GSIF Conceptual Framework

The key players in GSIF are undergraduate students, professors, and the in country partners. These are the central sections of the Venn Diagram. In the intersections are the things that these people gain as a result of participating in GSIF. On the outside of the main circles are the different types of projects that GSIF facilitates. In the middle of the entire conceptual framework is “IMPACT” because this is the main goal of GSIF.

Systems Thinking

Part 1


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

Example: 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.


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

Example: The malnutrition team members all had different roles that were necessary by themselves, but also produced more value when combined together


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

Example: Everybody involved with GSIF programs has individual things that benefit them from the same process. For example, the fellows get experience and publishable work, Hassan gets money, and Sierra Leonean mothers have reduced mortality rates

Equifinality: There are many approaches that can be taken to reach the same goal

Example: 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.

Examples: 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.


Regulation: Making sure that intentions and actions match up with each other.
Example: 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
Example: Once we perfect the muffin and pudding in Sierra Leone, we can use the same process and extrapolate to other developing countries to solve the same problem using their own local reseources


Leverage Points: A small area within a given system where a small change can be made in order to produce big change.
Example: The Sierra Leonean government can charge mothers a fee for giving birth at homes, and the mothers are more likely to go to the clinic to give birth. This small fee (about $5) saves many mother’s and baby’s lives.


Part 2

Emergence is the idea that an entire entity brings more value than each of its components could on its own. The muffin and pudding are emergent products, because as entities they bring value (i.e. they have all of the nutrients that children in Sierra Leone are missing, and make the children healthier), but without one of the supplements, the products don’t accomplish giving children all of the vitamins they are missing.


Part 3


Solution: 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.


Partners & Coalition

Part 1: Partners –

  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. Bettah 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. 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 upcoming years.
  4. Wesleyan Church
    1. We were able to establish this partnership through our relationship with the Betteh Bakery (they have a partnership with the 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.
  5. Allieu
    1. Partnered to help us drive our project ideas, connect us with Director of Food & Nutrition, general guidance
    2. ^ Introducing nutritious product for them
    3. More communication
  6. 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. The 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.
  7. University of Freetown
    1. They gave us interns that we could use 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 
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 

Part 2 : Coalition-

The ultimate goal of our project is to make sure that no child in Sierra Leone is malnourished and has stunted growth? We can build a coalition to reach this goal.

OUR COALITION: NewTrition Coalition

People involved & how they can help us / partner with us

  • Sierra Leone President
    • icon in Sierra Leone
    • President’s support shows that the country supports our coalition
    • President can gain support because he is part of a good cause that is helping his country, people will like him
  • Director of Food & Nutrition
    • Understands food and nutrition in Sierra Leone
    • Can give us input on food and nutrition
    • We can gain credibility by partnering with them
  • Ministry of Health and Sanitation
    • directly fits in with their mission and purpose (to maintain and improve the help of Sierra Leonean citizens)
    • gain support – the government will look good
  • WHI
    • has a religious connection, and people in the churches are often thought leaders
    • well recognized across Sierra Leone
    • has a lot of resources that they can provide to the coalition
    • joining helps them reach their goals of their humanitarian projects
  • Mother’s Support Group
    • Mothers are the main target market of our business, and it would be helpful to have their input
    • By joining the coalition, mothers will feel like they are helping themselves
    • most powerful organization that deals with child malnutrition
    • If we partner with them, it will give us a better reputation and other people are more likely to want to join our coalition so that they can have access to UNICEF and be part of something that UNICEF directly supports
    • UNICEF is inclined to join us to further reach their goals
  • Soccer Player
    • culturally important
    • people will want to support our coalition if they like soccer, so we expand our audience
    • Soccer player and team will get good publicity



Collaborative Plan


Team Name: _Malnutrition_(NEWtrition)   Date: _10/2/19__
Goals Personal Goals (small g)

  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 ground work 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 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 am 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 GOAL (big G) – Create sustainable and effective change for the children of Sierra Leone through 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?
Roles Deliverables Responsibilities
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 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 mufin
  • 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 pudding
  • Matt – shelf life testing in 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.

Procedures Decision Making Procedure – We will communicate and voice opinions and ideas about a certain decision all together. 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 time keeper.


