GSIF Conceputal Framework

For our conceptual framework we decided to go with a cyclic basis for the visual, because of the cyclical nature of the GSIF program and how it always comes full circle. Moving from the inside out, impact is in the center because that is the central theme of all the work; positive impact is everyone ins GSIF’s motivating factor. Undergraduate students from all disciplines, professors, and in country partnerships, the three main players in GSIF, form a Venn diagram in the middle, all converging at impact. Where professors and in country partnerships overlap, things like knowledge transfer, research opportunities, and sharing in general lie. Between undergraduates and in country partners, both parties will gain perspective, cultural diversity, and again sharing of ideas. Lastly in the overlap of undergraduates and professors, there are things like hands-on learning, developing relationships, and prestige. As we move outward in the blue circle, we listed examples of the type of work we are doing, such as environmental innovations, food system engineering, educational innovations, etc. Going even further out, we specify a bit more the specifics of the projects that are ongoing right now such as providing sustainable and locally sources foods, reducing maternal mortality rates, reducing amounts of stray plastic, etc.

Conceptual Frameworks

Shown above is the NewTrition team’s conceptual framework for the problem of child stunting in Sierra Leone. The basis of the framework revolves around “the three A’s”: availability, accessibility, and affordability. Feeding into these “A’s” are basic issues like poor infrastructure, lack of education, and cultural norms. The three “A’s” lead into more serious issues such as food insecurity and disease. Additionally, lack of proper health care is a major reason for disease in Sierra Leone. Lastly, food insecurity and disease are the 2 main reasons for the overall problem of child stunting.

Shown above is our solution conceptual framework. Two products, the muffin and pudding, make up our venture called NewTrition. Through local ingredients and local farmers, street vendors, and supplements, we are able to increase the availability of our products, access to micronutrients, and affordability of these products. In the end, these three things are able to reduce the rates of child stunting.

Systems Thinking

Part 1: Defining and Providing Examples for 8 Aspects of Systems Thinking:

  1. Interdependence →  how factors (ideas, goals, people, projects) in a relating system all impact each other; pyramid from the bottom up
    1. Ex. 1: A lot of the projects take advantage of the interdependence between people and the “hierarchy” that exists between people
      1. Malnutrition tried to partner with community leaders such as the reverend david because of many people’s interdependence and trust in him and the church
  2. Holism → a system that is viewed as it own entity; as a sum of its parts; looking at the pyramid from the top down/seeing the big picture
    1. Ex. 1: Recycling facility for plastics — the public would just see it as something that takes in waste and produces product, forgets that the facility has many parts (machines, workers, managers, etc)
  3. Multifinality → Multiple unique outcomes resulting from a single initial product/system (win-win situation for all)
    1. Ex. 1: The products that the malnutrition team are making will not only help in the fight against malnutrition, but will help people to learn what exactly kids need to grow up healthy, will provide some labor for the abundance of unemployed people in Sierra Leone, and will help families save money (products like Plumpy nut and Bennimix are much more expensive)
  4. Equifinality → understanding that a goal can be achieved in a variety of ways/ paths
    1. Ex. 1:  PlasTech Ventures and Cloop used to be part of the same team with the same goals, now they are both trying to reach the same goal but through different approaches.
    2. Safemotherhod and Ukweli — both want to end maternal mortality but are going about it and completely different ways
  5. Differentiation → each part of a system has its own specific function
    1. Ex. 1: Malnutrition team breaking up and assigning roles after week 1 in SL
      1. Working on specific parts like Manufacturing, Research, Supply Chain, etc. that interact to run the larger system
  6. Regulation → assessing the system to make sure that it is achieving goals to take corrective action and hold everyone accountable
    1. Ex. 1:  NewTrition checking in with Translators to make sure our interviewing questions are being conveyed and received correctly.
    2. Weekly team meetings — keep us all on track
  7. Abstraction → looking at broad ideas instead of focusing on specific details (zooming out or zooming in)
    1. Ex. 1: Safe Motherhood: trying to inspire grassroot action to work to raise awareness for broader issues through specific mini-stories
  8. Leverage Points → understanding that there are small things that can be done to create a large effect; places in a complex system where a small shift can create big changes
    1. Ex. 1: Recycling Facilities: Gaining a relationship with Vincente Co to open up our network and knowledge
    2. Ex. 2: KJ was the leverage point for the malnutrition team to be able to use the bakery
    3. Ex. 3: Implementing a fine to give birth at home to encourage people to go to the clinic which saves a lot of people’s lives

Emergence is the idea that a system is greater than the total of all its parts. A real life example of this concept given in class include that ability of a bird to fly. The individual parts of a bird cannot fly, however, when combined, a bird is capable of flying.

An example of emergence within the GSIF projects would be PlasTech venture in the Phillipines. Individually, all the parts of their venture (all the different facilities and machines) are unable to accomplish their goal of sustainably recycling plastic waste into useful products. However, when these parts become interconnected and are joined by the right people, they will be able to make a major impact.

Part 2: Hyacinth Removal Issue Solution

Our proposed solution to the hyacinth removal issue would be to hire other community members to collect and process the hyacinth and then bring the product in exhcange for money. The amount that they are paid would be based on the quanitity of hyacinth they gather and process. Thus, they are kept motivated and there is always ample supply. The original 4 workers that were in charge of gathering the hyacinth could now be in charge of distribution/ transportation.

