09/18 Spencer Moros

Blog #4 Spencer Moros, Jenn Nester, Beigie Lam, Ugochi Amadi


What is our role in the cooperative? Are we on the ground (making, selling, educating)?

  • We’re developing the whole cooperative
  • Malnutrition team is a good example of people who are doing what we want to do

Are there any crops that aren’t using pesticides? 

  • No, practically all use pesticides.


Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible. Clearly state the ethical issue. 

  • Livelihoods of rural households
    • 500 women want to join the co-op
    • They are skeptical of the porridge because it is new
  • HIV/AIDS and breastfeeding
    • HIV+ should wean early
    • Not everyone knows if they are HIV+
    • Access to supplements that prevent spread of HIV through breast milk more prevalent
    • Nutritious alternative really a good supplement
  • Pesticides on produce
    • Cash crops
    • Subsistence crops
  • Childhood nutrition is a problem b/c local gruel is not providing all key nutrients
    • 35% of children have stunted growth
  • Breastfeeding can spread HIV from mothers to infants 
  • Want to reduce risk of spread of HIV by using new porridge formula for children instead of breastfeeding
  • Porridge formula is using locally grown crops in a different way (as opposed to traditional gruel)
  • Mothers usually give gruel from ~2 months to 24 months
    • Skeptical of using new formula because it’s not something they’re used to, the traditional gruel is cornmeal
    • Not something they’ve done before
  • The WHO recommends breastfeeding until ~6 months but the longer time of breastfeeding with HIV means greater risk
  • Reduce risk of HIV/AIDS by having children eat the porridge → Formula for new nutritious porridge is made from locally grown crops → locally grown crops have high levels of potentially harmful chemicals from pesticides / porridge can be sold to improve women’s livelihoods
  • Don’t know who has HIV or not, there is now aggressive plan for testing of HIV and most people who have it know that they have it

Ethical Issue: Is it better to wean infants off of breastfeeding with porridge which provides sufficient nutrients, but exposes the infants to the risky chemicals from pesticides on the crops or spread HIV through prolonged breastfeeding and wean them with a traditional gruel lacking nutrients?


Step 2: Define the Stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome / Step 3: Assess the motivations of the Stakeholders 

  • Mothers
    • Give their child the best food
    • Have their child grow safely & healthily
    • May have mixed opinions about the effectiveness of the porridge formula
    • Want to improve their livelihoods
    • Not risk giving HIV/AIDS to their children
    • Make some money – growing/selling the cash crops
  • Children 
    • Stay healthy (not get HIV/AIDS)
    • Get good nutrition / be fed
  • Cooperative Participants
    • More participants, lessen burden on individuals
    • Make some money – growing/selling the cash crops, getting some form of return from their investment be it labor or something else
    • Bring more success
  • Cooperative Organizers/researchers
    • Respect local traditions and culture
    • Attract women to join
    • Build reputation and credibility to gain more funds and resources for future
    • Reduce malnutrition, improve nutritional status of children
    • Increase livelihood of households
    • Reduce transmission of HIV/AIDS
    • Make venture financially successful/sustainable
  • Donors of money for the projects (secondary)
    • Improve nutritional status of children and livelihoods of rural households


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, using basic ethical core values as guide 


Approaches [1/2/3: repeat for every action] 

  • Potential solution: Have women give children the traditional gruel from 2-6 months, then market the porridge as “stage 2”, 6-12 months wean children off breastfeeding entirely. Educate women as to why this is best for their children 
  • Ethical Principle or code: Consequence based thinking & ethics of care
  • Pros:  respect local traditions while supplementing nutrition, while child is eating gruel they have supplemental nutrients from breast milk; would be less financially costly for the venture
  • Cons: Children are more at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS (breastfeeding to 12 months instead of 6 months suggested), children are exposed to pesticides, 


  • Potential solution: Have mothers switch to the porridge formula or some diet of both the formula and traditional gruel after ~2 months of breastfeeding and Educate women as to why this is best for their children  
  • Ethical Principle or code: consequence based thinking
  • Pros: Reduces risk of passing HIV to child in timely manner by cutting short the breastfeeding period, new formula compensates for key nutrients in infants’ diet, improve livelihoods with increased sales or production of porridge
  • Cons: May not convince a lot of mothers who don’t believe that the new formula will provide enough nutrients for their child, would expose children to more pesticides from the produce, would be more financially costly for the venture


