Conceptual Framework

This week, we created conceptual frameworks for the problem we are addressing and our solution.

The Problem

 

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.

 

The Solution

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.

Class on October 29, 2019

8 Tenets of Systems Thinking

Tenet 1: Interdependence

  • Definition:
    • Interacting with all parts of a system for mutual benefit and achievement of tasks and goals
    • No one can succeed without the rest
  • Example:
    • In Sierra Leone, the malnutrition team assigned roles for positive interdependence. Each team member was responsible for one thing that mu

 

Tenet 2: Holism

  • Definition
    • A system exists as a sum of its parts. None of the parts could ever accomplish the goal that the system can accomplish as a whole. 
  • Our example:
    • PlasTech: we need manufacturers, designers, and legal workers who all can come together to create the opportunity to make a profit off of recycling plastics. None of them could ever do it on their own. Our “hq” centralizes the opportunity. 
    • Ukweli: we need Hassan, Allieu, World Hope, Wancheng, Lehigh, PHUs, proactive pregnant women to all come together and work towards lowering maternal mortality rates.

 

Tenet 3: Multifinality

  • Definition:
    • The same system can produce varied outcomes/solutions depending on variety of influencing factors. Each subsystem meets its own goal, while the system as a whole also meets its goal.
  • Examples:
    • PlasTech: Cleaning up plastic from local neighborhoods and/or preventing plastic from getting into the ocean and/or collecting plastic from companies that would have been thrown into a landfill.
    • Ukweli: What Hassan, Cassidy and Khanjan get out of the experience is different, yet they are all part/ working in the same system.

 

Tenet 4: Equifinality

  • Definition:
    • Opposite of multifinality- similar solutions can be created from different systemic inputs/processes
    • Understanding that a goal can be achieved in multiple ways or paths
  • Examples:
    • Both safe motherhood team and Ukweli want the same end goal–lower maternal mortality rates. However, the teams are trying to achieve it in different ways. 
    • Philippines plastics environment: collecting waste plastic and turning it into art versus recycling it into usable products. Both solutions lock up the plastic waste and prevent it from going into the ocean
    • Our example: Solving the issue of high maternal mortality rates in Sierra Leone
      • Safe motherhood team cannot lower rates just by themselves, they rely on the MOH, other healthcare innovations, education, etc.
        • One group cannot solve the entire issue on its own and some ventures or groups can benefit from others and advance their goals because of someone else
      • World Hope. They depend on multiple projects (ex: CHAMPs), each with their own system, to improve the livelihood of people in Sierra Leone.

 

Tenet 5: Differentiation

  • Definition (similar to holism & interdependence in definitions)
    • Enables interdependence and necessitates holism
    • Each independent part is different (in complexity, specialization, focus), but they are all working to reach the overall system goal – they are reliant on each other in order to form the system.
  • Everyone example: most of us have different roles/responsibilities on our teams that help us contribute to a larger goal
    • Focus on what students did and what they accomplished as sub-system
      • Students were actors in that subsystem
    • Ex: subsystems of the mushroom team- the different subsystems of their mushroom growing process
      • Spawn system
      • Substrate system
      • Mushroom growth system
      • All are independent systems but would never happen without one another
        • They are interdependent
    • Subsystems of the PlasTech system:
      • Sourcing plastic
        • Relationship management systems
      • Identifying customers
        • Relationship management systems
      • Converting plastic waste into value-added products
        • Manufacturing facility design
        • Mold design
        • Setting upRecycling facilities
          • Legal auditing
          • Personnel training
          • Machine manufacturing

 

Tenet 6: Regulation

  • Definition:
    • Checks and balances that alert failure and success points necessary to understand how to optimize the system
    • Feedback mechanism for accountability
  • Examples:
    • Our presentations that we give during the semester
    • Will it rain enough next year to get the rain water necessary to clean waste plastics?
    • Updates with our PI/advisor, ensuring we are on the right track
    • Ukweli: the forms that Hassan uses to track test strip user data with. It ensures he is doing his job properly and is closer to achieving the end goal of reducing maternal mortality.
    • Weekly meetings to keep us all on-track

 

Tenet 7: Abstraction

  • Definition
    • Systems-level thinking that moves away from little details and towards the bigger picture and how your system is working to affect it
    • Necessary to not “shift the problem” or create negative long term effects
  • Examples:
    • Malnutrition team: supplements
      • There are tons of different types of iron supplements but some have more side effects (like upset stomach) and some are more expensive. While we first thought, let’s just get the cheapest option to reduce cost, we stepped back and thought that because we are trying to make kids healthier, we need to sacrifice cost for less side effects.

Tenet 8: Leverage Points

  • Definition:
    • An aspect in a system that when deciding upon or working with, can ultimately create/lead to large change 
    • Archimedes: Give me a lever large enough and I’ll lift the whole world
  • Examples:
    • Recipe for malnutrition
      • Changing the definition from one small ingredient can cause good or bad effects
    • Deciding to add protein in the test strip as a parameter, so the test strip now screens for preeclampsia and UTIs
    • Charging a fee for mothers who give birth at home ($5 fine)
      • → encouraging the mothers to go to clinics to give birth
    • Identifying intrinsic motivation for people with depression and anxiety
    • Telemedicine acceptance

Concept of Emergence 

Emergence is when a system has properties that are different from the properties of the interdependent parts. It occurs when a system is observed to have properties or behaviors that its parts do not have on their own.

