team Non-Dilutive Funding grants which range between $5,000 and $20,000. This grant is designed to be the “first money in the door” (I am writing this as if Ukweli still needed a grant to fund the design phase). This grant is accessible to multidisciplinary teams of students working with faculty to bring an innovation into the market stream and is meant to empower such teams to prototype and “explore commercialization.” Such a grant would be helpful to Ukweli to further investigate how our product will meet our problem and deliver for our target customer and end user.


A second funding source that could be attractive to Ukweli Test Strips is the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. This grant is designed for projects in their early stage with the intention to scale and to make impact outside of their immediate local community. In fact, Ukweli might be even more of a perfect fit for this funding because our venture is not out to make money but rather is solely driven by social gains, increasing our chances of executing a focused implementation strategy and therefore strengthening the viability of our proposal. On average, winners of the grant money are projects that are one to three years old, can demonstrate sustainability and have an ambitious and unique plan. The Kaplan Foundation awards $300,000 of unrestricted capital over three years.


For dissemination, the USAID Grant for Dissemination Projects for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Diseases is an appropriate funding source for Ukweli Test Strips to look into. This $500,000 award will fund a project or research that aims to combat healthcare-associated diseases for up to five years on the condition that the project will meaningfully contribute to the existent literature and knowledge-based and prove to be impactful to communities and vulnerable populations. At the point of application, it is expected that the project will be ready to scale and striving toward long-lasting impact. Ukweli fits into this grant structure well because the venture is dedicated to solving the maternal mortality crisis in Sierra Leone, a low income country where not much research exists in the health field nor have there been many attempts to integrate a low-cost screening technology into the system. Therefore, Ukweli can offer in the proposal a unique approach with the potential to be highly successful in an area of the world where few have dared to tackle such a serious problem.


A second grant that Ukweli could be competitive for is the Resources for Technology Dissemination grant administered by the National Institute of Health. The description of this grant matches extremely well with the goals of the Ukweli team, with criteria such as non-commercial, reliable medical technologies, a validated product, and transforming prototypes into reliable tools with the goal of delivering them to end users with related activities including quality control, user training and scale-up production. Winners of this grant could receive up to $250,000 and support can be requested for up to five years. In short, this is precisely the type of dissemination-oriented grant that Ukweli could qualify for to cover overhead costs and expand the venture.


Assumptions (see featured image)

  • The test strips work
  • People buy the test strips
  • The trainings work and the UHW’s follow the standard procedures
  • People are willing to change behavior from doing nothing to getting treatment at a local clinic
  • The test strips are priced right