  • Potential solution: Refer all of the mothers to a place where they can be tested for HIV/AIDS in order to identify the most at risk children
  • Ethical Principle or code: Consequence based thinking & duty based thinking
  • Pros:  Many at-risk children are identified as early as possible, targets problem at root by identifying mothers who should switch to porridge from breastfeeding, allows mothers to learn if they have the virus and what measures they should take for their own health, 
  • Cons: Invasion of the privacy of the women, not many women get tested so there may not be many testing sites/facilities/resources, adds more stress on the venture as a whole, morally obligated to educate about HIV/AIDS if test positive, identifying at risk children puts a target on some mother’s backs


Other possible solutions: 

  • People might be reluctant to use the new formula
  • Have information sessions to inform the locals about the harms of pesticides and HIV and educate them about what the porridge’s benefits vs consequences are so they can make decisions for themselves
    • Who will pay for that?
    • Who will organize and make these sessions happen?
    • Way to make money with this cooperative is to scale up with this product so it gains traction and spreads 
  • Partner with other entities to aid with product development
    • Put information labels or tags on the back or packaging of the porridge
    • Community health workers (need incentives)
    • Do partners have something to gain from working with you?
  • Focus on tackling HIV problem by providing infrastructure to fight HIV epidemic
    • Better sex education by focusing on impact to children
    • Very expensive because they have deep ingrained beliefs
  • Partner with Health Ministry and WHO to leverage introducing the porridge product as a second stage diet product for infants
  • Focus on scope issues which is this cooperative that sells porridge for infants after 6 months of breastfeeding
  • Profit by making this product shelf stable and with low production cost that can sell for higher prices
  • Source input locally when practical but go to the open market if it is more efficient

Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – engineering codes of ethics, previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection 

  • Malnutrition Team
  • What accountability structure do you make in order to incentivize people but also have people join for the right reasons (might be second part)
  • Look at long-term effects of either side of the problem to decide which problem is more impactful (e.g., pesticides may not be as bad as HIV)
  • How do you start as close to the solution as possible?
  • Addressing skepticism isn’t the biggest issue (in terms of an ethical issue)
  • https://www.azurihealth.co.ke/ 


Step 6: Select the best course of action – that which satisfies the highest core ethical values. Explain reasoning and justify. Discuss your stance vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in the class. 

The best solution is to respect traditions of the locals by allowing them to give gruel to the children, and encourage mothers to not wean as quickly until 6 months and market the porridge as a next step. Also, as part of the program the mothers will be instructed to breastfeed until 12 months. This solution is not ideal for a few reasons: the children are receiving nutrient-lacking gruel from 2 months – 6 months and the infants are breastfeeding past the recommended time, 6 months, instead they are breastfeeding to 12 months. Although the children are malnourished when they are receiving gruel this respects the traditions of the community, thereby gaining respect from the locals, and reducing the reliance on the gruel by discouraging weaning from 2-6 months ensures that the infants receive the nutrients that require from breast milk. Also, this solution works to respect the longer breast feeding which is typically until 24 months by incorporating breast feeding until 12 months. This approach also helps to reduce the risk of HIV transmission via breast milk by cutting the time of breast feeding in half (24->12).  Lastly, the children are receiving good nutrition from the porridge from 6-12 months. One issue that still remains is the exposure to pesticides, however this is somewhat combatted by more reliance on breast feeding, and most detrimental effects of pesticides are from exposure on a time scale of years rather than months and these children would be exposed regardless.


Step 7: (If applicable) What are the implications of your solution on the venture. Explain the impact of your proposed solution on the venture’s technology, economic, social and environmental aspects.

This solution affects the social aspects of the venture a great deal. By incoporating the traditional practices the project as a whole is more likely to be adopted. Additionally, by beginning on the right foot the venture is able to build upon the strong foundation and move to even more favorable solutions. Such as, eliminating the gruel completely and replacing it with the porridge and weaning off breast feeding completely by 6 months. This plan also improves the economic health of the venture by acquiring a sizable workforce as part of the cooperative which also can grow from there.

Part 2

Issue: women work and the men take the money and spend it on things other than food for the family.


Step 2: Define the Stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome 

  • Mothers
    • Want to improve their livelihoods
    • Make some money – growing/selling the cash crops
    • Don’t want the money they earned to be wasted
    • Want the money to go to their children’s benefits
    • Use the money to feed their children
  • Cooperative Participants
    • Make some money – growing/selling the cash crops, getting some form of return from their investment be it labor or something else
    • Improve livelihoods of rural women


  • Cooperative Organizers/researchers
    • Respect local traditions and culture
    • Build reputation and credibility to gain more funds and resources for future
    • Reduce malnutrition, improve nutritional status of children
    • Increase livelihood of women in rural households
    • Ensure the added wealth is going towards feeding the children
    • Make venture financially successful/sustainable
  • Donors of money for the projects (secondary)
    • Improve nutritional status of children and livelihoods of rural households


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, to have a win-win situation for your relationship and your venture. 