Multi-final solution to the water hyacinth problem

In the hyacinth problem, the people that are selling the briquettes could partner with local fisherman so that the briquettes are mutually beneficial. Fisherman can advertise briquettes to their customers as a package deal: Fish + briquettes used to cook the fish. The fishermen would be less angry because they would also be benefitting from the briquettes, even more than having cleared paths. The solution exhibits multi-finality because the people who collect the hyacinth and the people that sell the hyacinth (the fishermen) can both benefit and have different outcomes. In terms of holism, if the fishermen were not selling the briquettes well, they would not profit off of them but would still need to pay the gatherers for them, so they would have incentive to do well. This also relates to the tenet, regulation, and would hold the fishermen accountable for selling the briquettes.

Week 7 – Partnerships

PART I

Partners in our Venture:

  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. Betteh 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. Wesleyan Church
    1. We were able to establish this partnership through our relationship with the Betteh Bakery. Betteh Bakery is owned by the Wesleyan 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.
  4. Allieu Bangura, Director of Nutrition at World Hope International
    1. Partnered to help us drive our project ideas, connect us with Director of Food & Nutrition, and to give us general guidance in the first stages of our project
      1. Introducing nutritious product for them
    2. More communication
  5. 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.
  6. University of Freetown
    1. Students from the university who interned at World Hope were able 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 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 
  10. Health Ministry of Sierra Leone
    1. Aminata Shamit Koroma- the Director of Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone is the originator of the project
    2. We would like general/official approval of our products from the Ministry of Health. If we hope to distribute our product in hospitals in the future, we will need a strong relationship with the Ministry of Health in order to gain necessary approvals as well. 
    3. This partnership still needs to be established in order to see how each of us can benefit one another, but we could help the Ministry of Health by expanding the number of affordable foods that can be used to fight malnutrition and stunting. 
  11. 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.

 

PART II

Ultimate Outcome that we want to see:

  • Elimination or minimization of micronutrient deficiencies/malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone.   

 

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

 

OUR COALITION

Ultimate Goal: Elimination or minimization of micronutrient deficiencies/malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone.  

Name: NewTrition Coalition 

People:

  • Sierra Leone President
    • Why the relationship is critical: approval of the products and support for marketing and distribution purpose
  • Sierra Leone Honorables
    • Why the relationship is critical: support for marketing and distribution purpose
  • Director of Food & Nutrition, Aminata Shamit Koroma
    • Why the relationship is critical: brains behind the project, so we would like her approval of the products we create
  • Ministry of Health and Sanitation
    • Why the relationship is critical: potentially need to approve the products we create in the future
  • WHI
    • Why the relationship is critical: help us build relationships with officials, companies, and mothers in Sierra Leone and give us credibility; can help us secure funding and approvals

 

How will these organizations help us get these products

  • Each of these organizations will give our venture credibility when applying to different grants and publications. They will also boost our marketing and business plans because we will gain the trust of our customers.

What do they partners gain from being a part of the coalition

  • Each partner can benefit from being part of a social venture. Everyone wants to see a reduction in the number of malnourished children in SL.

Week 6- Malnutrition Team Collaborative Plan

 

Team Name: Malnutrition (NEWtrition)   Date: 10/6/19 
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 shelf-life 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.

Communication

  • 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. 

 

Case Study 04- Neem Trees

Part 1: Ethical Decision-Making

 

Facts of the Situation:

  • Neem is a sacred, indigenous tree to India
  • Neem has been used for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides
  • Chetan operates a business of neem products and employs 60 people
  • Tom Johnson is the Director of Oregon Organic Pesticide Services
  • Tom travelled to India on vacation and discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide
  • Tom imported neem seeds to his factory in the USA and developed a formula for an organic pesticide from the seeds
  • Tom’s company invested $5 million to conduct extensive safety and performance tests over the next decade
  • Tom’s company got security clearances from the EPA and got a patent for the pesticide. He made a profit of $12.5 million in a year.
  • OOPS, Tom’s company can sell the products at a lower price than Chetan, and people are likely to prefer products from American companies than Indian companies 
  • Tom demands a royalty from Chetan as a result of his patent.

 

Stakeholders and Motivations:

  • Chetan
    • Successful business of neem tree products that produces pesticides, skin creams, contraceptives, lamp oil, and more
    • Be loyal to customers and employees
  • Oregon Organic Pesticide Services (OOPS) 
    • Want people to buy the pesticide from them and make a profit
    • Put and patent on the pesticide and want it to be adhered to
    • Want healthy, organic pesticides
  • Tom
    • Social impact
    • Make money
    • Tap into the neem market in India
  • EPA- Environmental Protection Agency
    • Ensure public health, safety, and well-being
    • Avoid environmental consequences from the use of pesticides
  • Consumers
    • Want to be able to purchase neem products for the same cost or a lower cost with the same benefits
    • Want to support either themselves, their friends, or family who are working for Chetan
  • Farmers
    • Want crops that have good harvest
    • Want to use pesticides that do not harm their products or their customers
  • Indian government (secondary stakeholder)
    • Improve the local economy
    • Protect Indian business owners
    • Preserve the use neem trees

 

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

  • Because Tom/OOPS was issued a patent on the pesticide, Tom technically does not have the right to sell the neem pesticide as well. He is allowed to sell his other products such as the creams, contraceptives, and lamp oil because they are not restricted under the patent. Tom’s patent is only on the pesticide formula, so Chetan would only need to pay royalties on the pesticide. With that being said, Chetan could try to fight the patent because the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that products of nature are unpatentable [1]. Therefore, Chetan should have the right to compete with Tom for neem pesticide business. 
  • With that being said, until Chetan fights the patent, it is ethical for OOPS to uphold the rights of their worldwide patent. Patents give companies “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” products [2]. So while it is not exactly fair for Chetan to have his business restricted, it is more ethical for him to adhere to the patent than to not. He can focus more on his other neem products if he is unable to sell the pesticide. Therefore, we do not have any alternative solutions to present for this portion of the case studies because Tom is within his rights under the patent. Additionally, Harvard Business Review gives three guiding principles for companies working abroad- respect for core human values, respect for local traditions, and belief that context matters when deciding what is right and wrong [3]. In this case, Tom/OOPS are respecting local traditions by continuing to use the neem products and using it in a cheaper and healthier way.