Some Applicable Emergent parts:

  1. Interdependence/Holism/Differentiation:  Each process now depends on the process before it, and the more successful each step is the more the greater system thrives
  2. Regulation:  The community members would be paid on commission. Therefore, they amount of money they get will be based on how much hyacinth they bring in instead of a salary day to day. This will form accountability.
  3. Leverage Points:  A possible leverage point could be to advertise how workers are helping community, environment, and fishermen. Putting this positive spin on the process would create more sales.
  4. Accountability: Each community member is accountable for what they can produce. They would not be paying everyone because that would be impossible
  5. Multifinality:  Community is reaching its goals of improving the hyacinth issue. Additionally, the entreprenuer would be effectively turnign the hyacinth into a useful product while making money, and therefore would be achieving their goals as well.



Week 7: Building Coalitions and Movements

Over the course of progressing our venture the past year, we have developed many partners, in country and out of country. Our partners, how we established that partnership, and our relationship with those partners are described below:


  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

In class, we discussed the numerous benefits that coalitions bring to a venture and a shared overall goal. Below we have created a potential coalition, centered around our big picture goal (listed below) for our malnutrition team.

Ultimate Outcome that we want to see:

  • No child in sierra leone should be malnourished or stunted

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

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


Ultimate Goal: No child in sierra leone should be malnourished or stunted

Name: NewTrition Coalition


  • Sierra Leone President
    • Having the president endorse our products and goals would definitely put our name out there
    • People would have increased trust in our products
    • The president would obviously have lots of influence over the ministries and such we would need approvals from
  • Director of Food & Nutrition
    • Having the director of food and nutrition in our coalition would establish us a safe product in the eyes of all the Sierra Leonean people
    • They also have lots of knowledge of the other malnutrition targeting foods on the market and their distribution pathways which could be extremely helpful to us
  • Ministry of Health and Sanitation
    • Similar to the bullet above, the ministry of health and sanitation’s role would be to endorse our product so that the general population knows that this food is safe, healthy, and impactful
    • They also have lots of knowledge of the other malnutrition targeting foods on the market and their distribution pathways which could be extremely helpful to us
    • They have abundant resources
  • WHI
    • World Hope has numerous resources and champion people who would be dedicated to helping our venture in any way possible
    • they are also worshipped in the Makeni area and would give people a reason to trust our product
    • UNICEF has already come super far in the fight against childhood malnutrition
    • They have key partners and resources that we could leverage
  • Mother’s Support Group
    • In country
    • UNICEF created and funds this group
    • Getting the mothers of Sierra Leone on our side is key to the success of our products because it will be the mothers purchasing the food for their children
    • They will give us honest and incredibly important feedback on how we can better market and sell our products so that more mothers will be willing to buy it
  • Famous well-known soccer player
    • The role of this soccer player in our coalition would be to use him as a marketing strategy
    • Because soccer is incredibly popular in Sierra Leone, having an idol endorse our product would motivate children and mothers to buy our products


Week 6: 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.

Week 5: EDM and GD Case

Part 1: Ethical Decision-Making
Azadirchta indica (Neem), a tree indigenous to India is considered sacred by Hindus as well as Muslims. 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. Neem products, especially pesticides, are used widely across India and the industry as a whole employs over 100,000 of the poorest people. 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. Chetan’s family has owned this business for the last seven generations and after completion of his high school education, he took over the reins. The business employs 60 people in different functions; mostly manufacturing but also scientific analysis, quality control and sales. Despite being familiar with over 200 applications of the tree and its derivatives, Chetan does not know the exact name of the neem seed extract, Azadirachtin.  Ten years ago, Tom Johnson, the Director of Oregon Organic Pesticide Services (OOPS) travelled to India on vacation and discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide. After importing neem seeds to his factory in the USA and experimentation, he developed a formula for an organic pesticide based on the seeds. His company invested $5 million to conduct extensive safety and performance tests over the next decade. Finally, after securing the necessary clearances required by the EPA, Tom received a patent for the pesticide formula and brought the product to market. The product was an instant success with a net profit of $12.5 million in the first year. OOPS now wants to set up a subsidiary business in the rapidly emerging market of India. They have the worldwide patent and financial capital to manufacture and sell the product on a large scale. With economies of scale, OOPS will be able to sell the product at a lower price that Chetan’s business. People are likely to prefer buying products from US companies over small Indian cottage industries, thus further affecting Chetan’s business. Based on their patent, 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? 

To be able to fully analyze what rights Chetan has and what he can do moving forward, we must establish the facts of the case:


  • Neem considered sacred by Hindus and Muslims
  • 14 million neem trees in India
    • Used widely across India
    • Neem industry employs a large population of poor people in India
  • Neems can be used for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides
  • Chetan runs a family-owned business of neem products
    • His family has run the business for the last 7 years
  • Tom has a patent on the pesticide formula, he is the director of Oregon Organic Pesticide Services (OOPS)
  • Tom’s business became immediately successful and OOPS is now working towards moving worldwide
    • OOPS will be able to sell the neem products for a lower price than Chetan
  • Based on their patent, OOPS is demanding a royalty from other small industries that make neem-based products
    • this would include Chetan’s business

It is also helpful to define the actual ethical question at hand:

Ethical Question: What rights does Chetan have to the Neem seed extract and is it ethical for the US company to uphold their patent rights? Who has the rights to the seeds and the pesticides?

