CINQ Blog Post #3: Youth Center Case Study

During our previous CINQ class, we looked at a case study as a team that involved an American volunteering at a youth center in Kenya. After reading through and understanding the case, we were tasked with coming up with a solution to take for the American boy stuck in a dilemma surrounding gifts that were presented to the children at the youth center. Here is the seven step process our team came up with to resolve the issue Jack, the American volunteer, had faced.

1: Facts of the Situation

In the case study, Jack is an American working at a youth center in Kenya for a five month period. During his time at the center, a shipment of presents arrives for the children, and a ceremony is planned to present the children with the gifts. During the gift giving presentation, all of the children were ceremoniously presented gifts except for four children, as presents could not be found for them. After the ceremony had concluded, four black hats were found at the bottom of the box and given to the kids. Although the children received hats, it was done so unceremoniously and the gifts were not as good as what other children had received. Although the children did not call out Jack for their presents and the situation, it was clear they were unhappy and Jack felt guilty. However, the staff at the center were unconcerned with the situation and actually seemed upset at Jack for caring about the situation.

2: Problem and Stakeholders

Problem:

The four kids who received hats afterwards are upset and feel like they weren’t given the same treatment as the children who received hats ceremoniously.

Jack is afraid that this situation will hurt his reputation with the children, which could make his 5 months a lot more difficult.

The youth center workers do not believe that the four kids receiving hats afterwards isn’t a problem, and think Jack is creating a problem by caring about the situation.

Stakeholders:

-Jack: he is at the center of the controversy since the children blame him for the bad presents and the youth center workers think he is causing an issue.

-Youth Center Workers: They are working with Jack during this time, and are receiving requests from Jack to deal with the issue, who they think is making a problem out of a non-issue.

-The children: Specifically the four children who didn’t receive hats are stakeholders in this situation, although they are not as much of a stakeholder as Jack or the workers.

3: Motivations of the Stakeholders:

Jack: Wants to help the children as who he believes were mistreated. He wants the children to see him as a good person, which will help his time during his volunteer work. He also wants to maintain a good relationship with the health workers, who also can heavily influence his five months at the center.

Youth Center Workers: The youth center employees don’t see the situation as a huge issue, so they may not want to be bothered by making an effort to make everyone happy and may think there are bigger issues within the center that should be focused on instead. Professionally, they may not want to have their work criticized by an outside helper (Jack), which may influence them to dismiss his call for action to help the kids.

The children who received the hats:  The children who were left out of the gift giving ceremony probably see themselves as left out from the rest of the children and just want to be seen as equal from the perspective of the workers and Jack as well as the fellow children.

4: Alternative Solutions

1: Get the same gifts that were given to the other kids and give them to the four kids who received hats in some sort of public event.

This situation would make the four children feel equal to the other children, since they are receiving the same gifts that were given out and it is being done in a public setting. However the other children may get mad that these four kids received a hat and other presents. The relationships between Jack with the children could possibly be fixed, as they would understand that Jack cares about them, and the youth workers may appreciate that Jack is sorting things out on his own.

2: Give the four kids some sort of leadership role in an upcoming event in order to make them feel like they are on the same social level as the other children.

This situation could make the left out children feel equal through a small action that won’t make the workers upset at Jack.

3: Work in collaboration with the youth workers to help them understand what was wrong in the situation and work to plan something small but nice for the four left out children.

This situation won’t backdoor the workers, which they may appreciate, and also teaches the workers how to deal with situations like this that could arise in the future. This also provides the four children with an event that could make them feel equal, but may upset the other children.

5: Additional assistance

In general, people usually care more about the social standing and how others perceive them than the material objects that they may receive that have little monetary value. Therefore doing something that helps the four children be seen as equal to their peers would be effective. This could also be applied to the health workers, who would most likely benefit by having the kids view them in a more positive light.

6: Selecting the best course of action:

During the course, I believed that our third course of action, where Jack works with the youth center workers to come up with a solution, was the best course of action. I believed this situation would help the workers understand how to deal with situations like this in the future, while also repairing the situation that is currently presented in the case study.

7: Sequence of actions to take:

1: Meet with the youth center workers to try and help them understand the situation better, and how issues like this could be resolved in the future.

2: Work with the youth center workers to plan an event that is small enough so the other kids don’t get upset but the children who received hats feel like they are appreciated by Jack and the youth workers.

