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.