Moving forward, we must also analyze the key stakeholders and their motivations in this ethical dilemma:


  1. O.O.P.S.
    1. Incentive to make money and be successful
    2. Could earn a greater profit by demanding royalties from Chetan
    3. Want to bring in an income for the Oregon Organic Pesticides Services
  2. Tom Johnson
    1. Currently has a patent of the pesticide recipe
    2. Wants to make money off the pesticide that he created
    3.  Seems to have very selfish personal motivations
  3. Chetan
    1. Professionally wants to be able to provide for himself, his family, and provide jobs for the local community
    2. This also a very personal issue for Chetan
      1. the business has been in his family for 7 generations
      2. the people of the community are relying on his to provide them with jobs
  4. Chetan’s Employees
    1. Want to keep their jobs and provide for their families
  5. Corporate investors in the US
    1. Want a return on investment
  6. Other small businesses that make neem-based insecticides
    1. They would suffer from the larger US monopolizing the market
    2. They would also have to pay a royalty
    3. Plant is native to India and sacred

Based on the information above, a few different pathways of solutions can be explored:

  1. Chetan corners the market for other neem-based products that are not pesticides
    1. Pros
      1. Chetan would be targeting some of the market that OOPS does not have control over
      2. There would still be a large market for non-pesticide neem-based products (skin cream, contraceptives, etc.)
      3. Chetan’s business would still be successful
      4. OOPS would also still be able to be successful
    2. Cons
      1. Chetan is still losing a lot of his clientele that used to buy pesticides from him
      2. Chetan and other small businesses would still have to pay the royalty
  2. Chetan fights the patent
    1. Pros
      1. If all goes well, Chetan and all other small business will be able to compete fairly in the market
      2. Chetan’s business will still be able to run
      3. The royalty will no longer be a thing
    2. Cons
      1. Long and costly process
      2. There is no guarantee that the government will revoke the patent
  3. Because a patent is only viable for a specific formula/ singular way of making something, Chetan could create a better formula and get a patent for that
    1. Pros
      1. Chetan will then have rights over the neem-based insecticide
      2. In addition to Chetan, other small business will be able to function without the unfair competition with a large American company
      3. No one would have to pay a royalty
    2. Cons
      1. Chetan will have to come up with a better/ new way of developing and creating neem insecticide which could be challenging
      2. Now that Chetan has the patent, other small business would be at a disadvantage.

After weighing the pros and cons of all the solutions, I believe solution number 2 is the best. Chetan does have a lot of rights that he should be fighting to protect, for not only himself but other small neem businesses. After seeking additional assistance online and doing some research on patents like this in the past, many have been rejecting because you cannot patent a naturally occurring genetic material. For example, after looking at the rules for plant patents in the US, plant patents will only be given to a person who “invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state”. The neem plant does not fall into this category at all. In addition to this, there are so many pros if Chetan fights the patent. He will be saving his small business, but also the businesses of so many other local neem sellers. There will be no royalty and no company would ever be able to do this in the future if Chetan fights it now. Of course with any solution there are cons. To begin, fighting a patent is a a lengthy and expensive process. Hopefully, this could be handled by having all of the other local neem sellers pitch in to support Chetan on this crusade. Also, economically, although Chetan will be paying a lot of money for this upfront, it will be well made up for when he is able to actually run his business and not have to shut it down. Although there is no gaurantee that the patent will be revoked, chances are high that the Indian government would want to support local businesses and economies over an American company and this could sway them.

In this solution, the stakeholders of Chetan, his employees, and other small investors would benefit greatly. All of their personal and professional goals would be met because the business would be able to function on the same level if not a higher level. As for OOPS and Tom Johnson, their personal and professional goals would not be met because they were taking rights away from the original neem sellers.

In terms of the impact of the solution, this solution would cause minimal impact on the community which would be ideal. Socially, the dynamic between the neem-businesses and the community would be maintained. This solution would also be maximally beneficial to the environment because if OOPS were to dominate the neem industry, it would most likely destroy and diminish the amount of neem available. Large factories and farms would definitely be put in place, which of course, would be environmentally detrimental.

Overall, this is the best solution so that Chetan and his fellow neem business men get the rights they deserve.

Part 2: Grassroots Diplomacy

Six months after launch, OOPS is crushing the Indian market. OOPS now has over 20 different neem-based products being sold through partnerships with supermarket chains. The most successful product is a neem-based soap. Ironically, the paper wrapper for OOPS’ neem soap features a photo of Tom Johnson. Chetan’s soap wrapper featured a photo of his great-grandfather, a local legend who founded the business over a century back. Chetan met with Tom Johnson several times to urge him to move out of the market or find a way to collaborate. Tom refused to abandon the market but was open to a collaboration if it would help him make more money. 
Chetan’s business is suffering and he will likely have to lay off half of his staff at the end of the month. These employees (and their ancestors) have been working with Chetan and his family for generations. While Chetan’s family is financially well-off with highly diversified investments and will not suffer as much with the declining business, Chetan is incredibly sad to bid adieu to his employees. To make things worse, Chetan’s employees saw him meet with Tom Johnson several times and believe that he has cut some kind of a deal with OOPS. They feel cheated and abandoned by the very man who is supposed to look out for them. Some employees have resigned to their fate, some are confident that Chetan will find a way out, and some want to physically beat him up.

 If you were Chetan, what would you do next?