Approaches [1/2/3: repeat for every action]


  • Potential Solution #1: Offer “store credit” rather than cash so the women can use their money to feed their families.
  • How does it solve the problem? 
    • Pros: Money goes where the earner wants it to go, there is no risk of it being taken away by the husbands or being sold off, more value if they use it as credit instead of cashing it out
    • Cons: Might cause domestic issues; go against traditional hierarchy
  • How does it save face of those involved?
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term: Women can get more food for their children, might create mistrust between the men and the cooperative organizers/researchers
    • Long-term:  
  • Implications on the venture 
    • Short-term: mitigate the issue of mismanagement of funds
    • Long-term: make women more independent; close the gender gap 


  • Potential Solution #2: Give the women the option to get paid in essential items as opposed to cash, make them accept part of the wage to the product that they are making and the rest will be cash or credit, buy in bulk things like goats that cooperative members can get for cheaper than market price so they can take it directly home
  • How does it solve the problem? 
    • Pros: builds livelihood of families because the members can save money and keep producing with things like goat milk and cheese, can bring the men in because it makes them money in the long run, production of things will build towards feeding the children
    • Cons: only about 20 women will actually be working in packaging the porridge so it’s unrealistic to create an entirely separate system of distribution of goods
    • How does it save face of those involved?
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term
    • Long-term 
  • Implications on the venture 
    • Short-term
    • Long-term 


  • Potential Solution #3: Act as a bank for the workers, hold the workers’ wages and let them grow and only let them cash out when they reach a certain amount or emergency
  • How does it solve the problem? 
    • Pros: allows people to save and build capital, free as opposed to banks that need you to pay to make an account, allows women to save and improve their livelihoods because it prevents the money from being taken away by the men
    • Cons: Social implication that the men may get angry that the women are working without making anything, may still take the money after it gets cashed out
  • How does it save face of those involved?
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term
    • Long-term 
  • Implications on the venture 
    • Short-term
    • Long-term 


Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection 

  • Maybe only 20 women will be working with the cooperative to grow/sell crops
  • Cooperatives emerged as a way for people to save money and collect capital
  • Research indicates that men are less likely to take all of the money that’s saved compared to a weekly wage
  • Women aren’t upset men are taking the money, they’re upset about their misuse
  • Don’t cut off the entire money source (maybe leave like 5% or something)
  • How to establish a banking system
  • Sporadic bigger rewards (e.g., every three months can buy a goat)
  • Bring together a group of people who have clout in the community
  • Get people with clout including men and religious leaders so that they can deal with this issue and consider taking ⅓ of the wages in cash while the ⅔ is going back to the cooperative as an investment so they can grow it
  • Have the council agree on what products they think the cooperative should make available to use the credit for such as goats, etc..
  • Address nutrition issue by having women who work in the cooperative walking away with a small amount of the porridge everyday that can feed two people
  • Elderly people are a big customer section for the porridge
  • Validate the solution by telling it to the other 6 leaders on the committee, also go out to men and other leaders (maybe 25 people one on one) and get them on board with the way to tackle the issue → bring people together to talk about the problem and let the people discuss and come up with their “own” solution → create a contract or system of more equitable bylaws that everyone involved will agree with and enforce in the community → go towards developing this in the community so they adopt it 

Step 6: Select the best course of action – that solves the problem, saves face and has the best short term and long-term implications for your relationship and venture. Explain reasoning and discuss your solution vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in class. 


The best course of action is to have the cooperative can act as a bank where the women can keep their wages as credit and build capital until they reach a certain amount to cash out or want to cash out. Keep a portion of their wages as immovable credit and maybe cash out about 5-10% directly so that the women can have something to spend, although the men may take the cash and spend it themselves. The could act cooperative as a distribution center or “store” for alcohol and cigarettes at lower than market price so that the men are incentivized to spend at the cooperative instead of outside markets and the cooperative can help to control the rampant spending of the men and give back control to the women to spend the money on food and other necessities.  Additionally, the cooperative can act as a source of goods that the members can get goods from for a better price based on the women’s needs and the men will feel motivated to save as well if they realize that saving for a couple months will actually build more value for them. 


Step 7: List the sequence of actions you will take to implement your solution.


  1. Survey women about a banking system
  2. If general consensus is yes, the banking system would be established, implement any changes they would like
  3. Work with women to decide how much of their wages go between store credit and cash (make 3 options: %70-30, %80-20, %90-10)
  4. Find out the most pressing needs of the women (specific foods, clothing, household items, etc) with which to stock the “co-op” store.
  5. Find out where to get those resources in bulk to keep prices low enough to incentivize purchasing in the co-op. Ideally these products would come from co-op members.
  6. Get those resources and stock the store.