3: Implement the plan for the four kids.

CINQ Blog Post #2: Lesotho Case Study

During our previous CINQ class, we were looked at a case study as a team that involved conducting research to test water in Lesotho. After reading through and understanding the case, we were tasked with coming up with a solution to take for the research project using an ethical decision making methodology, a seven step process to determine the best course of action in certain situations. Here is the ethical decision making methodology our team came up with.

Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation 

In this case study, the main facts of the situation were:

  • A team of 11 academic researchers are going to Lesotho for two weeks to test water sources in various communities.
  • The tests are to identify disease causing pathogens in the water and understanding their life cycles and characteristics. These pathogens are only located in Lesotho and these findings could produce multiple publications and a development of chemical additives to make the infected water safe to drink in the future.
  • The team will need help from community members in terms of finding the water sources that communities drink from and learning how the drinking water is stored. The team does not see the need to pay the community members assisting the project.

Step 2: Define the Stakeholders / Step 3: Assess the motivations of the Stakeholders

Stakeholders and their motivations for this situation include:

 

  • The Research Team: This group can benefit from this research through publications of papers related to their findings, as well as accolades that can bring them professional opportunities down the line.
  • The Community Members in Lesotho: This group has stake in the project because their drinking water sources are being used. They will be drinking this water that may contain these pathogens, and the findings from the research team could produce a solution to make the water safe in the future. In addition, community members who assist in the project could receive possible compensation and other perks.
  • People who read the findings of the research: This group of people could take the information about the pathogen that was found during the two weeks in Lesotho, and use it to create a chemical additive or product that makes the water safe to drink. This could create a profit for those people and get them recognition in that field.
  • The University that is overseeing the research: The University could gain recognition through this research project, primarily through the publications of papers that their names will be attached to. This could lead to more money and grants for the school.
  • Government of Lesotho: The government of Lesotho could benefit from this research, as it could help them identify the reason for the pathogen-containing water and in the future could allow the government of Lesotho to provide their communities with safe drinking water.

 

Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions 

Solution 1: You can pay community members who assisted in the research project. The pros of this is that it is a nice thing to do and may also motivate the community members to be more helpful. The con of this option is that it would require the research project to use more money that they may need later on at some point, and it also creates a situation where it can become unclear on who should be paid for their help and how much.

Solution 2: You do not pay the community members who helped you. This situation would mean that you avoid any confusion about payments mentioned in the cons section of solution one, but no pay could make community members more hesitant to assist you, and make the members who do work with the project less motivated to assist to the best of their ability.

Solution 3: You reimburse the community members who assisted in the project only up to the amount of capital they gave up to help. This could include transportation costs and things of that nature. You also distribute the findings of your report back to the communities whose water sources were tested and make these findings available to the public back in America. This allows a company to take your information and create a solution to clean the water and makes the communities in Lesotho aware of the water issue, but can also create payment issues for the community members that helped, similar to what was mentioned in the cons section of solution 1.

Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate 

Personal Experiences from the CINQ Team: The Ebola Team that traveled to Sierra Leone this summer conducted many interviews with community members and other individuals in Sierra Leone. The team provided reimbursements for things such as travel, but did not pay the individuals for taking part in the interviews. Although they made this clear to the participants that they would not be paid, they still received good cooperation and were able to conduct effective interviews.

Past Cases: In many cases of clinical trials, the teams conduct their research and leave without any real solution to what they were collecting data on, similar to what this project is doing. Although it is not the most ideal scenario, this sort of process is still used very widely. 

Step 6: Select the best course of action/Step 7: (If applicable) What are the implications of your solution on the venture. 

Our team decided that we would conduct solution 3, which is to reimburse the community members for any personal expenses they may have put into helping the project, then after research has been conducted distribute the findings to the Lesotho government, the communities at the center of the experiment, and make the findings available to anyone who is interested in America. We believe this is the best course of action, because from a community side of things, the people who are assisting in the project would not be losing any money in order to help, and the community will be made aware of the issues with their drinking water and can figure out how to deal with it. By distributing our findings with certain sectors of the Lesotho government, help can be given to the communities on the federal level to try and solve their drinking water problem. By making the findings of the research and data available to potential stakeholders, someone can take the knowledge gained from the research project to create a chemical additive that would make this water filled with disease causing pathogens safe to consume. Therefore, even though the research project ended after the distribution of the data collected, a new team can head up a mission to make the water in these communities safe to drink.