We can reevaluate and add to our list of facts based on this new information:


  • OOPS is dominating the Indian market and now sells a variety of neem products
  • the paper wrapper is of Tom Johnson’s face, while the wrapper of Chetan’s products is a picture of his popular great-grandfather
  • Tom is not willing to leave the market, but is willing to work with Chetan if it would help make OOPS more money
  • Chetan’s business is in rapid decline
    • he will have to lay off staff
    • his staff is angry at Chetan for even meeting with Tom Johnson because they feel cheated and abandoned

The main question at hand is what should Chetan do to save his business while also appeasing his employees?

Next, we can evaluate the major stakeholders and their motivations, which are pretty much identical to the ones from Part 1:


  1. O.O.P.S.
    1. Incentive to make money and be successful
    2. Want to bring in an income for the Oregon Organic Pesticides Services
    3. little motivation or care for Chetan and local neem farmers
  2. Tom Johnson
    1. Currently has a patent of the pesticide recipe
    2. Wants to make money off the pesticide that he created
    3. little motivation or care for Chetan and local neem farmers
  3. Chetan
    1. His family has been running the business for 7 generations
    2. Has been using the neem tree to produce products for generations
    3. wants to support his community and make his loyal workers happy
  4. Chetan’s Employees
    1. Want to keep their jobs and provide for their families
    2. Are mad at Chetan for talking to Tom Johnson
  5. Corporate investors in the US
    1. Want a return on investment
  6. Other small businesses that make neem-based insecticides
    1. They would suffer from the larger US monopolizing the market
    2. They would also have to pay a royalty
    3. Plant is native to India and sacred

Based on the established facts and information regarding the progression of this situation, the best solution would to have Chetan propose a beneficially partnership to Tom Johnson. Chetan could suggest to Tom that he would allow Tom to use his grandfather’s picture on the OOPS’ soap wrapper. This would give the OOPS name a lot more respect to the local people. Seeing a well respected face would motivate people to buy that product because they know and trust Chetan’s grandfather. Tom Johnson would make more money from this and Chetan would have a partnership that would bring in money for himself. Additionally, he could leverage this deal so that maybe Chetan will become head of marketing for the product and will be able to employ the workers he has now.

The short term implications of this would be that Chetan and his employees may be a little upset in the befginning because they would have to make lots of sacrifices instead of having their business go back to normal. Tom Johnson may also be very skeptical of having Chetan in his business. However, after these initial tensions simmer down, the long term implications would be very positive. Chetan would have a steady flow of money and would be able to pay his employees. Tom Johnson would get more business and more money.

This solution is incredibly appropriate for the culture because trust goes such a long way in a lot of other countries. The solution of putting a trusted elder’s face on the packaging directly targets that sense of trust in the customers.

In this solution, both Tom and Chetan are able to save face. Although the employees may see Chetan in a more negative light at first, they will soon learn that he made this partnership so that they would not lose their jobs in the end. Tom’s face is saved because he will look a lot more caring and compassionate to the communities in India that he is targeting.

This solution is much better than Chetan giving up hope and having himself and his employees suffer in the end. Although they cannot retain the perfect original business they had in the beginning, this is the best solution for the situation they are in.

Overall, this solution would be maximally beneficial.

Week 4: EDM and GD Case

Part 1: Ethical Decision-Making
In a certain region of East Africa, the growth of ~35% of the children is stunted due to poor nutrition. Traditionally, maize and bananas are the items most commonly made into a gruel and fed to infants beginning at ~2 months of age. The gruel is integrated into a child’s diet to complement breastfeeding until they are ~24 months of age. Mothers in the area firmly believe that the gruel is highly beneficial for their children, but scientific research has shown that it does not provide some key nutrients. HIV/AIDS is very prevalent in this region. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until an infant is six months of age, but the longer a child nurses when the mother is HIV+, the greater the chance that the virus will be transmitted to the child. You have received a grant to establish a women’s cooperative in this region. The donor’s intent is to simultaneously improve the nutritional status of children and improve the livelihoods of rural households. The grant for the women’s cooperative has sufficient funds for the women’s group to process and market a nutritious, shelf-stable porridge made from a large mix of locally grown produce. The nutritious porridge is intended to wean children off of breast milk at about 6 months of age.  Approximately 500 women from three contiguous sub-locations have indicated their interest in joining the cooperative, in hopes of improving their livelihoods. However, they are skeptical of the porridge and its use as an early weaning food. Cash crops as well as subsistence crops are grown in the area, including maize, sorghum, cassava, several varieties of legumes (dried beans), French beans, coffee, pineapple, bananas, pumpkins, tomatoes, carrots, kale, white (Irish) potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Pesticides are typically used in growing some of these crops and can result in adverse health implications for infants. 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, and the possibility of pesticide residues in foods developed for infants and young children.  What are your next specific steps to develop this cooperative? 

Because this is a very complex case, it is integral to first define the facts of the situation and the actual ethical dilemma at hand:


  • 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?

Next, to address this issue we obviously want an outcome that positively effects all the parties involved in this situation. Therefore, we must identify the stakeholders and their motivations:


  • 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

From this information, possible solutions can be formulated and of course the pros and cons and implications of each solution must be considered:


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
  • Hard to measure if washing it is effective
  • We’d need a water filtration system
  • 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
  • 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

Before selecting the “best” solution, we can draw upon additional information that we have learned from experience that may be helpful. When first reading the description of this case, it sounded incredibly similar to the venture that our malnutrition team is trying to launch. The overall main goal (to improve the health and nutrition of infants) is the same as ours. We obviously did extensive research on this issue of actually getting safe, nutritious foods to infants. We 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. Therefore, because of this prior knowledge we were able to incorporate this supplement knowledge into one solution.