 

[1] https://jolt.law.harvard.edu/assets/articlePDFs/v30/30HarvJLTech569.pdf

[2] https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/general-information-concerning-patents

[3] https://hbr.org/1996/09/values-in-tension-ethics-away-from-home

 

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 continue with part of his business, but will likely lose success from the patent.

 

Part 2: Grassroots Diplomacy

 

Facts of the Situation:

  • 6 months later, OOPs had developed 20 different neem-based products being sold in India
  • Their most successful product is neem-based soap
  • The soap’s wrapper features a photo of Tim Johnson 
  • Chetan also has a soap product that features a photo of his great grandfather, a local legend
  • Chetan and Tom have met several times, and Tom is willing to collaborate
  • Chetan’s business is suffering and he will most likely have to lay off half of his staff
  • Half of Chetan’s staff feels cheated and the other half is confident he will find a way out. Chetan feels loyal to the staff that have worked with him for many years

 

Stakeholders and Motivations: 

  • Chetan
    • Personal
      • Continue to make money
      • Maintain his successful family business of seven generations
    • Professional
      • Protect his employees’ jobs and livelihood
      • Successful business and products
  • Tom/OOPS
    • Personal
      • Make money off the neem products
    • Professional
      • Expand OOPS’s business
      • Stay on top of the Indian market
      • Continue to make successful neem products 
  • Chetan’s employees
    • Personal
      • Loyalty to Chetan and his family business
      • Continue the legacy and reputation that the business has earned over the past few decades
    • Professional
      • Make money and support their families

 

Chetan’s potential next steps:

  1. Form a collaboration where Tom is in charge in production and Chetan is the supplier
    1. Pros
      1. Take advantage of OOPS’s economies of scale
      2. Takes advantage of Chetan’s local connection 
      3. Employees can keep their jobs- because Chetan’s company would need to expand to take on OOPS’s share of the market employees could take on new roles if needed
      4. Chetan still would have a role in the company and continue his family’s legacy 
    2. Cons 
      1. OOPS still has the power because of the patent so they have leverage in this scenario
      2. People that prefer Chetan’s product will have to get used to the American/OOPS formulations
    3. Saving face
      1. Chetan saves face with his employees because can keep a good relationship with the majority of them
      2. Chetan saves face with Tom/OOPS by not competing and being willing to collaborate
      3. Tom shows good faith by working with Chetan and the people of India because his business can be successful even without Chetan
    4. Implications on Relationships
      1. Short term: mutually beneficial relationship for the two companies, saves the relationship between Chetan and the majority of his employees
      2. Long term: good relationships with customers continues because they are still getting quality neem products
    5. Implications on the Venture
      1. Short term: Tom can continue to build his own company and Chetan can continue working for his company and provide employment to his friends
      2. Long term: Chetan is able to continue his family company’s legacy
  2. 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 competition
    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, employees that can keep a job will be mostly happy with Chetan’s decision, but they will likely feel bad for anyone that needs to lose their job, employees who need to lose their jobs/be laid off will be angry, customers may have some initial issues as a result of the merger
      2. Long term: employees who he keeps will most likely feel better about the decision because they are still making money, customers may 
    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
  3. Strike a deal so that they sell Tom’s neem products with the image of Chetan’s great grandfather in exchange for the employment of Chetan’s workers
    1. Pros
      1. Chetan’s employees keep their jobs
      2. Consumers get EPA-approved, organic products that are sold with the approval/image of Chetan’s company
      3. OOPS can keep its control over the market of neem products while connecting with Chetan’s customers
      4. The legacy of Chetan’s great grandfather is continued
    2. Cons 
      1. While the image of Chetan’s business is continued, his products/recipes would be discontinued to use OOPS’s products instead
      2. Not all of Chetan’s employees would likely be able to keep their jobs
      3. Customers who are unaware of Chetan and OOPS’s relationship may be unaware that they are buying new products
    3. Saving face
      1. Customers can continue to buy neem products that Chetan’s family approves of, Chetan strikes the deal for the sake of his employees’ livelihoods
    4. Implications on Relationships
      1. Short term: employees may not want to work at a new company, Chetan and Tom can avoid competition by forming this collaboration
      2. Long term: customers value American products and with the approval of Chetan’s family on the package it could be even more valuable
    5. Implications on the Venture
      1. Short term: Chetan’s business would no longer be his own, but his great grandfather’s legacy could still continue, many of Chetan’s employees could potentially keep their jobs
      2. Long term: customers will want to buy the American neem products, and because OOPS has more resources than Chetan’s business, they will be able to keep the company successful

 

Best Solution: Form a collaboration where Tom is in charge in production and Chetan is the supplier

This solution is the best case scenario for Chetan because his family’s business can continue to grow and his employees will be kept happy with new opportunities and more work on their hands. He will also be able to take advantage of OOPS resources and have economies of scale because of their increased share of the market. Chetan will be able to keep his connections with the local communities. He will save face with his employees by staying loyal to them and save face with OOPS because of the opportunities that come to both companies through the collaboration. By losing control of the production of the products, they may lose some of the authenticity or qualities of Chetan’s products, but Tom and Chetan could potentially renegotiate recipes to ensure that they are still organic but more similar to Chetan’s products. 