 

CINQ Fall Blog 1: Lessons Learned from Fieldwork

1: What are the top 3 things you have learned during your GSIF trip this summer?

  1. In terms of the operation and business side of my GSIF project and the fieldwork trip, I learned you and your team often times have to constantly be checking in on progress and actions that need to be done, especially when dealing with a complex and foreign system of operations such as the Sierra Leonean government. This realization came when the team found out that although we gave money to one of our partners in Sierra Leone to pay to start the product registration process, we learned while we were in Sierra Leone that that payment had not been completed yet and the process of getting our product registered had not started. We sent the money over to Sierra Leone and more or less relied on the process to be carried out smoothly, but now seeing how that turned out, it is important to see everything through that relates to the project you are working on, regardless of if it is out of your hands or not.
  2. I also learned how much of a role culture plays in terms of how a project or venture operates in a foreign country. While my team was working on the venture in America, we tried to take into consideration how what we were trying to implement could be viewed differently in Sierra Leone. Although we tried to make edits to our training protocols and such to better reflect Sierra Leonean culture, upon arrival to our fieldwork and after having our employee, Hassan, read through the training and messaging protocols we realized that there was a lot more about the culture that we did not take into consideration. We realized how many of the things we had that would not make sense to Sierra Leoneans, and we realized how many things were necessary for us to add into our operations to best present our venture to Sierra Leone.
  3. One of the things I learned that meant the most to me was getting an actual understanding about how grateful the people in Sierra Leone were for us implementing ventures that will help their communities. Prior to fieldwork, I had an understanding of the impact we were making andI knew that we were doing good for their communities, but actually being in Sierra Leone and communicating with the people in the clinics/markets/etc made me realize just how much they appreciate all the work we were doing in their country.

2: How did the GSIF trip facilitate your professional development?

  1. This three week fieldwork trip made me much more communicative and a leader in group work and in projects. Prior to coming to Sierra Leone, I would not have considered myself a strong leader who felt comfortable calling shots or being the first person to bring up ideas. However, while I was in country, I became much more confident directing certain parts of the operations, like working with Hassan on the messaging and training sessions, because I realized that my teammates and me were the experts in how the venture should be run.
  2. Spending three weeks completely dedicated to a venture that experienced a lot of twists and turns during our time in Sierra Leone made me more comfortable dealing with adversity and having to pull things together when projects hit road bumps. The biggest example of this came when the news broke that our product registration approval would not come during our time in Sierra Leone, and that we could not launch our venture until later into the year. Although this was a big blow, however, we realized that we had to pull something together that would allow our project to still be productive during our extended wait to launch. In the end, myself and the team created a messaging protocol to get the word out about Unwell and the service it offers prior to us being able to sell our test strips.
  3. Working on this venture also forced me to look more at the bigger picture when working on projects like Ukweli Test Strips. After spending time at clinics in the Bombali District and witnessing Sierra Leonean culture and the healthcare system, I started to try to understand how an action that Ukweli takes could impact the health workers, the patients being screened, and the healthcare system that Ukweli is trying to implement itself into.

3: How did the GSIF trip help you grow personally? 

  1. During my time in Sierra Leone, I became much more comfortable branching out and getting to know and communicating with people I didn’t really know well. I realized that I would be spending three weeks with these people so I realized how important it would be for my enjoyment of the trip to get to know everyone in SL. I think this growth from SL will carry over and make it easier for me to communicate with people in the USA also.
  2. Prior to visiting Sierra Leone, I had been to a few countries before, but none that were similar to Sierra Leone. I have always been curious about cultures and countries around the world, and doing this three week fieldwork project helped me gain a much better understanding of a culture that I knew very little to nothing about only a few months ago. It was extremely interesting for me to understand the viewpoints of people of Sierra Leone and the type of lives they live, and having that experience makes me want to continue to travel and learn more about people throughout the world.
  3. What helped me grow the most personally in my opinion were the relationships I created with the World Hope International workers and translators. It was very impactful to create these relationships and see how friendships can so easily be created despite extremely different cultural backgrounds. I loved spending time talking to them about their lives and their views on different subjects, and it was extremely rewarding and eye opening for me to hear from them how appreciative they were that we came to their country to work on projects that will eventually have an impact on so many citizens of their nation.