After weighing all the options, the best course of action would be 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. This solution will obviously benefit the children and their mothers because they will be able to consume healthier foods. This solution will benefit the women’s cooperative because they are achieving their goal of providing a healthy and safe porridge for the children. The donor would be benefitted because he is supporting clean food services and making a great reputation for himself. Local cash crop farmers would still be making a profit and benefitting from the venture so they would remain happy. Lastly, me, as the person overseeing this choice, would achieve the goals of providing nutritious porridge for the children and ensuring the cooperation is built right and is sustainable/scalable.

In terms of the implications of this solution, the changes to the venture in general will be minimal, which is a positive thing. To begin, there may be an economic deficit because the water filter could be a significant cost. However, in the long term the investment in the filter will definitely pay off because the product will now be significantly cleaner and healthier. Technology-wise, there will be the implementation of another piece of technology as well as another step in the production process. This, at first, may be a little hard to deal with and teach the women, but it is an incredibly easy thing to learn how to use and do. In terms of the environment, we would be using water resources, but the outcome would be a decrease in the consumption of unhealthy chemicals, an incredibly positive environmental impact.

Some other implications that must be considered include:

  • 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
Six months after launch, the efforts of the women working in the cooperative you established are paying off, and business is thriving. The women work for about nine hours every day and earn KES 300 (about $3). Besides the wages earned, they have the opportunity to sell the produce grown on their small farms to the cooperative. This transaction is done at the prevailing market rate and helps the women make a little money on the side. The women like this arrangement because it saves them a trip (time + money) to the village market to sell their produce. The women enjoy working with each other and are happy with the cooperative; they have a strong sense of community and identity. However, there is one big problem. When a woman brings her hard-earned money home, she has no choice but to turn it over to her husband, father, or brothers. Rather than using the money to support their families, the men waste it on alcohol and frivolous things. Though the cooperative is thriving, it is not achieving the twin social outcomes of improving the nutritional status of children and the livelihoods of rural households.  As the entrepreneur who helped establish the cooperative, you are pained about the situation. Though you are loved and respected by the entire community, you do not have a direct say in the cooperative’s functioning. You are one of the seven members of the leadership committee that oversees all operations. The committee is elected on an annual basis and you have six months left on the committee, after which you will practically leave the cooperative completely. The other six members of this committee are local women who understand the problems and want things to change. They are not necessarily opposed to the men taking away their money but are upset that their hard-earned money is not used to feed their children. They are convinced that nothing can be done about it because that’s just the way it works in their community. 
What is your strategy to get the cooperative back on track to meet the twin social outcomes for the cooperative on a sustainable basis?

Again, to effectively address this situation we must state and evaluate the facts of the situation:


  • 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?

Next, we must take into account the stakeholders and their relevant professional as well as personal motivations:


  • 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

Based off of this, 3 possible solutions can be formulated:


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
  • 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: In addition to still paying the women regular wages, compensate for some of their wages in goods (i.e. food, personal care products)

  • Pros:
    • Easier to integrate with the families because they are getting both money and resources
    • The products and nutrients are going directly to the children in town rather than just to the cities
  • Cons:
    • Men can still waste money
    • Women may want to choose exactly what all their money goes to go
  • 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 angry
      • Unrest within the family units
    • Long term
      • Hopefully the families get used to this way of compensation and relationships 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 culture of this male dominance within the household is deep ingrained into a lot communities
      • going into a community and trying to rewire how their families and power dynamics work is not an okay thing to do (white saviorism)
      • therefore, although it is not ideal, doing nothing might be the right thing to do in a situation as delicate as this one
    • 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.
  • Implications of the venture
    • Short term
      • Venture still not achieving dual goals
    • Long term
      • The power dynamic within the family still probably would not be fixed

The best course of action is Solution 2: In addition to still paying the women regular wages, compensate for some of their wages in goods (i.e. food, personal care products). This solution addresses the issue at hand, but does not completely attempt to rewire the family dynamic. This solution benefits all the parties involved and saves face for all as well. To begin, the women themselves do not have to confront their husbands, but are also getting having their work go directly to getting the things they need for their children. The children, of course, are benefitting because they are ensured that some of their mother’s profit is going to them and their well-being. The men will be saved face because they won’t be directly exposed or confronted for their irresponsible behavior, but they still will have access to some money and will not take their anger out on the women. I (us, we) in this siutation will benefit because we are achieving better social outcomes for the venture and are achieving the twin outcomes desired. We will also be financially empowering women while having the children be fed nutritious foods.

Implications of this solution are that there will have to be a whole other section of the venture dedicated to organizing and implementing the distribution of these goods. This will be tricky and complicated at first to organize who gets what, how much, and when, but in the long run this will be an incredible solution. There may also be some anger from the male figure in families because they will not have access to all the money they had before. This could be something that the women’s cooperative talks about to the women beforehand with possible strategies to deal with this. However, the men cannot get directly angry at the women because they physically will not have the money, they will have the goods instead.

We also must consider impact of the venture on technological, social, economic and environmental effects. In terms of techonolgy, there may be a need to implement new technology, perhaps a computer system, to organize who gets what goods and what amount of money. Socially, this will have a really positive effect for the mothers and children and empower them to get what they need to help the family unit and not just satisfy the men. Environmentally, there will be little to no major impact.