Other possible solutions: 

  • ⅓ of the wage is the porridge 
  • Instead of money or full amount of money, they can get something that creates value


Banking system: 

portion of wage=store credit (stored in every week)

-portion of store credit=saved in the bank

portion of wage=cash (given out every week)


09/11 Spencer Moros

Blog #3 Spencer Moros

Grassroots Diplomacy Case Study: Youth Center Gifts

Step 1: Facts

  • Children living in youth center in Kenya
  • Children of all ages 3-14 yo
  • Youth center received gifts from donor
  • Gifts already allocated for specific children, Jack is meant to distribute gifts
    • Four children did not receive gifts
    • Staff unconcerned about these children that didn’t get a gift
  • Have black hats which are available to distribute as an alternative
    • These children are unhappy with Jack and feel excluded
  • Assumed cultural difference between Jack (who is American) and the Staff (who are Kenyan)
    • It may be a cultural normal that when gifts come to the center, not every child gets a gift every time
  • Black hat assumed to have some sort of negative stigma for being viewed as less valuable than other gifts

Step 2: Problem & Stakeholders

Problem: Four children at the youth center didn’t receive a gift from the donor because they were short. They were given hats to supplement, but now it looks bad that Jack didn’t get them a similar gift. 

  • Children Without Gifts
  • Children With Gifts
  • Jack 
  • Youth Center Staff 
  • Donor of Gifts

Step 3: Personal vs Professional Motivations

  • Children Without Gifts
    • Personal: might want to take the other children’s gifts because they feel left out 
    • Professional: N/A
  • Children With Gifts
    • Personal: might make the children without the gifts feel bad, want to keep their better gift
    • Professional: N/A
  • Jack 
    • Personal: doesn’t want the kids at the youth center to hate him, wants to be “the good guy”
    • Professional: doesn’t want to upset the staff by blaming the mix up on them or overstepping with his solution; concerned about well-being of children
  • Youth Center Staff
    • Personal: be trusted and liked by the children, wants to be “the good guy”
    • Professional: want to be respected by the children and not to be taken advantage of, wants the operation to keep running smoothly
  • Donor of Gifts
    • Personal: make kids happy
    • Professional: reach as many youth centers as they can

Step 4: Solutions

  1. The children can share the gifts so that no child goes without a gift. This solves the problem by combining all gifts for use by any child at the youth center. Assign gifts on a number system each week (to mitigate the effect of cons).
    • Pros: no child will feel excluded, and each child can have access to a variety of gifts rather than one gift. It will instill a positive lesson in the children, as sharing is important for the kids to learn. Jack will save face providing a quick solution to the imminent issue involving the shortage of gifts. 
    • Cons: children may fight over the gifts, some gifts may be neglected because the children choose others. In this situation, it is likely that the children will want something that they can call their own. Asking the children to share the gifts they were given as individuals may take away some of the feelings of pride of ownership. Not all gifts may be appropriate for all children due to the range of ages.
    • Saves Face: No child will feel completely left out anymore and everyone will be able to play at some point
    • Implications on Relationships: In the short term, some of the children might be upset they have to give up their personal gift for everyone to share, but in the long term all the children should be happy because they now have more gifts overall to play with.
    • Implications on Venture: The youth center will have to monitor when each child can play with each toy to allow everyone to play equally, so it is a little more work in the short term. But long term, hopefully everyone is happier.

2. Jack can tell them their gifts were lost, delayed, give them the hats for now. Get the children gifts at a later date.

  • Pros: eventually all children will have a gift, everyone is leaving with something at the time (although some just have hats).
  • Cons: children will be disappointed until they receive their actual gifts, may not be as interested in the gift at the later time, have to go out and acquire additional gifts.
  • Saves Face: Jack doesn’t blame any specific person for the children not receiving their gifts, and promises them that they will get the same gift eventually so hopefully saving his relationship with them.
  • Implications on Relationships: Children will be unhappy until they receive their gifts, putting more responsibility on Jack to make up for shortcoming. Once they receive their gift they will be happy with Jack after that.
  • Implications on Venture: Short term the youth center (or Jack) will have to spend money out of pocket to get the children their gifts. The children will potentially be upset until they get the gifts. But long term everyone will receive a gift of the same caliber.

3. Jack can take the children who received the black hats aside and make up a fun story to tell them about why the hats are special and how they can use them to play a game of some sort. Make modifications to hats to make them more appealing, add a fun experience to the gift.