  • 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
  • We know that from week to week, each member’s schedule varies greatly and therefore we have found out that coordinating a meeting time in the beginning of each week for that specific week is the best way for us to all meet up.
Relationships 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. 



Part 1: Ethical Decision-Making


  1. Neem, indigenous tree in idea, is sacred
  2. Neem has been used for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides 
  3. Chetan operates a business of neem products and employs 60 people
  4. Indigenous to india
  5. Tom Johnson is the Director of Oregon Organic Pesticide Services (OOPS) 
  6. Tom travelled to India on vacation and discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide
  7. Tom imported neem seeds to his factory in the USA and experimentation and developed a formula for an organic pesticide based on the seeds
  8. Tom’s company invested $5 million to conduct extensive safety and performance tests over the next decade
  9. Tom’s company got security clearances from the EPA
  10. OOPS wants to set up a subsidiary business in the rapidly emerging market of India
  11. He got a patent for the pesticide and made a profit of $12.5 million in a year
  12. He can sell the product at a lower price than Chetan and reduce his business
  13. Tom demands a royalty from Chetan

Ethical Issue: Is it ethical for Tom to put Chetan out of business, and charge him a royalty for using neem products, when the legal system in India is less developed than that in the United States and has less opportunity for securing intellectual property?

Stakeholders and Motivations

  1. Chetan
    1. Successful business of neem tree products that produces pesticides, skin creams, contraceptives, lamp oil, and more
  2. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA)
    1. Wants to ensure public health, safety and wellbeing
    2. Wants to ensure the environment is not at risk of destruction 
    3. No negative environmental consequences occur when pesticides are used
  3. Oregon Organic Pesticide Services (OOPS)
    1. Wants people to buy the pesticide from him/make a profit
    2. Put a patent on the pesticide and wants it to be followed
    3. Want healthy, organic patents 
  4. Tom
    1. Social impact
    2. Make money
    3. Tap into indian market
  5. Indian cottage industries
    1. Want social mobility 
    2. Want their communities to be profitable/ have good business
  6. Farmers 
    1. Want crops that are consistently producing good yields
  7. Consumers
    1. Want a price that is lower cost or the same cost as before
    2. Want to support their friends/family in India who are making money through Chetan
  8. Indian and US government 
    1. Want to improve local economy
    2. Responsibility to protect Indian business owners
    3. Secondary stakeholder


What rights does Chetan have? 

Chetan does not have any legal rights to the neem pesticide products. Once there is a patent on it, he is not legally allowed to sell these products. However, they do have rights to their other products such as skin creams, contraceptives, lamp oil and many other products because these have not been protected by any patents thus far. 

Is it ethical for the US company to uphold their patent rights?

Our team believes that it is ethical for OOPS to uphold their patent rights, but it is not moral. They are only taking legal actions, but taking business away from Chetan and on top of that, charging a royalty. 

Possible solutions

  1. Start pushing the other products they manufacturer such as skin creams, contraceptives and lamp oil. 
    1. Ethical or principle code: virtue based thinking
    2. Pros
      1. won’t have to fire employees
      2. they will still have an income
      3. continue to produce profitable neem products
    3. Cons: 
      1. Still will lose market share because they are losing the pesticide
  2. Chetan can suggest a merge with OOPS
    1. Ethical or principle code: consequence based thinking
    2. Pros: 
      1. Can still maintain Indian connection
      2. Can still make an income
      3. Can be considered CSR for OOPS
    3. Cons: 
      1. Chetan will not be able to function independently
      2. have to rely on OOPS for decision making 
      3. May have to lay off some employees
  3. Find loopholes in the patent- alter formula to make it different from what is patented
    1. Ethical or principle code: consequence based thinking
    2. Pros: 
      1. Produce an environmentally friendly product that is similar to OOPS
      2. Will be able to still produce pesticides
      3. Won’t have to fire employees
      4. Will still have an income
    3. Cons: 
      1. Still cannot produce it as cheaply as OOPS
      2. Probably will still lose profit

Seek Additional Assistance

This link has an article which talks about core values and the three guiding principles.

This link provides in depth information about intellectual property and copyright ethics.