Overall, this solution offers the most positives for all the parties involved.

Week 3: Grassroots Diplomacy

Jack is an American student who lived at a youth center in Kenya while working on a social venture. In this role, he lived and interacted with the children at the center and worked closely with the staff. One Saturday evening, kids under the age of 14 years were to receive presents that were sent by an international donor organization. A staff member at the youth center had picked up all the gifts the previous weekend and they were finally going to be distributed this Saturday. When it came time to give the gifts out after dinner, the staff members called Jack up to the front – as he was a guest – to assist in the gift-giving ceremony. The staff members had allocated the gifts for the children and labelled them – Jack’s job was to hand out the gifts to the kids. The only problem was that four children did not receive gifts and the staff members did not appear to be concerned about the four forgotten children. As kids began leaving the hall, they thanked Jack for the gifts. The kids were convinced that Jack had gotten the gifts for them. Jack felt a little awkward but at the same time reflected that a good relationship with the kids would help him in several ways during his five-month stay at the center.
At the bottom of the boxes containing the gifts, there were a few black hats. The kids that did not get a present were brought over to the box and given a hat. However, they were upset about the fact that they were not given the hat as ceremoniously as the other kids. The staff gave them their hat and shooed them on their way as if they had some fault in this situation. As one of the little boys who did not receive a gift left the hall, he walked past Jack holding his black hat, and gave him a stare that clearly indicated that he blamed Jack for not receiving a gift. Jack met with the staff and discussed how the four kids were very upset and felt ‘left out’ after the incident. The staff did not acknowledge the problem and were a little piqued that they were being blamed for such a trivial matter. They were convinced that Jack was making a big deal out of the situation and were concerned that Jack would become a ‘children’s rights activist’ and create unnecessary problems for them. The only response they gave Jack was – “If you think there is a problem, then you go ahead and solve it”. If you were Jack, how would you proceed?

To address this grassroots diplomacy dilemma, the facts of the situation are stated below to establish a basis of what the issue actually is and what ways we can approach it.

Facts of the Situation:

  1. Jack is an American working at a youth center in Kenya for 5 months
  2. There was a ceremony held and the all the children, except for 4, were given gifts
  3. The 4 that were left out were given black hats that were found at the bottom of the box
  4. Those 4 children were upset and blamed the gift failure on Jack
  5. Jack felt responsible and was unsure what the best course of action was
  6. The staff told Jack that if he thought there was a problem he should deal with it
  7. The staff do not want to be seen as child right’s activist and did not care about the gift issue

Next, we will define the problem itself and all the relevant stakeholders:

The Problem

  1. The four kids who received hats feel like they weren’t given the same treatment as people who received gifts ceremoniously
  2. Jack is afraid that this situation will hurt his reputation with the children, which could make his 5 months a lot more difficult
  3. The youth center workers do not believe that the four kids receiving hats afterwards is a problem
  4. The youth center thinks that Jack is being a “child rights activist” and is going to start problems by pursuing this situation
  5. Jack wants to preserve his relationship with the children but also the youth center and is unsure of how to do both of those things

The Relevant Stakeholders

  1. Jack
  2. The kids
  3. The youth center

To get a greater sense of what the best course of action is, the motivations (both professional and personal) of each stakeholder must be defined.


Personally, Jack wants to help the kids as much as possible and be viewed positively during his time here. He also wants to maintain a good relationship with the staff and the children because on a professional level he will be here for 5 more months.

The kids

The kids who got the black hats and not the other gift don’t want to be seen as in a lower social group than everyone else or made fun of. The kids that got the toys probably enjoy being “haves” as apposed to the “have nots” and want it to stay that way.

The youth center

Youth center employees don’t see the exchange as being unfair. They may not want to be bothered to make an effort to make everyone happy. Personally, they likely care about the kids and for their well-being but potentially think there are bigger issues within the center. Professionally, they may not want to be criticized by an outsider and have there center picked apart.

Based on this information, we can formulate 3 alternative solutions and list the positives, negatives, implications, and effects of each:

    1. Ceremoniously administer the same gifts to the 4 children who did not get them originally
      1. Make sure this is in a public place to ensure that they feel respected and the “ceremony” aspect is achieved
        1. A lot of what we know about African culture and culture in general, led us to believe that the issue was not that the hats were a lesser gift, but that they were not given out as ceremoniously as the other gifts, taking away the value.
        2. Therefore, we think if another event is held and they are given the gifts, the problem will go away
      2. Pros
        1. Equality is achieved
        2. No difference in what the kids are getting or how they are getting it
      3. Cons
        1. The other kids might get mad that these 4 kids get the same gifts they got + a hat and another ceremony
        2. The youth center workers might get mad at Jack because they obviously regarded the issue as unimportant.
      4. Saves face for the children, Jack and the youth center
        1. If this worked out correctly, Jack would have saved face for the kids that were embarrassed to have a hat and not get a give ceremoniously.
        2. He would have saved face for himself as well because he was able to handle the situation on his own like the center told him to. Also, he would look so much better in the kid’s eyes.
        3. Jack would also save face for the youth center because they were reluctant to do anything and Jack solved the issue.
      5. Implications on relationships
        1. The relationships between the kids would be salvaged because they would see each other as equals (short term and long term)
        2. The relationship between the kids and Jack would be fixed because the kids would believe Jack cares about them all (short term and long term)
        3. The relationship between the youth center and Jack could be fixed too because Jack would have taken the advice the youth center said and fixed the issue on his own (short term and long term)
      6. Implications on the venture
        1. Long term – Jack could show the initially hurt kids that he went out of his way to make an effort which, in the short term, would get him in better standing with those specific kids and also, long term, strengthen his relationship with all of them, allowing him to be more effective in his work.
        2. Short term, his colleagues may be surprised that he took charge which they could potentially view poorly. However, it could show that Jack takes initiative and could be positive for his relationships with his colleagues in the long term.
    2. Give the kids some type of a leadership role in some event in order to make them feel as though they are on the same social level.
      1. Pros
        1. The kids feel equal
        2. Might seem to the staff as though Jack did not see a problem with their opinion and preserve the relationship
      2. Cons
        1. The other kids may feel slighted for not receiving a leadership role
        2. Maybe the kids actually just care about the gifts and will still be upset
      3. Saves face for the kids, Jack, and the youth center
      4. Implications on relationships
        1. Hopefully the relationship between Jack and the children would be fixed because they would know Jack cares about them. However, the children who do not get a leadership role may feel to be second tier.
        2. The relationship between the youth center and Jack may be fixed because Jack solved the solution but it also may be worsened if they feel Jack went behind their backs.
      5. Implications on the venture
        1. Long term- May be extremely helpful to figure out this situation in the beginning so that it does not spiral into something bigger affecting the actual venturelater on
        2. Short term- There may be some upset between the youth center and Jack because the youth center did not think that this was an issue to begin with.
    3. Work in collaboration with the youth center workers to educate them about the problem in the situation and then plan something nice (but can be small) for the 4 children.
      1. Pros
        1. Not backdooring the youth workers, they will appreciate Jack prioritizing working with them
        2. Teaches the youth workers to better understand and deal with situations like these in the future
        3. The 4 children are receiving something special, and could improve their relationships with both Jack and the workers
      2. Cons
        1. Other kids may be mad bc the 4 kids are getting extra events for them
        2. The youth center staff may tell Jack to “fuck off”
      3. Saves face for Jack, the youth center workers (even though they might not care about that) as well as kind of patching up the relationship with the children
      4. Implications
        1. Short Term
          1. Makes 4 kids feel important/at the same level as the other children, could help them integrate themselves back into the rest of the group
          2. Kids will appreciate Jack doing something for them
          3. Rest of the kids may be mad the 4 kids are getting another event
        2. Long Term
          1. All kids may respect Jack & workers, make the 5 months easier
          2. Workers may appreciate you trying to work with them on that situation, helps your time with them
          3. The health workers may treat the kids better and have better relationships

After considering all the pros and cons of each option, the best course of action would be Number 1: to ceremoniously administer the same gifts to the 4 children who did not get them originally. This resolution would save face for all the parties included. Additionally, many studies have proven that in general people care more about social standing and how others perceive them than they do material objects of minimal monetary worth. Therefore, by evening out the playing field and giving these gifts in a public setting, the kids will all feel equal and the problem should hopefully be solved. Jack will have handled the situation like the youth center told him to and the youth center will ultimately look good in the end. Additionally, Jack would have halted any further issues that could have stemmed from the children’s unhappiness, because he will be working with them for 5 more months. Of course there may be shortcomings to this solution which include some of the original children who received gifts being upset or the youth center being upset because they obviously did not think this was a problem. To address these things, Jack would just have to have an honest conversation with the children encompassing the fact that he does not have any favorites and his reasoning for giving the gifts to these 4 kids now. In terms of the youth center, Jack could simply explain how he thought this was an issue and therefore heeded their advice to handle it on his own. This solution would prevent the situation from worsening and save face for all parties.


Case Study 2: Ethical Decision Making

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

To evaluate what the best route to take when dealing with this ethical dilemma is, we must methodically break down the situation at hand, starting with first defining the facts of the situation:

  1.  10 academic researchers will be traveling within Lesotho (small developing country in South Africa) for 2 weeks
  2. Their purpose is to travel throughout the communities of Lesotho to test water for disease-causing pathogens
  3. Lots of community assistance is needed for this study to be successful
  4. The dilemma is whether or not community members should be paid, and depending on that answer, whether or not this is an ethical research study.

To consider this situation from all perspectives, it is important to look at the roles of all the relevant stakeholders and their motivations:

  1. Academic Foundation – Funders, University, Investors, etc.
    1. better name for themselves
    2. return on investment
    3. further academic research
    4. contribute to the betterment of society
    5. attract more funding/ attention
  2. Researchers themselves
    1. spread awareness
    2. develop publishable research
  3. Lesotho community members
    1. support the effort for cleaner waters for themselves and their families
    2. better health and safety
    3. improvement in their quality of life
  4. Government
    1. political, capital, economic opportunities
    2. better health for their people

Based on the facts and stakeholders, a few methods and ways to proceed become apparent:

  1. Partner and work with an established organization/ NGO
    1. Pros
      1. disseminate the responsibility to a well-known organization
      2. they will know the people in the community that are trustworthy and knowledgeable
      3. they probably already have standards in place
      4. access to more resources
      5. increased credibility
    2. Cons
      1. more of an indirect approach -> may complicate the process
      2. more people will have to approve what is being done
  2. Hire specific community members to help with the research
    1. Pros
      1.  direct payment = direct motivation
      2. oversight of exactly who is doing what and how they are doing it
    2. Cons
      1. fewer resources and credibility
      2. more responsibility on these individuals
      3. not necessarily cost effective
  3. Educate the people in hopes that they will volunteer their services
    1. Pros
      1. cost effective
      2. mutualistic benefits and close relationships
      3. people understand what the research consists of and how it can potentially benefit them
    2. Cons
      1. not financially motivated
      2. mistranslation and miscommunication possible
      3. power imbalance – white saviorism

Based on the already defined routes, the best one can be selected to be partnering with an NGO. This is will allow access to lots of reliable resources which seem to be crucial to this research project. This NGO will already know reliable people who the researchers could confidently depend on to ensure the success of the research. By offering to or paying the NGO, we will secure that they are motivated. Based on my personal experience with World Hope International, the trust and relationship established was invaluable and critical to our research. The employees would above and beyond for us and each of our projects. For example, being that we were conducting taste testing, the success of our research relied on how many willing participants we had access to. All we had to do was ask a few World Hoep employees if they could get the word out and within a may of a couple of hours we had hundreds of mothers and children lined up for us.

After doing a little research about NGOs in Lesotho, I was able to find the Global Water Partnership. Many of their goals align with the goal of this research project: gain awareness about the water and hopefully make it safer and cleaner for the people. Of course, a plan may not always be perfect and therefore some shortcomings of this approach include its lack of cost-effectiveness, possibly lack of communication about the research to the community itself, and delegating control meaning you cannot oversee everything. I believe that spending of money will be way worth it to get the best research data possible. In terms of communication with the community, because they will not be working directly with them and would rather be working through an organization, should definitely be addressed. Perhaps the researchers can ask the trusted Global Water Partnership people to explain to the community the work and duration of the work that the researchers will be doing. Lastly, not having direct control over all aspects of the research may be tricky because accuracy is key with research, however, as long as the importance of their work is communicated and understood beforehand I do not think this should be an issue. In general, after partnering with the NGO, a solid relationship will be established which can be leveraged for any future research or things that the researchers may need after they return home. Overall, By partnering with an already established organization, the community will be more willing to trust the researchers and the work that they are doing, creating a positive social dynamic and trust.

Sierra Leone Experience Reflection

Top 3 Things Learned

1. Clear and concise is always the way

a. Working with a team of seven, communication was something we really struggled with.
I learned very early on that one must be super clear and concise on what they believe
the priorities are and how to get those done

b. I’ve never really been in a position where I had people essentially working for me (the
translators and interns, etc.). To be able to work with them most effectively, I learned
that you need to tell them exactly what they need to do, how they need to do it, and
when they need to do it so that there are no questions up in the air. Especially when
dealing with research and data, clarity and consistency are two things that cannot be

2. Speak up

a. Again, working with a group of seven it was easy to get lost in other’s opinions and
ideas. Although it is important to keep an open mind and welcome other ideas, I think it
is very important to stay strong on things that you know need to be done and done in a
certain way

b. Voicing your own opinion can be hard but is well worth it in the long run
c. If you feel an issue is developing or is impacting the work, it is crucial to nip it in the butt
right away rather than wait until it has spiraled into an even bigger issue.

3. Ask and you shall receive

a. I was very surprised coming to Sierra Leone at the willingness of people to want to help
us and coordinate things so that we could get things done. I quickly realized that if you
find those people who are willing to be champions for your project they will gladly go
above and beyond to do the things you need.

b. We were able to ask Yakuba to do grocery runs for us, asked the church for volunteer
crowd control and extra translators, and ask the clinics to coordinate with other CHWs
to spread the word. All these things would not have happened if we simply did not ask.

How did GSIF help facilitate your professional development?

GSIF strengthened my people skills
o Having to communicate through the language barrier
o Working with translators to do an English to Krio translation and then back from Krio to
o Understanding more facial expressions and body gestures
GSIF help me garner my communication skills with people of all ages and all backgrounds
 GSIF allowed me to create a network of people I can keep in contact with and use in the future
and for future reference
GSIF broadened my view of the possibility of my career path
o Before this trip, I viewed my career as very limited to a few avenues in a few places
o After the trip I realized there are so many ways I can make change in so many places
 GSIF made me realize you must go into things with no expectations
o Coming into the trip we thought we would have a reliable oven and bakery to use,
reliable power for refrigerators, and more people would have cellular access so we
could communicate with them easily like we can in the US

o These were all large changes that we needed to adapt to and it honestly took up a large
bulk of time.

How did GSIF help me grow personally?

GSIF allowed me to become more confident in voicing my opinions and standing my ground
o Came from working with so many other people
o Realized I cannot be intimidated by others
GSIF taught me how to adapt to uncomfortable situations and to focus on the important things
even when other aspects of your life may be askew
o Africa was definitely a big adjustment, but I realized that the only thing that really
mattered was the work I was doing

GSIF made me realize the breadth of the world and how much of it I have yet to explore
o I got a very different view on the direction I can take my life and that I am not just
limited to the US

GSIF allowed me to realize the important things in life
o Seeing all these people and children in such a tight knit community and sense of
happiness really changed I viewed my life and my decisions

GSIF made me realize how much of an impact I can make if I really dedicate time to a cause
o Doing work for 3 weeks straight was tough, but I was amazed by the outcomes and the
relationships I was able to develop

Skip to toolbar