CINQ 396 Blog 11

 

  1. Develop a M&E plan for your project.

 

Below is a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework layout for Ukweli Test Strips.

Indicator Definition Baseline Target Data Source Frequency Responsible Reporting
Goal Reduction in the maternal mortality rate in Sierra Leone. The number of maternal deaths reported by the government of Sierra Leone at some point in time during our venture subtracted by the maternal mortality rate . 1,360 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. A number hopefully much lower than 1,360 in the long run Utilize medical data from hospitals/other PHUs and records from Sierra Leone’s Government. Every other year might be a good frequency but more frequent may work. World Hope International, our partner on the ground will most likely be measuring and collecting the proper data for this goal. This statistic will be reported to the Sierra Leone government and other global health programs most likely.
Outcomes Number of women who are screened and screen positive for UTIs and/or Preeclampsia. Records kept by community health workers and other clinics regarding how many women were screened and their outcomes compared to the number of screenings prior to this venture (If that information is available). A current value of amount of women screened for UTIs / Preeclampsia is not available. The target would be to get as many women at risk for UTI / Preeclampsia in the operating regions screened. Utilize records made up by Ukweli of how many women are screened. This data could be collected pretty frequently, probably multiple times a year. This data would be kept by the health workers administering the tests to pregnant women. This outcome would be reported to World Hope International, as well as the Ukweli team in the United States. Might be beneficial to be reported to the government.
Output The mindset of seeking help and being open to communicate  when experiencing symptoms, rather than doing nothing (current problem) Track how many times women got screened or were referred somewhere else to get screened. Shows initiative to actually do something. No data available for this. A noticeable increase in women who come to doctors to get screened / talk about their health in regards to UTI / Pree Utilize records made up by Ukweli of how many women are screened. This could be monitored pretty frequently to get an idea of the change in attitude The health workers who are administering the strips/talking to patients about their symptoms/referring This output would be reported to World Hope, the Ukweli Team, and possibly different government organizations.

Some of the assumptions used to create this framework included:

  • Messaging, communication, and advertising measures are effective and reach enough of the intended audience. If this assumption is carried out, then the goal, output, and outcome will be reached.
  • The tests will be accurate in its screening. If they are not accurate, then women who have UTIs/Preeclampsia may not screen positive, which is detrimental to helping women with these problems. If these women are not helped, the maternal mortality would not be lowered as much as it could, and not as many women would seek out this screening.
  • The strip is priced appropriately. If the strip is too expensive in the eyes of the women, then the goal and outcome cannot be reached

The logic model that would be in place would look something like this:

 

Inputs Activities Outputs Outcomes Goal Alignment
-Funding

-Partnerships with OEMs, World Hope International

-Team of college students/professors

-Delivery of test strips to health clinics/workers in Sierra Leone

-Training of health workers on UTIs/Preeclampsia, how to use the strips, how to advertise it to women

-Number of women screened

-Number of women that screen positive

-Number of women referred to other health clinics to get

-Better health for mother and baby

-lowering of the maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate

-If all falls into place the way Ukweli is intending it to, then the outcomes of the operations would align very well with the goal.

 

 

2) Estimate the Social Return on Investment for your project.

 

For this social return on investment, to see how much money is generated per $1 spent, I am deciding to look at it in terms of $1 spent solely on test strips due to the fact that the strip costs are most traceable and factoring the overhead spent and other costs associated would make this very complicated. Therefore, assuming we produce each test strip for two cents (the current rate), we would multiply the social return for one strip by 50 in order to get it in terms of $1 spent. We would also have to assume the price that a health worker buys a 100 strip box for from World Hope and how much they sell each strip for in order to figure out the profit per strip they would make. We would also have to assume how much a women in Sierra Leone would have to pay for a strip that is currently on the market in order to see how much money they would save purchasing an Ukweli test strip. Assuming a health worker purchases a 100 strip box for $5 ($0.05 per strip) and sells each strip for 2,000 Sierra Leonean Leones ($0.23), they would be making a profit of $0.18 per strip, or $9 if they sold $1 worth of strips (50 strips). According to our crowdfunding video, a single UTI screening test at a clinic costs roughly $2, so assuming that is the actual price, women will save $1.77 buying an Ukweli Test Strip for $0.23 from a community health worker. Therefore, when only considering the money associated with buying and selling test strips, for one test strip Ukweli generates $1.95 of social impact between the health worker administering the strip and the women getting tested. This equates to $97.50 generated for $1 spent solely on test strips. However, since this only focused on the cost to produce strips and not the money spent on overhead, etc, the number calculated for generated money may be higher than it actually is.