  • Pros: This will make the children feel better about not receiving one of the other, more exciting, gifts. It will allow Jack to preserve his relationship with the children. It will avoid setting a precedent or creating a conflict with the staff at the center. This also preserves Jack’s status with the children, which will prevent them from walking all over him because he acts too sympathetically.
  • Cons: The children may see right through the act, making them still feel left out. The staff may be wary that you have chosen to act when they did not perceive a problem. Making decorations on hats requires additional resources- sets precedent. Kids without hats feel excluded.
  • Saves Face: Children will feel better about not getting the other gifts and they will still like Jack. Jack will make them and their gifts seem special.
  • Implications on Relationships: This is a “goldilocks” approach that will not completely satisfy the children because they are still without a conventional gift, but it does not cause conflict with the staff. By acting in this way, Jack is able to preserve relationships with the children and the staff for the long term.
  • Implications on the Venture: By preserving relationships with all parties, the motivation of the venture is saved. If partnerships were strained by the decision made by Jack, they may be less likely to continue working together / work effectively. 

Step 5: Additional Info

  • From personal experience, children like when they are singled out in a good way, so the solution that makes an interesting story about the hats may be even happier than the other kids because they now feel special.

Step 6: Best Action

  • Give the children the hats initially and do an activity / customization of them. Then, go get them their gifts. Combination of #2 + #3.
    • Avoids having any child leaving with nothing at the time
    • Customizing hats gives a fun experience for them to associate them with, so although it is perceived as “less” than other gifts originally it helps to make up for that fact
    • Does put additional responsibility on Jack, however this is essential to keep the venture and relationships running smoothly (saving face of Jack, donors, and staff)
      • Must make clear to staff and donors that this is the only time he will provide this type of charity – to avoid being taken advantage of
  • Please see above in #2/#3 for Saving Face and Implications on Relationships / Venture

Step 7: Sequence of Action

  1. Distribute available gifts along with hats to those without gifts.
  2. Take the children aside with hats.
  3. Speak to the children to establish special quality of hats / decorate the hats.
  4. Acquire additional gifts. (Inform donors that this personal donation is a one-off, and tell staff and children that gifts came from the same donor to avoid conflict about personal contribution)
  5. Distribute gifts to those with only hats.


09/03 Spencer Moros

Blog #2 Spencer Moros

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 traveling 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?

Waterborne diseases attribute for a wide range of detrimental conditions. It is advantageous to know exactly what pathogen is responsible because it informs decisions about treatment of the conditions caused (eg. effective antibiotics for gram negative bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa which causes infections) and what can be done to mitigate the pathogen’s presence in the water. Testing takes time and money. Water testing must be conducted at a variety of locations and timepoints: retrieval from source, storage, and consumption. This requires direct participation from the community to show/explain to provide accurate results. The researchers are seeking to produce reproducible, accurate data to better understand the microbiota of the water source for publication. The location of the research is Lesotho where evidence of water pathogens is present.

The stakeholders of such a situation are:

  • Community + Individuals: drink, bathe, use irrigate with water source, testing what pathogens are present informs them what precautions they should take to reduce the detrimental impact of water consumption or what treatments are appropriate for conditions caused by drinking the water
    • Individuals directly working with: may be compensated in some way (food, transportation, etc.)
  • Researchers: testing provides data for publishing in academic papers
  • Government: provide funding for water infrastructure and subsidize healthcare costs
  • Funding Source: paying for expenses of research may be due to different returns: more funding for future outreach, hoping to sell product (water treatment / filtration), build better relationship with Lesotho, etc.
  • Healthcare Providers: tertiary party not directly impacted however improving water supply may lead to less stress on infrastructure, devote resources elsewhere
  • Academic Journal: tertiary party research is groundbreaking and will lead to more revenue and respect form academic community


  • Provide transportation and some accommodations to people who assist researchers
    • Pros: motivation for those who help
    • Cons: may lead to individuals who want to go “above and beyond” and actually provide misleading information, difficulty choosing who should help: needs most assistance, has most knowledge (lead to people unwilling to assist if they do not receive same as others)
  • Find water samples on own
    • Pros: does not involve the issues presented with involving locals
    • Cons: takes much more money, effort, and time by researchers, may not find correct locations, would need to conduct much more testing instead of isolating where water is taken from and stored, may give locals impression that researchers are invading to get data and get out, reduces the positive impact of the research, no betterment of relationship
  • Do not compensate the locals: make contact as they are doing what they normally would (specifically getting water)
    • Pros: no one feels like they are being treated unfairly compared to other locals,
    • Cons: no motivation to assist except the possibility of research improving water source, make locals feel as they are being taken advantage of

This case is very complex in that the action of conducting the research does not generate an immediate positive impact on the locals as a distributed experimental device. It is a more conceptual benefit in that in the future it may lead to further investment and a solution being put into place. There is no real best answer as to what is the best course of action, however one solution I believe rises above the rest based on my personal moral compass

I believe the best thing to do is to compensate the villagers. By doing such, the villagers would be motivated to help. A way to combat the cons of this strategy is to use multiple people to verify the information provided and standardize what is given. In order to solve the issue of choosing the individuals to help one should go to respected individuals in the village and ask who they believe is best fit and most knowledgable to help with the assessment of the water. Respected individuals will have personal biases, however they hopefully will have the community’s best interest in mind. By providing accommodations to those who help it will better the researcher-community relationship allowing for even better interactions in the future and make the people feel as though they are not being exploited.