Best Plan of Action
Solution 2: Suggest a merge with OOPS
It is in Chetan’s best interest to merge with OOPS in order to be successful. OOPS is able to produce products at a lower cost than Chetan due to economies of scale. Although Chetan technically has rights to products other than pesticides, OOPS could easily get these products patented, and Chetan cannot due to lack of resources. Therefore Chetan should not rely on other products, as there is a large risk. Additionally, even if Chetan finds a loophole in the patent and creates a new formula for pesticides, OOPS will still be able to produce it at a lower cost and Chetan will still lose business. Therefore, it is in Chetan’s best interest to merge with OOPS. This way, Chetan’s employees will still have a job. Chetan and OOPS are not fair competition, and it is not worth it for Chetan to try to compete. Although they won’t be able to function independently, they will be able to still benefit from the venture. 


Implications on the venture

  • The environment and people’s health will likely improve because an organic pesticide will be used
  • OOPS is well respected because they chose to partner with another company that improves the livelihood of workers in the Indian cottage industries. 
  • Chetan is able to have a sustainable business that people look up to/trust because they partner with a US company
  • People in the cottage industry have jobs, causing the local economy to improve 
  • People will have a greater awareness of “organic” pesticides in India


Part 2: Grassroots diplomacy


  • 6 months later, OOPS has 20 different neem-based products being sold in India
  • Most successful product is neem-based soap
  • Soap wrapper features photo of Tom Johnson
  • Chetan’s wrapper features a photo of his great grandfather (local legend)
  • Chetan met with Tom Johnson several times and Tom is open to a collaboration 
  • Chetan’s business is suffering and he’ll have to lay off half his staff
  • Half his staff feels cheated by Chetan, and the other half is confident that Chetan will find his way out

The problem:

Stakeholders and their motivations:

  1. Chetan
    1. Personal: 
      1. protect his employees
      2. maintaining his 7 generation family business
      3. Stay safe
    2. Professional: 
      1. successful business
      2. make money
  2. Tom/OOPS
    1. Personal and Professional
      1. expand OOPS
      2. stay on top of the Indian market
      3. make money
  3. Chetan’s employees
    1. Personal: 
      1. Protect their families’ hard work
      2. Keep the reputation of the business
    2. Professional
      1. Want to make money

3 Alternative Solutions

  1. Merge with OOPS and hire some of his local employees
    1. Pros: 
      1. Keeps some of his people employed
      2. OOPS will get Chetan’s loyal customers and make more money
      3. OOPS has a good reputation because it is an American business with personal ties in India
      4. Forces out some competiton
    2. Cons
      1. Chetan will lose some of the history of his company
      2. Probably cannot hire all of Chetan’s employees
    3. Saving face: Chetan saves face with the employees that he saves jobs for
    4. Implications of relationships:
      1. Short term: chetan’s employees may feel like they are being betrayed by chetan working with an American company, some people who are laid off will be angry
      2. Long term: eventually the employees who he keeps will get over there resentments because they are still making money
    5. Implications on venture:
      1. Short term: Chetan will be absorbed by OOPS
      2. Long term: The collaboration will have a larger market share, Chetan and local people will still be working for the company 
  2. Dissolve the business and retire
    1. Pros:
      1. Doesn’t have to compete with OOPS
      2. Chetan still has money 
    2. Cons:
      1. Chetan’s employees will lose their jobs
        1. Lose their income
        2. Be angry
      2. Community will dislike Chetan
      3. The community will lose a long-standing business that is sacred to India
    3. Saving face: Chetan saves face with OOPS because he isn’t competing with him anymore
    4. Implications on relationships
      1. Short term: employees will dislike Chetan
      2. Long term: employees will still dislike Chetan, and the whole community maybe against him
    5. Implications on venture:
      1. Short term: OOPS does not have any competition
      2. Long term: OOPS may struggle because the whole community will be against them / not like them for the situation with Chetan 
  3. Form a collaboration where OOPS produces and Chetan supplies
    1. Pros
      1. Take advantage of OOPS’ economies of scale
      2. Take advantage of Chetan’s local connection
      3. Employees can keep jobs
        1. Will be happy
      4. Chetan is not giving up all of his power
    2. Cons
      1. Due to the patent, OOPS has the power right now and will not do anything that will force them to give up some money
      2. Hard to prove that this will work
      3. People still may not like the connection to an American company
      4. The product may lose some of its local vibe / originality because OOPS is in charge of production
    3. Saving face: Chetan saves face with employees because they’ll keep their jobs, and saves face with OOPS because he will not be competing with them
    4. Implications on relationships
      1. Short term: good relationship with OOPS, employees might be unhappy that Chetan is partnering with an American company
      2. Long term: eventually employees will be glad that they still have jobs and that there was a solution
    5. Implications on venture:
      1. Short term: might be a little bit complicated
      2. Long term: will have economies of scale and close Indian connection with a lot of support


Additional Assistance

Indians might be upset with a foreign entity coming in and taking over, but if they are supported by locals, it might be easier for them to tolerate. We saw this in Sierra Leone when we used translators and World Hope International staff to put the community at ease. 