  • Implementation:
    • Strike a deal with Tom/OOPS that delegates which responsibilities each side of the company is responsible for, which recipes will be used, and the profit split
    • Figure out if any employees will need to change roles in the company
    • OOPS uses their resources to produce neem products at a lower cost
    • Chetan and his employees distribute the products to leverage their local connections

Case Study 03- women’s cooperative

Part I

 

Facts of the situation

  1. Gruel is used to complement breastfeeding in children from the ages of 2-24 months. 
  2. Gruel is made of cornmeal and bananas and has very little nutritional value, but the mothers think it does. 
  3. I have received a grant to establish a women’s cooperative in this region of East Africa.
  4. The grant will fund the creation of a nutritious porridge made of local produce that can be used to wean children off of breast milk at 6 months.
  5. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in the region and can be spread through breastfeeding.
  6. 500 women are interested in working on the co-op to improve their livelihoods, but they do not all believe that the porridge will work as a weaning food.  
  7. Pesticides are used to grow many crops in this region, including the crops that can be used in the porridge, but the pesticides cause adverse health effects for infants. 

 

Ethical questions:

  • Addressing the ethical health issues associated with prolonged breastfeeding in a area with high rates of HIV/AIDS
  • Early introduction of supplemental foods in infants’ diets
  • Potentially feeding infants and children pesticides through the local produce
  • We want to find a balance between using pesticides and educating on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS when the main focus of the co-op is to improve nutrition levels and livelihoods of households in rural areas.

 

Stakeholders

 

  1. Children 
  2. Mothers
  3. Manufacturers of the gruel
  4. Grant recipient (myself)
  5. Members of the women’s cooperative
  6. Grant donor
  7. Local farmers (secondary stakeholders)

 

Motivations of the stakeholders

 

  1. Children 
    1. Want good tasting foods
    2. Infants/young children most likely still want to be breastfed
  2. Mothers
    1. Want healthy children
    2. Mothers want to do what is socially acceptable. If many other mothers are skeptical of switching to the nutritious porridge, they may not want to as well.
    3. Don’t want to pass on HIV
    4. Child rearing
  3. Manufacturers of the gruel
    1. They want to wean babies off breastfeeding, and most likely think they’re product helps nutrition to some extent.
    2. Continuing to make money off of their product (They would not want a competitor.)
  4. Grant recipient (myself)
    1. Establishing a successful women’s co-op that improves the livelihoods of the women working there
    2. Help children’s nutrition and health levels with a sustainable porridge recipe 
    3. Social impact
  5. Members of the women’s cooperative
    1. Making money and supporting their family
    2. Improving their own livelihoods
    3. Making a product that other mothers trust and want to buy so that the women at the co-op can make money
    4. Help children and nutrition levels
  6. Grant donor
    1. Improve the nutritional status of children 
    2. Improve the livelihoods of rural households
  7. Local farmers (secondary stakeholders)

 

Alternative solutions to the case study

 

  1. Do not worry about the use of pesticides in ingredients or interfere with breastfeeding practices of women. Women in the co-op could ensure proper washing and peeling of the produce when preparing the porridge.
    1. Ethical principle: potentially a violation of doing what is best for all and having integrity
      1. Pros
        1. Women’s co-op can focus their attention and money on the two primary goals of the co-op, improving nutrition levels and livelihoods of rural families, which would make the grant donor satisfied with the work being done
        2. Children would still get nutritious foods if they choose to purchase this product
      2. Cons
        1. Peeling produce tends to take away many of the valuable nutrients
        2. Does not address the concerns of prolonged breastfeeding with HIV/AIDS
  2. Hold mass education programs on washing or peeling nutritious foods and breastfeeding to accompany the marketing of the porridge. Workshops and mother support groups could be used to teach women the importance of using the porridge as well. 
    1. Ethical principle: beneficence/nonmaleficence- The goals of the project are being met, but steps are also being taken to prevent any adverse effects in children from the pesticides.
    2. Pros
      1. Satisfies the goals of the women’s cooperative to improve nutrient levels, as long as people buy the food, and improves the livelihoods of those that attend the workshops making the members of the women’s co-op happy.
      2. Could lead to positive behavioral changes that impact nutrition and HIV levels in children
      3. Positive press and marketing for the women’s co-op
    3. Cons
      1. Lots of effort and money is required from the co-op to implement an education and marketing program like this
      2. Would need to choose specific communities to implement this
      3. The program would have to change the minds of women who use gruel and are skeptical of the efficacy and safety of the new porridge. 
  3. Using community heads or elderly women to influence the community on the porridge and proper feeding practices
    1. Ethical principle: Beneficence/nonmaleficence- Like before, the goals of the project are being met, but steps are also being taken to prevent any adverse effects in children from the pesticides.
    2. Pros
      1. Satisfies the goals of the women’s cooperative to improve nutrient levels, as long as people buy the food, and improves the livelihoods of those that attend the workshops
      2. Could lead to positive behavioral changes that impact nutrition and HIV levels in children
      3. Less money would be needed than for a large educational program
      4. Community officials and older women have lots of influence in smaller communities
    3. Cons
      1. Difficulty of convincing older women and chiefs to help with education
      2. Would need to pay them or benefit community leaders in someway, and recruiting helpers would still take time and money

 

Best solution

 

I think that in this case study, the concerns of educating on the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is out of the scope of the responsibilities of the women’s co-op. When we presented on our foods that target malnutrition levels in children, many judges were concerned with things like a small amount of sugar in our recipe or using plastic to package our products. While these are legitimate concerns, they are things that did not impact the true goal of our project with is to impact the nutrition levels of children in Sierra Leone, so they were less of a concern than other parts of the project. I do not think that the women’s co-op would be responsible for changing the breastfeeding practices of women and educating them on the prevalence of HIV. With that being said, I think the women in the co-op should be as careful as possible when using produce that contains pesticides. Pesticides affect infants and children very similarly to malnutrition. They should clean and peel what they can while still maintaining nutrient levels. Babies have a harder time removing pesticides from the body, which can damage their cognitive development or organ function. If the women’s co-op is introducing produce into many of the children’s diets, which they probably are if they are used to eating gruel which is made of just cornmeal and banana, then they would also be introducing the pesticides. They should take every precaution to avoid using pesticides and “do no harm” to the children. In this case, the benefits of treating malnutrition do not outweigh the costs of harming infants with pesticides. If the women are cautious about using pesticides, the babies health can improve from the porridge and more mothers will buy it. In turn, the women’s livelihoods will improve from a successful product. Implications of this decision could be a rise in developmental defects due to the use of pesticides in addition to the higher nutrient levels of children. If the porridge gets proper approvals by the food or health sector of the government, then hopefully these issues could be avoidable. 