By implementing this venture the society’s technological level will be raised and the health of the community will be increased because everyone drinks water. Also, the environment may also be increased once the pathogens are cleared from the water.

08/28 Spencer Moros (Updated 09/03)

Blog #1 Spencer Moros

While trying to develop a low-cost syringe for the developing world context, you (the designer) hit a cross-roads. Constructing the syringe to auto-disable after a single use, an important safety feature, significantly adds to the cost of the design – making it potentially unaffordable for some hospitals and clinics. However, if you don’t add the safety feature, you are enabling the potential for the spread of disease. How do you as a designer proceed?

A syringe with a the auto-retraction safety feature protects those who are uninfected which slows the spread of the disease, however this is a costly feature.

The stakeholders of such a situation are the hospital + healthcare providers who are conducting tests and are directly at risk by providing testing, and community + individuals who are receiving the tests to inform them what precautions they should take or what treatments are appropriate. By implementing a retractable needle the healthcare providers benefit in that they do not contract the disease and the hospital benefits because the personnel can continue to provide care instead of becoming a patient and further taxing the hospital infrastructure. The communities benefit because they may be able to administer the tests themselves better preparing them to take precautions or get treatments, and there would be less stigma around being tested for fear of spreading the disease to others who are conducting the tests. A third party is the government because investing in the auto-retracting technology can reduce the spread of disease which thereby allows for the reallocation of funds to other essential areas.


  1. Subsidize costs to lower income hospitals by increasing costs to well-funded hospitals.
  2. Base the distribution of auto-retracting needles off of the training of the healthcare professionals.
  3. Provide trainings to lower-income using collaborative program with higher-equipped facilities.


  1. Pros: Reduce costs for lower-funded hospitals, Less concerns about wider distribution of needles Cons: Well-funded hospital personnel are at higher risk – not everyone may have the same training at the more well-funded hospital (possible less funded facilities have personnel with better training), unable to purchase same quantity as what could be purchased at lower price point (more funded hospitals most likely serve a greater number of individuals in more urban environment), distributing to less-funded facilities may only improve geographical coverage area – more efficient to increase coverage of people
  2. Pros: Giving personnel the proper equipment based on training helps to prevent accidental sticks Cons: “Better” trained individuals at higher risk and training may not have went over proper use and disposal of needles, losing a more highly trained provider is a much greater loss to the healthcare system
  3. Pros: Well equipped facilities have more outreach, Increase training of healthcare personnel in less-equipped environments, Lower risk of accidental sticks Cons: Need to compensate trainers to go out to other facilities, although training will decrease probability of sticks equipment such as sharps containers and gloves may not be accessible thereby decreasing the impact of such training

As an Emergency Medical Technician I have seen first hand the difficulty of a similar situation. Epi-Pens have a proprietary auto-retracting needle, which leads to an exorbitantly high cost. However, this cost has proven to be worth it in life-threatening allergic reactions. Laypeople are unable to properly draw up epinephrine and administer it, using an Epi-Pen this issue is solved. It has enabled many to provide emergency care before paramedics are able to arrive and saved countless lives.


My personal experience has given me reason to believe the best solution is to raise costs to more well-funded hospitals in order to subsidize the costs to the less-trained and funded facilities. By doing so, those are not trained can still provide care in a manner which eliminates or at least minimizes their risk of being exposed to a blood borne disease. Getting proper equipment in the hands of the greatest number of people will result in the greatest impact, while also mitigating the risks.


By implementing this venture the society’s technological level will be raised and hopefully the social stigma around seeking or providing treatment due to the fear of spreading the disease will be solved.


05/03 Spencer Moros

  1. Refine the detailed income statement for your venture for two years (at six month intervals) or a more appropriate time scale. Explicitly state the assumptions that underlie your financial model.

2. Refine the Business Model for your venture based on your revenue model. You may use the Osterwalder BMC to refine your business model but prepare one or more visuals that explain how your venture will work and accomplish your BHAG.

3. Develop an M&E plan for your venture.

  • Clearly list all assumptions.
  • Identify short-term and long-term success metrics.
  • Identify specific methods to measure the metrics.