 

CINQ 396 Blog #10

 

1) Funding sources for dissemination

 

 

Since Ukweli is a few years into the venture, our project is out of the design phase for the most part, and we are more focused towards developing our project currently in the dissemination phase of the project.

1: Crowdfunding: Ukweli Test Strips have been in discussion about pursuing funding for our project through crowdfunding efforts, and have taken the initial steps in order to pursue crowdfunding. The crowdfunding could be conducted through either of the two main crowdfunding sites available, which would be Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Although receiving a large amount of money through a health related venture such as Ukweli might be a little tough through crowdfunding, it definitely is not out of the realm of possibility to acquire. As of now,  Ukweli has laid out a plan for a crowdfunding video, which will include both an animation that depicts the life of a pregnant mother in Sierra Leone who is living with the threat of contracting a UTI or having preeclampsia, and also outlines what our project is, what our team is doing right now, and what the goals of the project are. We have filmed our team members doing the speaking parts of the video, so once the animations and editing have been squared away we will be ready to launch our campaign to the public.

Our partner in Sierra Leone, World Hope International, has agreed to match funding we receive from outside sources up to $6,000, making them a source of funding for us as well. This agreement makes World Hope International a source of funding for Ukweli Test Strips as well, but this source of funding is dependent on us receiving an adequate amount of funding from other sources. This is why we are hoping to acquire a minimum of $6,000 from crowdfunding, in order to receive the full money that World Hope has offered to pay.

2: Saving Lives at Birth: The Saving Lives at Birth grant is a funding source supported by Grand Challenges Canada, USAID, NORAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, and KOICA. This grant calls looks to fund prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor and hard to reach communities, which is exactly what the Ukweli Test Strips venture is focused on. As a project that has been in the works for multiple years at this point, Ukweli Test Strips is looking to transition to scale in the near future, which is the type of venture and innovation that Saving Lives at Birth is looking to support. Saving Lives at Birth looks for projects that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable, which is something Ukweli has built their model around, and Saving Lives at Birth also focus on three different areas: science and technology, service delivery, and demand creation. While the physical product Ukweli offers is not a scientific breakthrough, our venture is made special due to the approach it takes on solving the last mile approach of getting the strips to the hard to reach and underserved communities in Sierra Leone, so this venture falls into the service delivery aspect that Saving Lives at Birth focuses on.

 

2) Income statement and assumptions

Pictured here is the Income statement that has been constructed for Ukweli for the first three years after it has officially launched as a venture in Sierra Leone. As you can see, we are expecting large increases in sales each year for the first three years, but all of the costs associated with the venture increase as well, leading to the losses in total income increasing. Although these losses may be concerning, it is not unusual for this to happen to non-profit and social ventures when assessing income just based off of sales.

One of the assumptions that was made in the creation of the income statement for the sales account is that the messaging and advertising for the venture is effective, and awareness of Ukweli and it’s services increases and spreads to other parts of Sierra Leone outside of the Bombali District that the venture is currently focusing on. With awareness of the venture growing, more women will know the importance of getting screened for UTIs and Preeclampsia, which will therefore mean more boxes of strips will be sold, which obviously would create more revenue for our venture. The assumption that the current mindset of doing nothing regarding UTI and Preeclampsia signs and symptoms will change during the time can also tie into the idea of sales increasing. Even if the workers on the ground follow protocol in advertising the strips, if people don’t change their attitude about not doing anything if they experience symptoms that could be related to UTIs and Preeclampsia, then the strips would not sell as well as we would hope.

Some other assumptions we have made that relate to the cost of goods sold account is that the rate we are getting for the test strips will continue to be roughly the same. This would most likely be the case if we continue to work with our current Original Equipment Manufacturer, WangCheng, so that is something we factored in.

We also assume that the overhead for the venture will continue to be high. From what Ukweli has observed, the overhead is very high for the venture, and we did not anticipate for those rates to decrease when the income statement was created.

