This week, we created conceptual frameworks for the problem we are addressing and our solution.
Our dream is to lower the rates of child stunting by integrating locally-manufactured affordable nutritious foods into the local food system. The primary issue is child stunting. Our product is trying to treat stunting that results from chronic malnutrition because there is a gap in that market. Child stunting results from a lack of proper nutrition in children, and this leads to food insecurity and disease. An already existing conceptual framework attributes availability, accessibility, and affordability, or the three A’s, as the causes of food insecurity. We incorporated the three A’s into our framework but also used answers to show that they could be causes of disease in addition to food insecurity. We also added a cultural norms, lack of education, and poor infrastructure as a few of the systemic causes of the 3 A’s.
In this conceptual framework, we tried to simplify how we are addressing the problems attributed to food insecurity. The core values that we tried to have in our product were local using local ingredients, having proper nutrient content for children, and supplying our products through street vendors. We tried to convey that each of these things leads to the availability, accessibility, and affordability of our product. In terms of affordability, our product is made of local ingredients and the only things that need to be imported are packaging and supplements. The supplements are extremely cheap- averaging about $0.001 per serving, but we did not include packaging in the framework because we haven’t chosen packaging for the pudding yet and the muffin will not have individual packaging. For accessibility, our products are ready to eat and made of local ingredients that are widely available in Sierra Leone. For affordability, our products both cost less than 5 (US) cents to manufacture and would be cheap enough for mothers to purchase for their children.