Metrics of Success

  1. Maternal Mortality
  2. Profit

Long Term

  • Maternal Mortality
  • Number of people tested positive, and then pursued treatment
  • Number of districts / countries
  • Expansion into other Sub-saharan countries


Short Term – collected by DM on the ground reported back to Lehigh time digitally, along with PDFs of original documents

  • Catchment Population
  • Number of PHUs onboarded
  • Number of people tested positive
  • Number of test strip boxes sold
  • COGs and Overhead costs
  • Number of women tested
  • Number of clinics

04/26 Spencer Moros

  1. Develop a detailed income statement for your venture for two years (at six month intervals). Explicit state the assumptions that underlie your financial model.

Total overhead costs and returns are relatively stable compared to the past. However, this is difficult to accurately project due to the fluid nature of the current pandemic that is adversely impacting the global financial market. Given this high level of uncertainty, it is nearly impossible to estimate the conditions several months in advance at this point.

2. Identify two SPECIFIC funding sources for the design phase of your project and two SPECIFIC funding sources for the dissemination (implementation / distribution / commercialization) phase of your project. For each funding source, explain why this is a good fit for your project, and what SPECIFIC aspect of your project might the funding source support.

Out of Design Phase

Implementation Phase:

  1. Crowdfunding campaign during Summer 2019. This is a good fit for the venture because it shows the commitment and validity of the venture as a whole and allows us to achieve one of the main goals of the operation: a self-sustaining method of funding. Although this crowdfunding campaign is not directly self-sustaining, it contributed to the implementation of Ukweli Test Strips in Sierra Leone through the community health worker backbone that will create a self-sustaining system of revenue.
  2. World Hope International matched the crowdfunding campaign contribution. This is a good fit because of the aforementioned reasons above, but it also shows the commitment of WHI and formalizes that meaning of the word “partnership” to a greater extent than what was previously established.


3. Identify five specific partnerships that you need to forge to advance your project forward with the ultimate goal of positively impacting at least one million people. Describe exactly how that partnership might help you achieve scale and why that entity might be willing to work with you.

  1. World Hope International – provide logistical support to the Ukweli operation as they are a well-known nonprofit organization with a presence already established in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. Community Health Workers – these form the backbone of the Ukweli system by a CHWs inherent level of trust and credibility within their communities. By leveraging this partnership, Ukweli is able to gain credibility with the people it aims to serve.
  3. Sierra Leone Pharmacy Control Board – approval from the organization allows Ukweli to legally distribute the test strips within Sierra Leone
  4. Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation – Formal partnership still needed in order for the Sierra Leonean government to eventually take over the Ukweli system and manage its operation
  5. Liberian government- preliminary proposal in the works to expand into Liberia, the support of the Liberian government will be needed in order to make this partnership permanent and allow Ukweli to reach millions more people.

04/19 Spencer Moros

Blog Post #10

  1. Refine your Business Model Canvas

2. Ten practical lessons from the business (revenue) models of ventures we reviewed today (or others you research) as they relate to your venture.

    1. Envirofit uses large distributors but also smaller, local businesses in order to distribute their product to more rural areas.  We can look at this and see how we might scale up in the future in order to make the test strip widely available
    2. Envirofit heavily focuses on the impact they’re making on the people, not necessarily the product→ when reaching out for funding proposals or competitions, we can use Envirofit as an example of how we should market our product.
    3. Envirofit does impact reporting where they call their customers to evaluate their products and collect information on cooking habits and what it’s being used for. We could translate this into our project through the testing of the WhatsApp communication system.
    4. Envirofit’s Impact of 1 Million Stoves highlights the company’s real-time data that they are collecting on their website.  Being able to include something like this on our website in the future could be incredibly useful for displaying our impact.
    5. Reel Gardening really focused on simplifying the gardening process and making it easy for users to participate.  Our test strip is designed to make it easier and cheaper for medical staff and patients to use.
    6. Reel Gardening provided a simple step-by-step tutorial for their users to even further simplify the process.  Our group could look at doing informational videos or messaging for CHWs and the women in the communities on the symptoms and risks of UTI/Preeclampsia going undetected.  Offer a more visual option.
    7. Reel Gardening offers an “Our Blog” section on their website.  It provides customers with information pertaining to gardening.  From different recipes to how to collect rainwater, Reel Gardening provides its customers with all information that’s relevant to the product.  Through our WhatsApp communication system, we can look at different ways to engage UHWs with the test strips and ultimately encourage increased testing.
    8. Greystone Baker has an open-hiring policy and not only pays its employees but also goes above in beyond in providing benefits for them.  Ukweli may not be able to fund benefits/opportunities like Greystone, but we can look at providing some sort of reward or benefits for becoming a UHW.  Making certification to be a UHW something that is exciting and exclusive, while maintaining our accessibility, could encourage word-of-mouth marketing between CHWs.
    9. Barefoot College really looked at spreading their knowledge through already established social networks.  For example, they trained grandmothers in order to educate and spread the use of solar power. Similarly, we are using already established social connections through CHWs to distribute the product.  We could also potentially look into using and encouraging certified UHWs to spread the word about Ukweli and the test strips to increase interest and testing.
    10. Barefoot College works to empower women directly by giving them the tools to establish solar power in their rural communities.  We could potentially look at a way to work directly with women so we know they’re seeing an impact and feel empowered to seek medical care.