 

Part II

 

Facts of the situation

  1. The co-op has been successful and the women are happy with the work they are doing.
  2. The livelihood of the women was not improved because the money they earn is being spent on frivolous things by their husbands. But, the women do feel empowered by the work they are doing.
  3. I see it as a problem that the money that the women earn is not improving the livelihoods of their families. I am still a board member of the women’s co-op for 6 months and am loved and respected by the community.
  4. The other 6 members of the board are local women who want things to change, but they are not necessarily for or against taking the money back from the men.
  5. Not achieving strategic social outcomes of improving the nutritional status of children (of the women in the co-op) and the livelihoods of rural households.

 

Ethical question

  • To what extent can I interfere with the personal/family lives of the women in the co-op to ensure that there is an improvement in their livelihoods?
  • What is my strategy to getting the goals of the cooperative back on track?

 

Stakeholders 

  1. The original donor
  2. Board members
  3. Women involved in the co-op
  4. Children and families with improved nutrition from the porridge
  5. Children and families with unimproved nutrition (co-op worker families)
  6. Husbands taking the money
  7. Me 

 

Motivations of the stakeholders

  1. The original donor
    1. Personal 
      1. Making the desired impact that is aligned with his/her own morals and goals of the project
    2. Professional
      1. Achieve higher nutrition levels in children and better lives for women in the co-op
  2. Board members
    1. Personal 
      1. Avoid stirring up drama for something that does not concern them as much as it does me.
      2. Healthy children
    2. Professional
      1. Have a fully functioning co-op
  3. Women involved in the co-op
    1. Personal 
      1. Feed their children good food
      2. Make their husbands happy
    2. Professional
      1. Make money that goes towards the family
      2. Feel empowered
  4. Children and families with improved nutrition from the porridge
    1. Personal 
      1. Continue purchasing this decent product
      2. Health of the children
    2. Professional
      1. none
  5. Children and families with unimproved nutrition (co-op worker families)
    1. Personal
      1. Improved nutrition levels 
      2. Wanting a better livelihood
      3. Not spending too much money on things that benefit the children 
    2. Professional
      1. none
  6. Husbands taking the money
    1. Personal 
      1. Enjoy their life and continue to spend money on frivolous things
    2. Professional
      1. Not look embarrassed
  7. Me
    1. Personal
      1. Maintain strong relationships with the women in the co-op and board members
      2. Ensure the safety of women in the co-op if they get into an argument with their husbands
    2. Professional 
      1. Meet the twin social outcomes of the project- improving nutrition levels while also improving livelihoods in rural households
      2. Social impact

 

Alternative solutions to the case study

 

  1. Setting up a daycare facility at the co-op that cares for and feeds children with the porridge
    1. Pros
      1. Women would enjoy seeing their children at work
      2. Children would be fed
      3. Could potentially cost less than buying food for the women each day because they are already making the porridge that would be fed to the children and they would only need to pay one or two staff members to look after the children
    2. Cons
      1. Money would be taken from women’s wages to pay for the daycare employee and a small amount of porridge each day, but the rest of the money would still be going to the husbands “frivolous” habits
    3. Saving face: The husbands could potentially keep doing what they’re doing to some extent, but the women would be able to see their children each day and provide them with more nutrients if they eat the porridge. 
    4. Implications on relationships
      1. Short term
        1. Mothers would be able to see their children at work and provide them with higher nutrient levels, which would empower them and most likely strengthen their relationship with board members for providing this solution. 
      2. Long term
        1. Trust between the board and families for providing a solution that benefits each stakeholder
    5. Implications on venture
      1. Short term
        1. Tensions between husbands and board members is possible because the women are bringing home less money
        2. Restructuring of payment system
        3. Adding or designating staff responsible for organizing the daycare
      2. Long term
        1. Long term daycare employees would be required
  2. Paying women with shares in the company
    1. Pros
      1. Women are not seeing the money they earn anyway, and the families tend to spend small amounts of money they have. In this scenario, they would (hopefully) see a large return on the money that was invested.
    2. Cons
      1. Requires strong book-keeping and trust among the company
      2. The co-op must be successful long-term in order for a return on investment
      3. Women would not bring home any money for husbands which could make them angry 
      4. Women may want their money sooner and not be interested in shares in the company
      5. Would not impact children’s nutrition levels in the short term
    3. Saving face: The board members would need to communicate with husbands and families in order to save face with the husbands and protect the wives. 
    4. Implications on relationships
      1. Short term
        1. If women don’t bring home money each day, it could poorly affect their relationships with their husbands
      2. Long term
        1. Women could build a strong relationship with board members because of the trust and hard work that is required to ensure a return on their money
    5. Implications on venture
      1. Short term
        1. Company could build up quickly by reinvesting all the overheads of paying the women into the company.
      2. Long term
        1. Growth of the company could help them impact more children in other areas and countries and could help fund other projects or ideas that the women at the co-op have. 