Best Solution
Solution 3: form a collaboration where OOPS produces and Chetan supplies

This is the best solution because OOPS will be able to use its American resources and have economies of scale. At the same time, Chetan will have the connections with the local Indians when supplying the neem products because he is Indian and has local employees. Everybody will be able to keep their jobs and Chetan will be saving face with all of his employees. He will also save face with OOPS because they are collaborating and OOPS is okay with this. This is better than solution 1, where they would merge, and Chetan would really be giving up his power. In this situation, he is still in charge of distribution, but unfortunately not production, so the product may lose some of what made it so special, like his grandfather’s face. Although people maybe unhappy with Chetan for collaborating with an American company, it is still better than solution 2 where nobody would have a job when he dissolved the company.


Solution Implementation

  1. Create a deal with Tom from OOPS about production and distribution
    1. Figure out profit split
  2. Explain to employees any changes in their roles
  3. OOPS uses their resources and economies of scale to produce at the lowest cost
  4. Chetan and employees distribute through local connections


Case 3

Part 1: Ethical Decision Making


  • High HIV rate
  • 35% of the children stunted 
  • Mothers who are HIV positive risk transmitting to child if they breastfeed
  • Few women are actually tested for the virus
  • Pesticides typically used in growing the crops 
  • Current food they are getting isn’t nutritious
  • There is a grant to establish a women’s cooperative
  • The goal is to wean children off breast milk at roughly 6 months old

The main goal is to improve the nutritional status of the children AND improve womens’ livelihood.

Ethical issue: How can the women’s cooperative prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child AND prevent children from eating pesticides? Is it worse to get HIV or eat pesticides?


  • Mothers 
    • Want children to be healthy
    • Don’t want to pass HIV to children
    • Don’t want children to have adverse effects from pesticides
    • Want children to be properly nourished
  • Children
    • They are directly impacted by the breastfeeding/pesticides
    • They need to obtain all required nutrients 
  • The donor
    • Wants its money to be spent properly
    • Wants a good reputation
  • Us
    • Provide nutritious porridge for the children
    • Ensure the cooperation is built right and is sustainable/scalable
    • Invested in seeing the impact through 
  • Women’s Cooperative
    • Wants to provide children with a nutritious porridge to wean children off of breast milk
    • Are skeptical of the impacts of pesticides and of HIV transmission 
    • Wants to attract investors to the cooperative
    • Want to bring in a stable income to support their families
    • Wants good reputation
  • Local cash crop farmers
    • They grow the crops that are being bought for the porridge
    • Financially invested



Solution 1: Have the cooperative grow their own produce (pesticide-free) and employ more local women 

Ethical Principle: Duty-Based

  • “Do only that which you would want everyone to do”
  • We would not want our children and communities eating crops sprayed with chemicals


  • Creates jobs for women
  • Not only the cooperative but the community as well can have access to clean and healthy crops
  • Can be fully in control of the crops 
  • Children will get the nutrition that they need


  • It may cost more setting up another piece of land
  • Have to educate the women on farming practices
  • Will put some farmers out of business

Solution 2: Wash the produce when it gets to the cooperative
Ethical Principle: Virtue-based thinking

  • “What is ‘honest’ depends on social traditions, history, etc. the gruel the children receive already has pesticides and the solution would reduce HIV transmission while possibly  decreasing pesticides in gruel. 
  • Ethics often times can rely on judgement


  • There would be no more/significantly less pesticides in the food
  • They get the nutrients they need
  • Don’t need to breastfeed so avoid HIV transmission 
  • Cheap way to avoid pesticides


  • The water may not be clean so we would need a water filtration system
  • Hard to tell if washing is effective
  • If the pesticides were treated with wax then they could be trapped beneath the waxy surface