 

CINQ 396 Post 4/22/19

Develop a detailed business model canvas for one of the following social enterprises: One Acre Fund, Acumen Fund, or Envirofit International. Integrate insights from at least five different valid sources for your chosen social enterprise and provide those citations in your blog.

 

Business Model Canvas for: One Acre Fund

 

Value Proposition

One value proposition of One Acre Fund could be, “Financing and training farmers in East Africa in order to eradicate hunger and poverty”. A value proposition that focuses more on the micro aspects of the One Acre Fund could be, “Ensuring healthy, well-fed families throughout East Africa through funding and educating smallholder farmers”.

 

Key Activities

One of the main activities that One Acre takes part in loaning assets to the farmers in East Africa. One Acre provides seeds and fertilizer to the farmers on credit, and offers them flexible repayment options so the farmers are not faced with heavy financial burden through the process. One Acre Fund also makes distribution of the assets a key activity for their organization, as they deliver the resources to locations that are within walking distance and close for all the farmers receiving them.

One Acre Fund also carries out training for farmers. During this activity, One Acre gives training to farmers on how to best manage their crops throughout the season and provide them with modern agriculture techniques so they can get the best production possible out of their crops. In addition to the training on how to best produce crops, One Acre Fund also offers education on crop storage solutions and market fluctuations, so the farmers understand how to best maximize profit for themselves. (Our Model)

 

Key Resources

One of the main resources One Acre Fund has is the supplies such as seeds and fertilizer that is given to the farmers to help their crop production. Without these resources, the organization would most likely be unable to take the first steps in creating a more effective and sustainable farming.

One Acre Fund also has the resource of agriculture expertise. This resource is important to the organization, as it is what is bestowed upon the farmers that allows them to maximize their farming productivity and in turn gives them a chance at earning a higher income.

 

Key Partners

One of the larger partnerships for One Acre Fund is their association with USAID. This partnership between the two parties began in 2012 and is funded through the Development Grants Program and the Global Development Alliance, and most recently, this partnership has seen two grants awarded for a total of $6.4 million dollars. (USAID)

One Acre Fund also has a strong partnership with the Pershing Square Foundation. PSF made a $500,000 investment to One Acre during its early stages in 2008 and has since supplied One Acre with over $10 million in additional funding to help the organization run its operations more effectively. (One Acre Fund)

However, the largest partnerships for One Acre Fund is the partnerships that the company takes up with the local farmers in East Africa. These partnerships see One Acre Fund supply the farmers with resources and training, and the farmers take on repayment plans so One Acre recovers what they provided for the most part.

 

Customer Relations

One Acre Farms creates a solid system of customer relations, as it provides these farmers in East Africa with the assets they require (seeds, fertilizer, tools) in order for them to have the means to grow good crops. In addition to the materials, One Acre ensures that farmers will be able to maximize their crop growth and profit and be self sustaining by providing them with the training and education needed in order for the farmers to fully understand how to harvest these crops and sell them in the markets. This method of supplying the farmers with what they need, but also educating them so that down the road they can effectively produce crops on their own would appear to create better relations than if the organization just supplied the resources to the farmers without actually teaching them how to utilize them in the most effective way.

Channels

One Acre Fund creates a channel of farming supply delivery to farmers that is both accessible and better financially for farmers. By delivering the supplies to locations close to farmers and providing them on a loan that allows the farmers to provide the repayment however they want over a certain amount of time, this channel makes it easy for farmers to grow their production. One Acre Fund also provides an education channel to the farmers that allows them to learn how to best manage their crops and make the most income and return on what they’re growing.

 

Customer Segments

One Acre Fund is mainly focused on bettering the lives of smallholder farmers, specifically located in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Malawi. These smallholder farmers that One Acre is targeting lack the money and ability to access basic assets such as seeds and fertilizer, and do not have the proper training and knowledge to maximize their crop production, which is why One Acre Fund comes in and provides these farmers with both funding and training to expand their operations. (One Acre Fund)

 

Cost Structure

One cost that One Acre Fund takes on is for the traveling they do, both for the delivery of fertilizer, seeds, and other assets, as well as the traveling that is done to provide education and training to the farmers, who are often located in remote areas. One Acre Fund also takes on costs just to purchase all of the resources that are then given to the farmers. Although the fertilizer, seeds, and other farming assets are paid back by the farmers in the end, those are still initial investments that One Acre Fund has to make.