04/07 Spencer Moros

Blog #9


  1. Develop a Business Model for your venture using the Osterwalder Business Model Canvas. 


Value Propositions

For mothers in Sierra Leone, our Ukweli Test Strip is a simple, affordable testing strip for UTIs and preeclampsia that could save their lives and increase their quality of life by identifying potential health issues.

Customer Relationships


User Communities



Community Health Workers


Customer Segments

Women in Sierra Leone 

Community Health Workers 


Revenue Streams

Funding from Organizations

Selling of the actual test strips to CHWs


Key Resources 

Test Strips (OEM)


Intellectual→ Connections on the ground Hassan and his connections, data collection, 

Human→ Hassan, Allieu, Bockarie

Financial→ Funding from world hope and other organizations

Cost Structure 

Sell strips to UHWs/NICs to distribute to the catchment population–>bottle of strips cost 50,000 SL


Key Activities

*big idea 

For the Lehigh team, we need to continuously be 

  • Communicating and directing on-site UHWs (Ukweli-certified Health Workers) 
  • Collecting, storing, managing, and communicating data from fieldwork to necessary stakeholders
  • WhatsApp communication with CHWs in order to maintain relationships 


Key Partners

World Hope


Hassan, Allieu, Bockarie


  1. List ten lessons from the Business and Operations model of the Aravind Eye Hospital.


  1. Franchise system for eye care, same delivery and quality
  2. Important to identify those who need help in the first place
  3. Developing a system which integrates the communities
  4. Hub-and-Spoke model: base hospitals, vision centers, managed hospitals
  5. Use technology to increase accessibility
  6. Fixed pricing which takes into account 
  7. Focus on non-customer, grows market
  8. Gave a lot away for free, had those who could pay cover the costs of the free treatments
  9. Created competition by training other hospitals and cheaper consumables, result is beneficial to patients
  10. Cost is not directly related to quality or efficiency of care
  11. OWN THE PROBLEM – create compassion, encourage people to act

03/24 Spencer Moros

Post #8

List five compelling take-aways from the Art of the Start. 

  1. Only ask people what you yourself would do.
  2. Presentations must be short and concise in order to keep the audience’s attention.
  3. Do not try to satisfy everyone or you’ll have a product which is too broad and does not satisfy anyone.
  4. Money will follow truly revolutionary ideas which are executed well, should not be sole driving factor.
  5. The idea you have must be novel or use a novel approach.


Articulate your value propositions for your diverse customer segments. 

For the mothers in Sierra Leone, who are susceptible to UTIs and Preeclampsia, our Ukweli Test Strip is a straight forward, affordable testing strip for UTIs and Preeclampsia that could save their lives and increase their quality of life.

Discuss your Total Available Market and Total Addressable Market. List all your assumptions and hypothesis.

Our Total Available Market right now is all the mothers in Sierra Leone.  That would be a catchment population of about 3 million women by next summer. Our Total Addressable Market is the women that are currently served in our catchment population, so women who have a Ukweli Certified Health Worker in their community who has test strips. So far we have reached about 250,000 women by training CHWs in their communities.

03/20 Spencer Moros

Post #7

Start: communicating more honestly with each other for the good of our work and hold each other accountable in a healthy way that does not sacrifice the mental well-being of each team member.

Keep: the checking-in on each other to see how we are each doing both personally and professionally, and continue motivating each other through encouragement/positive reinforcement.

Stop: being frustrated and taking it out on other team members, and stop completing work for someone without asking when another person is assigned to that task.

Small Goal: Help the mothers of Sierra Leone


Big Goal: Create a self-sustaining system that changes the way maternal conditions are identified and followed up with appropriate care


Procedures/Relationships: Thus far, whenever we are unsure of which direction to go in as a group, we defer our thoughts to Khanjan and he will usually talk us through any challenges and reason with us why we should or should not do something. Generally speaking, we are able to come to a consensus without issue. I believe that we each respect each other enough to listen to what each individual is thinking and how we can get to our desired end result for whatever task is at hand.