Solution 3: Develop a vitamin supplement to add to the gruel so that children can continue eating gruel but also be nourished
Ethical Principle: Consequence-based thinking

  • Although the children would still be eating pesticide-contaminated gruel, they would definitely be getting the nutrients they need through the supplement
  • The benefits outweigh the negatives


  • They get the key nutrients that they need
  • Don’t need to breastfeed
  • Can argue that pesticides are better than HIV
  • Using the base recipe – may be cheaper


  • Probably have to import the supplement which might be expensive
  • Still getting pesticides 
  • Could possibly alter the taste
  • Supplements may not be as nutritious as incorporating healthy foods 
  • The mission is to create opportunities for women and this does not follow that



Some of us were on the malnutrition team in Sierra Leone and have learned the importance of incorporating whole, nutritious foods into childrens’ diet, but have also learned about  supplements that can be effective too if they need to be used.



Solution 2: Washing the produce with filtered water
This will easily get rid of the pesticides in the food and children will be able to eat clean and nutritious food. Although it might be expensive to get a water filter, this will be a one-time upfront cost. There might be slight maintenance costs in the future that the cooperative will have to cover (because the donor money will eventually run out) but this will be much cheaper than starting up a new farm, so it is better than Solution 1. Additionally, it is better than Solution 3 because eating whole foods is much better than using supplements and Solution 3 still gives children pesticides.


  • There would be an added step in the preparation of the porridge
  • We have to educate the women to make sure they properly wash all the fruits and vegetables
  • We have to know how to install a filtration system properly so that the water is clean 
  • They will have to upkeep the costs of maintaining the filtration system, even when the money from the donor runs out
  • Children will not be getting as many pesticides and will be properly nourished 


Part 2: Grassroots Diplomacy



  • The business is doing well
  • There are multiple income earning opportunities (can sell produce from their own small farms)
  • Women have to give money to husband
  • Cooperative not achieving both improving nutritional status AND improving livelihoods
  • I do not have a direct say in how the cooperative functions
  • I have 6 months left to make a change because then I have to leave the cooperative
  • There is a 7 person board
  • Men waste money
  • Women are upset that the money that they are earning is not being used to feed children, but don’t care that they are not in control of the money because it is culturally normal
  • The children of the women in the cooperative are not getting the nutrition that they need

Ethical issue: How can we achieve the twin social outcomes without disturbing the culture?



  • Us
    • Personal and Professional
      • We want to achieve twin social outcomes
      • We want to financially empower women
      • We want the children of the women in the cooperative to be fed nutritious foods
      • We want cooperative to be successful
  • Women in the cooperative: 
    • Personal
      • Want to use the money they earn to support their families
      • Want their children to be healthy and fed
      • Want to have a good relationship with their husbands
    • Professional
      • Want to make money from the cooperative and their farms
      • Want the cooperative to be successful
  • Children
    • Personal
      • Need the money that their mothers are earning to be used to support them
  • Men
    • Personal
      • Want to be in charge of the money
      • Want to buy alcohol and frivolous things


Solution 1: Compensate the women in goods (i.e. food, personal care products) instead of money

  • Pros:
    • Women are able to support their families with goods and foods
    • The products and nutrients are going directly to the children in town rather than just to the cities
    • The children will have more resources
  • Cons:
    • The husbands could be upset that the women aren’t bringing money back with them
    • Hard to always predict exactly what women need
    • The women may be less willing to work such long hours without monetary compensation
    • Might be hard logistically
    • Hard to continue after I leave in 6 months
  • Saves face for 
    • the women because they do not have to directly face their husbands, but are getting the desired outcome of putting the money towards the family
    • the cooperative because they would achieve their joint goals and run a more ethical venture
  • Implications on relationships 
    • Short term
      • Men may be angry at the women for not bringing home money
      • Immediate unhappiness within family units
    • Long term
      • Family will be better off so it may eventually build relationships in the family
  • Implications on venture
    • Short term
      • The children will receive the necessary nutrition 
    • Long term
      • The venture will achieve both of its goals
      • The children will have more resources and become more nourished

Solution 2: Pay women their regular wages, but compensate them in goods (i.e. food, personal care products) in exchange for selling their produce