 

Revenue Streams

Farmer loan repayment from farming resource lending is the largest revenue stream, as it repays roughly 75% of One Acre Fund’s field expenses. The rest of the field expenses are financed through donor money. In the future, One Acre Fund looks to increase in operations so that the repayments provide enough revenue to fully fund the field expenses that the organization takes on. (How We Grow)

 

Citations:

“How We Grow.” One Acre Fund, oneacrefund.org/what-we-do/how-we-grow/.

“One Acre Fund.” Pershing Square Foundation, pershingsquarefoundation.org/case-study/one-acre-fund/.

“One Acre Fund.” The Life You Can Save, www.thelifeyoucansave.org/where-to-donate/one-acre-fund.

“Our Model.” One Acre Fund, oneacrefund.org/what-we-do/our-model/.

“USAID.” One Acre Fund, oneacrefund.org/about-us/press-and-awards/usaid/.

 

CINQ 396 Blog 4/5

List five take-aways from Guy Kawasaki’s talk and explain exactly how you will integrate that concept/construct/strategy into your project. Make it compelling. Don’t write generic forgettable text.

1: An important topic that Guy Kawasaki touched on during his talk was the importance of creating a MAT, or an outline of your ventures Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks. Creating milestones creates a focus for your team to strive for, and motivates the team to continue to push forward in their research/mission, while the tasks clearly lay out what needs to be done by the team in order to reach those milestones. The assumptions that are made are also important in reaching those milestones, as they could dictate how the team can operate in certain facets of their venture or react in certain situations. Ukweli has laid out our major milestone of getting our venture to launch, and has laid out the tasks needed to be done by each member of the team, but we have some assumptions about how the structure and work in Sierra Leone operates, and that is something that has to be confirmed or adjusted.

2: Kawasaki also highlighted the importance of hiring people who are “infected” with a dedication for your cause and company, as it progresses your venture forward. Although Ukweli Test Strips has Hassan carrying out various operations for us, we have talked about looking to bring another person in Sierra Leone onto the team to assist Hassan. This is where the idea of hiring an infected person can come into play, as we should be looking for someone who would love working for our project and working to carry out our milestones.

3: Kawasaki’s idea of not asking people to do something you wouldn’t do also stood out to me. I interpreted this just as respectfully treating people who are helping your venture, and I believe this is one of the more important things we could do in Sierra Leone. I believe that in country we make sure that the workers feel like they are being treated in a fair and respectful manner, and they feel like we are not asking too much of them in order to progress our venture. This would give our company a good reputation and also potentially make our operations more effective.

4: Kawasaki also highlighted the importance of flattening the learning curve. In terms of our project I think we could apply this concept to the training and educating of the workers in Sierra Leone who are administering the strips. With work currently being done on the marketing and training pamphlets for the PHU workers in Sierra Leone, it is important to make it as easy as possible for the workers to understand and retain the information that is needed to make their jobs related to our venture effective. If it is difficult for the workers to understand the workings of the strip and the overall operations of Ukweli they could perform their tasks incorrectly, or not effectively convince people to get screened.

5: I also believe it is important to keep in mind Kawasaki’s idea of niching oneself. Although the test strips offered by Ukweli are already distinguished from and offer more value to women than the competitor strips, we should not become satisfied with what we already have. Adding preeclampsia to the strips does bring additional value to the end users, but I feel like we should still look for ways to increase value to pregnant women in the future.

 

Present a business model canvas for your venture.

1: Value Proposition

Ukweli offers a specific, affordable, and accessible three parameter test strip that screens women for UTIs and preeclampsia.

2: Customers of Ukweli

The direct customers of Ukweli include the various peripheral health units and pharmacies that are buying the strips from our team, then distributing them to the end users of the test strips, which would be the pregnant women and women in general of Sierra Leone who would be at risk of contracting a UTI or who could have preeclampsia.

3: Channels for Distribution

At the moment Hassan is the main channel for distribution to get the test strips from the World Hope Makeni office to the PHUs in the area. Although having a man on a bike deliver the strips seems unreasonable, it is the most effective method in that context and situation.