 

Best solution

 

  1. Paying the women with nutritious foods or with free porridge to feed themselves or their children. The food would need to be perishable so that mothers do not sell the food on the black market for cash.
    1. Pros
      1. Goes back to twin social outcomes of benefitting family and providing nutrients to the children
      2. The co-op does not lose any money by doing this
    2. Cons
      1. Women would bring home less or no money because of the cost of food they are being given, so their husbands could potentially get angry and harm the women- could be given a choice of what share of their income is food and which portion is actual cash
      2. Non-perishable foods could be sold on the black market by women
    3. Saving face: The board members would need to ensure that women have consent from their husbands to choose this option because the money that the board would use to pay for food would come out of each woman’s salary.
    4. Implications on relationships
      1. Short term
        1. Husbands could be bitter at first that they have less money to spend on things they enjoy, at least initially. 
        2. It would take convincing the board members, so I would have to ensure that I have their trust.
      2. Long term
        1. Even more empowerment for the women which could minimize any resentment towards husbands. 
        2. Success could result in strong relationships with each member of the women’s co-op and families because the co-op helped the families achieve a better lifestyle.
    5. Implications on venture
      1. Short term
        1. Tensions between husbands and board members is possible
        2. Restructuring of payment system
        3. Adding or designating staff responsible for coordinating food.
      2. Long term
        1. Empowered women that work at the co-op
        2. Healthier children 

Case Study 02- Youth Center Gifts

The facts of the situation: 

  1. Jack was an American student working on a social venture in Kenya for five months
  2. International donor organization donated gifts
  3. Jack lived and interacted with kids at the youth center
  4. Jack handed out the gifts
  5. 4 children were not given gifts ceremoniously like the rest. They were given black hats instead, and it was after the ceremony. 
  6. The staff did not think there was an issue and are angry that Jack is blaming them for a “trivial” matter.
  7. Jack thought it was unfair for the 4 children to not get the same treatment as the rest. 
  8. Jack wants to keep a good relationship with the children and the staff members at the youth center.

 

The stakeholders

  1. Jack 
  2. Staff at the youth center
  3. 4 kids that received black hats
  4. Kids that received other gifts (secondary stakeholders- their motivations do not affect the situation or best course of action)

 

Motivations (personal and professional) of the stakeholders

  1. Jack
    1. Personal:
      1. Wants the kids to like him and the staff to like him since he will be working there for 5 months
    2. Professional:
      1. Good relationships with the children and staff could build trust and help him do better work
  2. Youth center staff
    1. Personal:
      1. May see Jack as an outsider that is looking down on the work they’ve done
      2. Probably have a passion for children and social work if they work in a youth center
    2. Professional:
      1. In this situation, they wanted to distribute the gifts they were donated by the national organization.
      2. Want a strong relationship with the children to succeed at their job
      3. Keep a good relationship with Jack to preserve the relationship with his institution 
      4. Don’t want trivial things to get in the way of the good work they are doing at the youth center
  3. Kids that didn’t receive gifts
    1. Personal: 
      1. Wanted to get a gift
      2. Possibly more importantly, they wanted to get a gift ceremoniously and feel as important as the other kids.
    2. Professional: 
      1. N/A

 

Ethical Questions:

  1. Should Jack dwell on a situation that could make his relationship with the youth center and the children even worse?
  2. Should Jack have a say in how the youth center approaches situations, especially as a newcomer?

 

Alternative solutions for this case study

  1. Drop the situation and do nothing
    1. Pros:
      1. The issue is not repeatedly brought up.
      2. The staff does not think of Jack as a “children’s rights activist”
      3. Jack maintains a good relationship with the staff who thought the matter was “trivial.”
    2. Cons:
      1. The four children may stay upset and may continue to blame things on Jack because he was the one distributing gifts.
      2. The other children could make fun of the four children that only got black hats
      3. Jack could continue to feel bad for the children and may have a strained relationship with them.
  2. Jack could continue to talk about the situation and explain to the staff where he was coming from. 
    1. Pros:
      1. Jack could potentially save face from the staff thinking poorly of him and build trust and friendship with the kids or the employee at the center.
      2. The kids could possibly get more sympathy from the youth center staff after they have a conversation with Jack.
        1. It may result in gifts for the children that were originally overlooked.
    2. Cons:
      1. The staff could be angry with Jack for continuing to dwell on the situation. They may continue to think of him as a “children’s rights activist.”
        1. The staff may also be angry at Jack for knocking the good work they’ve done. 
        2. The conversation could also result in the children getting better gifts, but the youth center would need to purchase them with money from their own pocket. 
      2. The children who didn’t get gifts could feel worse because the situation continues to be brought up. 

 

Best approach

  1. Jack wears a black hat and does not bring the situation up to the youth center staff again. 
    1. Pros:
      1. Jack looks good in the eyes of the youth center staff because he does not come to them about the situation again. He also maintains his relationship with the children because they will feel better that Jack has the same gift as them.
      2. The children could feel better about not getting a gift during the ceremony if Jack has the same thing as them. They would have a better appreciation for the gift they did receive and possibly forget about not getting them ceremoniously.
      3. The youth center staff can move past the situation and focus on other events and issues at hand.
    2. Cons:
      1. The children who did receive gifts could feel bad that they can’t dress like Jack, but they will most likely get over it and be happy with the gifts they already got.
    3. Consequences and shortcomings
      1. The kids will only feel better from the hat if they think Jack is cool and want to dress like him. 
      2. The youth center staff most likely won’t care if Jack wears a hat like the one the kids received. They will probably happy that Jack did not continue to try to talk to them about the situation and solved it on his own. 
      3. Jack maintains a good relationship with the staff and the four children that didn’t get gifts, but now the other children may be jealous. If that were the case, Jack could play with them more and remind them of how grateful they should be for their gifts. 