  • Pros:
    • Easier to integrate with the families because they are getting both money and resources 
    • Men won’t be as angry at the wives so the wives will be safer
    • Children are getting food and other resources that they need
  • Cons:
    • Men can still waste money 
    • Women are not completely empowered
  • Saves Face
    • Saves face for the women because they are still bringing in money and it will keep the peace between them and their husbands
    • Saves face for the cooperative because they are able to accomplish their goals and provide nutrients through the goods 
  • Implications of the relationships
    • Short term
      • Men in the family may be upset that they aren’t bring in as much money as before
    • Long term
      • Families will get used to this balance of goods vs. money and relationships will strengthen
  • Implications of the venture
    • Short term: 
      • The children receive more nutrients and are healthier
    • Long term
      • The venture will be achieving its duel goals
      • The children will get more resources and access to nutritional foods (the porridge)


Solution 3: Doing nothing 

  • Pros:
    • Not interfering in culture 
    • Women are not necessarily opposed to men taking money anyway 
    • Not putting women at risk since not taking money away from men 
  • Cons:
    • Men can still waste money 
    • Children do not receive as much food
  • Saves Face for the women and their husbands
    • The women do not have to disturb the family dynamic
    • The husbands are not exposed for their irresponsible behaviors
  • Implications of the relationships
    • Short term
      • There is no tension in relationships between men and women because the status quo is maintained
    • Long term
      • The issue could cause problems down the line as the children aren’t getting important resources like food and clothing.
      • There is still a power imbalance
      • Women will be disempowered
  • Implications of the venture
    • Short term
      • The venture isn’t accomplishing its goals
    • Long term
      • If the venture cannot accomplish its goals it is not ultimately successful
      • Looks bad on us (the people who established the women’s cooperative) 


“First, do no harm”: This is an important part of healthcare and should be an important part of our venture too. There is a clear issue due to the power imbalance, but we do not want to make anything worse by trying to fix this problem. We don’t want to replace one problem with another, potentially more dangerous problem.

Solution 2: Pay women their regular wages, but compensate them in goods (i.e. food, personal care products) in exchange for selling their produce
We don’t want men to waste money but we also don’t want men to be angry at their wives and create an unsafe environment for the women. Giving the women only money and making no changes (Solution 3) would perpetuate the power imbalance and the problem would continue. The children wouldn’t get the food and resources that they need, and the women’s lived would not be improved. Giving the women only goods (Solution 1) would make the men angry, because they want the women to come home with money for them to spend. This may cause violence in the household and the men may not allow their wives to come to work. Therefore, I think that Solution 2, giving the women their salary in money but trading them goods for produce from their farms, is a good middle-ground. This way men will still have money to spend and not be angry, but the children would still be getting some food. It might not be the optimal amount of food, but at least it is something and they will live in a safe environment.


  • Children may not get all of the food and resources that they need
  • The Women’s Cooperative is approaching their dual goals, but will not completely reach them
  • There is minimal interference with culture

Case Study 2


  1. Jack is in Kenya for 5 months
  2. Center for former street youth
  3. Jack was the gift distributor but the gifts were from a donor
  4. 4 kids didn’t get gifts during the ceremony and ended up getting a black hat at the end
  5. The center didn’t care that the kids didn’t get gifts


Issue: How should Jack handle the 4 children being left out of the ceremony, without overstepping and upsetting the center?

Stakeholders and motivations:

Personal: He wants to be liked by the children
Professional: He wants to have a good relationship with the both the children and the center

Kids who didn’t get the gifts: Everyone wants to be recognized in the ceremony and receive the same gifts

Personal: think Jack is dramatic and they just want to stop being bothered, might be offended if Jack comes in and criticises them.
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 
don’t want him to come in and start criticizing this. zThey want to focus on bigger problems in the center

Funders of gifts: Want to maintain a good reputation and a good relationship with the center

Funders of Jack’s venture: want their investment to be worth it


  1. Solution: Jack can approach the children separately and give them real gifts by themselves – privately don’t involve 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
    o Long-term: it will probably happen again
  1. Solution: Present kids with gifts at the next event
  • 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
  1. 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 problems
  • 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 there might be tension
    o Long-term the center will be happy Jack obeyed them but will probably do it again

Personal Experience: 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

Best course of action: The best solution is for Jack to give the kids gifts separately. These gifts should be similar to the gifts that the other kids got, in order not to give them special treatment because that would cause another problem and a cyclic competition. This solution will save his face with the kids, and they will be more willing to work with him. The center will not find out, so it won’t hurt his relationship with the center either. He needs to have a good relationship with everybody so that he can get his work done. Unfortunately, the kids will not get recognized in front of their friends, but they will like Jack for doing the right thing.