 

Impact of the decision on the venture

  • This solution would hardly impact the goal of the youth center/ Jack’s venture. It would preserve Jack’s relationships with both the youth center staff and the children who did not receive any gifts. He would not be seen as an outsider that is looking down on the work that the youth center has already done, and the kids will most likely feel better about the fact that they each got black hats unceremoniously because they get to keep the gifts they got and look like Jack. In Sierra Leone, children loved getting to talk to us and would even run home to tell their friends if one of us just gave them a fist bump. The decision could also maintain the youth center’s relationships with Jack’s institution. Economic implications of the decision could be that the youth center does not have to spend any of their money to replace the children’s presents or hold any other events. 

Case Study 01- Lesotho water sources

  • The facts of the situation:
    1. There is a disease-causing pathogen in the research area, and community members are already aware that it is there.
    2. We want to test the water with the goal of understanding the lifecycle and characteristics of the disease-causing pathogen.
    3. We would need help finding the different water sources and learning how and where the water is stored but paying community members is optional.
    4. There are 75 families and 500 people in the community of focus.
    5. We are sending 11 academic researchers that will be in Lesotho for 2 weeks.
    6. There is an expectation by researchers that the research could result in publications and potentially a treatment for the water.
  • The stakeholders
    1. 11 researchers
    2. Community members
      1. Those drinking the water
      2. Those that are helping us find the sources of water
    3. Lestho government
    4. Funders for the researchers
    5. The researcher’s academic institution
    6. Agency that would sponsor the invention and application of treatment
  • Motivations of the stakeholders
    1. 11 researchers
      1. The 11 researchers’ goal of the project is to better understand the disease-causing pathogen. Their motivation in doing the research is publication. We can also assume that they are interested in some sort of social impact because they chose this location and study to conduct their research.
    2. Community members
      1. Those drinking the water
        1. The community members that are consuming the water are motivated by the possibility of a clean source of water for their safety and quality of life. This implies that they hope or expect that the research will result in treatment of the water.
      2. Those that are helping the researchers find the sources of water
        1. These community members would also be motivated by the potential of clean sources of water. They could also be motivated by some sort of perk (i.e. free food) in exchange for their help. Moreover, they could be seeking compensation for their help for things like transport or their time.
      3. Lesotho government
        1. The Lesotho has a stake in the research because the disease-causing pathogen affects many of their water sources and citizens. Hopefully, their primary motivation of research is to protect the health and safety for their people. The research could also result in political capital/votes, and economic growth, and stronger relationships with foreign institutions.
      4. Funders for the researchers
        1. Organizations that fund the research/researchers are motivated by a return on investment. In this case, social ROI could be
      5. The researcher’s academic institution
        1. The academic institution’s motivations for research are return on investment and recognition for the research done.
      6. Agency that would sponsor the invention and application of treatment
        1. Motivations for this agency would be that researchers achieve their goal of characterizing the disease-causing pathogen so that they can create a viable treatment
  • Alternative solutions for this case study
    1. First, we decided on the ethical questions that are relevant to the current situation. The first and most important being, is it ethical to conduct this study? This is not a study on human subjects as the researchers are only collecting data from the water sources. Additionally, community members have something to gain from the research without ethical questions in the way. Similar to what the class decided, we could not think of any reasons the research was unethical (connect to the 3 basic principles of ethics). One question that we did consider was: Are the researchers exploiting people for their time and knowledge for their own gain in publication, notoriety, and potential impact? We attempt to answer this question in our alternative solutions, as the current situation is providing nothing to the community members that assist in research.
      1. One potential solution could be providing workers with compensation for their time spent away from their main source of income. The researchers could pay community members for their time lost in the form of an hourly or daily rate. Paying helpers a fair compensation follows the ethical principle of beneficence. Pros of this approach are that people may be more willing to participate if they know they can get something from us, and the researchers could get all the data more efficiently if they are paying people to help get the job done. Cons of the research are that more funding would be required to pay community members each day, and a fair payment structure would need to be developed for individuals helping us.
      2. Another approach could be not paying the individuals who are helping at all but compensating them in other ways like paying for their gas or helping them carry things. Researchers could even tag along with women or community members that are already going to the water sources each day. This approach allows community members to still have some incentive, but the researchers would not have to dish out as much money. With a smaller incentive, helpers may have less motivation to get the data done quickly and efficiently.
      3. The last potential approach is to partner with an NGO or community organization to let them make the decisions and payments. Researchers could still want to compensate the workers, but because the researchers know less about the community and its members, they could let someone else handle the task of choosing who is best to help find watering sources. In this case, the individuals could still get compensated, and the community/NGO could pick the best candidates for the job by having a knowledge of the community. On the other hand, the NGO or community would have to be responsible for paying the employees. While the research could benefit them in the end, they may not have the resources for payment, it is not fair for them to pay employees that they are not directly using.
  • Additional assistance- The team used our experiences in Sierra Leone and the Phillippines to make an informed decision.
  • In this case study, I would choose an approach similar to solution one. In two weeks, it is difficult to get organized, find data sources, and collect data without knowledge of the place you’re in. In order to get data most efficiently, I think that it’s important to pay individuals that help so that they are motivated to spend their time with the researchers. Additionally, if the same individuals are paid each day, they can build a rapport with the researchers. This approach worked really well for us in Sierra Leone. Our team had three translators that we paid a daily rate. By the end of our trip, we had gotten extremely close with them, and we could tell that they were really invested in our research. They didn’t even have to ask us questions for the mothers by the end- they knew the answers themselves. Working with an NGO was also very useful not just for our translators to see the weight behind what we were doing but also for the community members we were helping, so I would recommend that this study also partners with an organization on the ground. The researcher’s goal is to collect data on the data on the life and characteristics of this disease-causing pathogen, and this approach could easily get them that data in the most efficient way.