  1. Jack will buy gifts that are similar to the ones that the majority of the center’s children got
  2. Jack will give the children their gifts on the side
  3. The center will not be involved. If they found out, Jack could explain that he was trying to make the children happy without bothering the center because they have other things to do.

Case Study 1


  • There is a disease-causing pathogen in the water
  • Chemical additives can make the water safe
  • Lesotho is a developing country
  • Many people are needed to conduct research

Issue: Are the researchers taking advantage of the community members if they choose not to compensate them for their help?

Stakeholders and Motivations:

  1. Researchers: clout, the personal need to make a difference, prestige, passion for Lesotho, professional pressure – they may not be doing it to actually make a difference in the people of Lesotho’s health, but see this difference as an extra benefit.
  2. Community members: they are motivated by the desire to be healthy, and maybe by the money they can earn
  3. Publishers: contribution to science, money, reputation – likely not to help the people of Lesotho
  4. Government: public safety, votes, tax payer money, good foreign relationships
  5. Sponsor: remain reputable, money is well spent, good record, clout
  6. Healthcare providers: medical knowledge, better care for community, they want the community members to be healthier

Our alternative solutions:

  1. Pay the community members for their time and resources (cash)
    1. ethical principle: duty based
    2. pros: motivation and willingness to help, good relationship
    3. cons: costly, taking money away from something else, difficulty ensuring fairness in pay
  2. Compensate community members in means other than cold hard cash (ex: food or dinner
    1. ethical principle:  virtue based
    2. pros: save money, don’t create reputation of having cash to give out
    3. cons: have to be creative, no calculation to know if you are being fair
  3.  No compensation
    1. ethical principle: consequence based
    2. pros: cheaper, maximize grant money
    3. people may not be motivated to help, bad relationship

Experience: During our fieldwork in Sierra Leone, we paid people for their time and resources. This was a motivating factor and people helped us get our research done.

Our Solution: Compensate with money and have a fair and clear contract (we value quality data – and believe this is the best way to obtain data). This is best to minimize the risk of people feeling like they are (or actually are) being taken advantage of. If they are being paid a fair pay, which we will research and use to determine their rates, the community members will be more willing to help and the researchers will be getting the data that they need. If they are not being paid, they may choose to do something else that they would get compensated for, and the researchers would not accomplish their goal.

Implications: Direct compensation will motivate community members to help with the research project, and the project will get the quality data it needs more efficiently. There will be a good relationship between the community members and the foreigners. Additionally, paying the community members will not be that great of a cost to the researchers (to the point where it would make it not worth it to pay).
However, the risk of this approach is that people will think that foreigners will always pay them and this is a dangerous assumption. We do not want this to set a precedent for the future, and tie us down in any way. If they think that we will always pay them, and then we do not, this could ruin our relationship. We will work with employees to make our objectives clear from the get-go to prevent this from happening.

Blog Post 1

What are the top three things you learned during your GSIF trip this summer?

    1. What I learned: I learned the importance of strategic questions when gathering data through questionnaires.
    2. How I learned it: We went into our first round of questionnaires with several questions, some of which were irrelevant (i.e. they were not helping us to advance our research). We then refined our questions so that each question was giving us new information for our project and the future of it.
    3. Why it matters: It is important to ask meaningful questions so that you can use the data you collect to advance the project. It is important to only ask these questions in order to use time and resources efficiently, rather than sifting through the data afterwards to find only a few important data points.
    4. What I will do in light of this: After we refined our questionnaire, each question had a purpose. We will now be analyzing the data and it is helpful that each question will teach us something else.
    1. What I learned: People in Sierra Leone are very open minded
    2. How I learned it: We visited several clinics, villages, and a church. The CHOs in the clinics, the people in the villages, and the Reverend in the church were all welcoming to us. Through our questionnaires, we learned that mothers are very willing to make changes in their children’s diet in order to improve his or her nutrition.
    3. Why it matters: Sierra Leone has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world and it is important for people to be open to making a change so that they can better themselves and their lives.
    4. What I will do in light of this: We will continue advancing our product and business because it seems that this idea will work in Sierra Leone, due to their open mindedness.
    1. What I learned: How to maximize resources
    2. How I learned it: I felt very constrained with the amount of resources we had. We had limited access to translators at first, sometimes had trouble finding a driver to take us to wherever we needed to be, we did not have the same advanced baking equipment that we are used to, and we needed to be price conscious when buying ingredients to bake with. We learned how to handle all of these obstacles in order to progress our project effectively and efficiently.
    3. Why it matters: When working in Sierra Leone, it doesn’t seem that the resources are as plentiful as they are in the United States. In order to create a successful business, it is important to know how to fully take advantage of everything that you do have and maximize your resources and time in order to do so.
    4. What I will do in light of this: We were able to efficiently plan our time and resources so that we were able to complete the tasks we set out to do. I will do this in the future of this project as well.

How did the GSIF trip help facilitate your professional development?

    1. What I learned: I learned how to be flexible and adaptable.
    2. How I learned it: Sometimes things out of our control would go wrong (i.e. the bakery not opening when it was supposed to) and we had to change our plans at the last minute. We were constantly pivoting in order to accomplish the task at hand.
    3. Why it matters: Things don’t always go as planned, especially in Sierra Leone. However, things still need to get done.
    4. How I will make use of this fieldwork experience: We always had plan A, B, C, D, etc. We now know that in the future of this project, we are likely to experience the same type of unpredictability and we must be able to adapt to a changing environment so that our venture can be successful.
    1. What I learned: I improved my communication skills
    2. How I leaned it: People in the United States are very suggestive toward each other and often try to be overly polite. I came into Sierra Leone with the communication skills I use at home, but quickly learned that direct communication works better in Sierra Leone. We learned this through observing the way others speak to each other and follow up with each other.
    3. Why it matters: Without culturally appropriate communication, we would not have been able to accomplish our tasks in Sierra Leone.
    4. How I will make use of this field work experience: As we continue advancing our venture, I know that we have to be direct with people from Sierra Leone and constantly follow up. Even if it seems rude and annoying to us, it is the way that people in Sierra Leone communicate.
    1. What I learned: The importance of individual roles to team work
    2. How I learned it: Originally we did not have specific roles, and with 7 people, it was hard to actually get anything done without having roles. It was very chaotic. However, once Khanjan suggested that we each take responsibility for a certain area, we were able to be efficient and get things done.
    3. Why it matters: With so many tasks and so many people, it is important to be efficient in getting things done and to have proper communication. If the team knows that one person, for example, is responsible for everything with the translators, then other people don’t need to worry about it.
    4. How I will make use of this field work experience: This shows the importance of teamwork, and I know that throughout the rest of my education and career, it is important for me to know how to effectively manage a set of tasks as a team.


How did GSIF help you grow personally?

    1. Area of personal growth: I became less uptight and controlling
    2. How I achieved this: The environment in Sierra Leone is often unpredictable, and in order to be successful in our project, I had to learn how to be patient.
    3. Why it matters: Things in any setting, especially in Sierra Leone, do not always go as planned. It is important to not try to control everything because that is a waste of energy.
    4. What I will do in light of this: I will find a balance in my life of assertiveness and relaxation. I think it will make me a more successful group member and professional.
    1. Area of personal growth: How to properly gain respect
    2. How I achieved this: As an American and a woman, I stick out in Sierra Leone and was not always respected by the locals at first. However, with several interactions, I was able to figure out how to gain the respect of the people around me.
    3. Why it matters: It is very difficult to get anything done if you are not respected. We want our project to be successful, and cannot do that if the people around us are not on board.
    4. What I will do in light of this: I know that women are naturally not as respected as men in the work place. I will be assertive and take on responsibility so that people have no choice but to respect me.
    1. Area of personal growth: Taking responsibility
    2. How I achieved this: The tasks that we set for ourselves had to get done, even if there were set backs. I had to take responsibility for pivoting our approach in order to use our limited time efficiently so that we could accomplish our goals.
    3. Why it matters: Not everything works out the way you plan, and it is often not even your fault. However, in order to be successful, you need to take responsibility for everything.
    4. What I will do in light of this: It is my responsibility to make sure my project is progressing, and regardless of what happens, I will strive to make sure that the project is successful.