 

Fieldwork Reflection (Week 1)

Three lessons learned:

  • Asking for what we needed: The role I took on during fieldwork was coordinating with World Hope to meet mothers and children. Everyone we had met at World Hope until that point had been very nice and eager to help with our project, but we hadn’t really asked for any significant help with anything. Later, we realized that everyone was extremely willing to help with anything we needed. I approached Momoh, a World Hope/CHAMPS employee, about reaching out to mothers and children to come to the World Hope office for taste tests. It was the first day I had met Momoh, yet he wanted to help in any way he could. He claimed he had the names and phone numbers for “all the lactacting women in Makeni.” Even though he was obviously joking, around 200 mothers and children came to the World Hope office thanks to Momoh that day. Another World Hope employee, Musa, is in charge of social ventures, and he connected us with farmers that we could contact when we eventually need to buy foods in bulk. Both clinics we visited, Kalongba and Kamambai, interrupted their normal days to accommodate us. The CHO set up areas for us to collect data and helped us control the line of mothers we were interviewing. When we went to villages, we notified chiefs that we were coming the day before, but essentially just walked up to people’s homes and asked if they wanted to be interviewed. In the US, most people would not be receptive to people coming up to their homes and asking them to try food, but (almost) everyone was extremely welcoming and willing to participate. Later on in our project, we will need to take advantage of these relationships and people’s willingness to help us for possible clinical trials and testing of our products. We were very grateful for all of the help and resources we received in country.
  • Our products could be sold in SL: Lastly, our team’s biggest insight was that our products were actually well-liked and could be implemented into the diets of children in Makeni. We have not done extensive data analysis yet, but generally, mothers and children enjoyed our products and said they would purchase them in the market or in a shop setting. We were able to get over 350 data points for the two recipes, and we will be able to assess any changes that need to be made to the products. This semester, we want to analyze our fieldwork results and explain our methodology and reports in a paper. We also want to secure funding in order to advance the project forward.
  • Prevalence of fortified baby foods: We learned that many mothers already feed their younger children fortified baby foods like Nutrilac and Cerelac.

Professional Development:

  • Importance of team dynamics: The first few days of our trip were difficult. We quickly learned that trying to listen to the opinions of 7 team members on every issue was not going to be efficient. Thanks to Khanjan, we were able to refocus our energy and reevaluate the role of each member of our team. We became much more productive over the course of the trip and were able to reach our goal number of data points and more. Additionally, each member of our team really stepped up and took on an important role. The days were extremely long but having everyone responsible for one aspect of the project really helped. Moving forward, we will definitely continue with the assigned roles of each team member to prevent any miscommunication and increase productivity.
  • Having a plan A,B,C: In Sierra Leone, we faced a lot of hiccups. In the beginning, it seemed like there was a new obstacle each day that we weren’t prepared for. We learned how important it is to prepare more than one back up plan. We cooked our products at the Betteh Bakery, but when they were closed, we used the hotel oven, and when that didn’t work well, we used a pressure cooker/coals, and when that didn’t work, we only took interviews for one of our products. Our entire team got better at adapting to every situation as fieldwork went on, and I think this well be very helpful in facing the next stages of our project.
  • Conflict resolution: When we had to come up with plans A, B, and C, our team would sometimes feel defeated or be angry at how things turned out. We each developed conflict resolution skills to get to the bottom of each issue that we were presented with and were able to reach our interview goal despite these obstacles.

Personal Development:

  • Knowing when to step back: On this trip, I was really able to develop my leadership skills and learned when it’s important to step back. I talk often and openly and forget that sometimes my opinions can come off strongly. In the beginning of the trip, I think I was taking on too many responsibilities, but once we delegated roles to each team member, it became much easier, and I felt better about my role on the team.
  • Communicating directly and efficiently: Initially, I was nervous about asking for too much and telling people what we needed. I thought I was taking advantage of people or being rude if I asked for help from people at World Hope and our translators. On the other hand, sometimes there was a miscommunication between what I would ask others for and what they thought I meant. By the end, I learned how important it was to state exactly what I needed in order to collect data efficiently.
  • Finally, I was reminded of my privilege and the disparity in life across the world. We had to work with much less in Sierra Leone, and it made us creative and more knowledgeable, but it also made me put things into perspective. Whenever I was angry about being sick or sick of the food their eating, I reminded myself that these are things people go through every day of their life.

Last GSIF Blog of Spring 2019

M&E Plan

 

Logic Model

Assumptions:

  • Children will continuously eat enough of our therapeutic food to improve their nutrition levels

 

Social Return on Investment (SROI)

Health spending encompasses 9% of Sierra Leone’s national budget, and mothers and children under 5 receive free healthcare. Additionally, Sierra Leone has one of the higher GDPs of underdeveloped countries, but is lower in terms of health, education, and standard of living. If our product sold at just 500 units/day in the beginning, this would impact approximately 167 children under the age of 5. [2] With that being said, SROI does not include saving the government money. Our product aims to improve the micronutrient levels in children and limit the number of chronically malnourished kids. Malnutrition causes issues with a child’s cognitive development, so if we can impact around 150 children’s nutrition levels, those 150 children will have more of an ability to learn and succeed in school and eventually contribute to the economy. Well nourished children are also less susceptible to disease because their immune system are more healthy, so our product could impact savings to health services in Sierra Leone. Because families are not responsible for paying for their child’s healthcare when they are under the age of 5, they are not necessarily saving money they would spend on healthcare. Our product will be at least five times cheaper than other therapeutic foods, like Bennimix, but because they are not responsible for paying for healthcare until after their child is over 5, it cannot be used to truly quantify the success of our product. It is difficult to give a value of our SROI ratio, but it is something we will continue to research and try to quantify.

References:

  1. https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR297/FR297.pdf
  2. https://www.afro.who.int/sites/default/files/2017-08/Sierra%20Leone%20Health%20Sector%20%20Performance%20Report%202016.pdf