4:Customer Relationship

A lot of the customer relation with the PHUs falls upon Hassan to carry out. Since Hassan is the one doing the selling to the PHUs, as well as the one carrying out the training for many of the CHWs, he is the one that is carrying out the most regular communication with people on the ground on behalf of Ukweli.

5: Revenue Streams

Our revenue stream is based solely upon selling our test strips to the PHUs, who would then sell the strips to women to create a source of revenue for themselves.

6: Resources

Lehigh University serves as our major resource, as it contains many of the resources inside of it that we use to test the accuracy of the test strips and other factors. Another resource to consider is the already established relationships in Sierra Leone. This resource cuts out the often difficult task of establishing ties in a new country.

7: Partners and Suppliers

Our main partner is World Hope, who has employees working to expand Ukweli’s venture in Sierra Leone. Our OEM supplier is Wangchen, based in Jilin, China.

8: Activities

The main activity of Ukweli’s operations is to distribute test strips to the PHUs that will screen women for UTIs and Preeclampsia. Another operation of Ukweli is facilitating the training of workers who administer test strips, as well as organizing the manufacturing of the test strips.

9: Costs

Ukweli takes on high overhead costs associated with running the venture, which is one of the main reasons our team requires more funding. We also have labor costs for Hassan that we need to account for.

CINQ 396 Post 3/29

  1. List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate.

With our project moving into the launch phase, a lot of the questions that were had about our project and its stakeholders have been answered for the most part. However, there are a few assumptions that will have to be looked into further to get a better understanding of our customers and end users.

  1. Our end users are more willing to talk to to health workers. Although we know that this is usually the case, we should figure out just how many women still feel okay with talking to/going to male workers on the topic of UTIs since that could influence our marketing strategies.
  2. The women in rural areas are not as likely to be able to read as women in more urban areas. Although that is usually the case, getting a better idea on the literacy breakdown between rural and urban areas can give us a better idea on how we could go about advertising and informing them of our strip and health information.
  3. Pharmacies do not get as many women coming to them about UTIs. We believe this is the case due to the gender makeup of pharmacy workers being mostly male, but doing more research on this could confirm this and give us a better idea on the marketing approach they should take for our strips.
  4. The hospitals may be able to use more text based advertising since they are often located in more urban areas. This ties in a little bit with the assumption of literacy rates being higher in urban areas, but if we find that the literacy of the patients coming to the hospitals are not higher than other PHUs then that changes how they should market the strips to the end users.
  5. The community health workers do not have enough training to complete a preeclampsia blood pressure test after initial screening. My team was talking about implementing a blood pressure test after a patient screens positive for preeclampsia, but said community health workers probably should not handle that. We should see if they are capable of carrying out those tests, as it would make the process easier.
  6. Some of the PHUs will look to use these strips as a way to make extra profit. This is something that we would not want to validate, as it would mean PHUs are unethically selling them. This is where the training to educate on when and how to use them is important

 

  1. List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.

With our venture past the early starting stages and moving into an actual launch of a venture, most hypotheses that could have been had about our project have already been answered. However, there are still some hypotheses for our venture that can still be further tested.

  1. Having advertising for the strips at mother support groups will increase the number of people who get screened.
  2. Word of mouth advertising will be much more effective than any other form of advertising.
  3. If we include screening for preeclampsia on our strips, it will still be easy to read and the accuracy of the results will not diminish.
  4. The introduction of the quality control stickers on our bottle will ensure that no defective stickers will be used.
  5. The radio program will heavily increase the number of people that end up getting screened.
  6. If we add another member to the Ukweli team on the ground to accompany Hassan more people will get screened.
  7. Posters are the best type of visual marketing to get women to get screened. Although posters are very effective, it might still be a good idea to confirm that there is not another form of visual that would work better.
  8. The marketing strategies will have to change during different seasons. Although we are pretty sure this will be the case, we should look into this further to determine if/how much the marketing strategies would change.
  9. We would neet to create training sessions for PHUs on marketing the strips. We could test this and see how well the PHUs are currently putting information about screening and UTIs and then determine how much training is needed based off this.

 

  1. What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific.

I think the obvious skillsets I bring to my team include marketing skills and graphic design skills, which are what my main tasks for the semester are based around. My marketing abilities will help the team create packets that will eventually be distributed out to the different stakeholders of Ukweli Test Strips (CHWs, Hopitals, other PHUs, etc.) that will outline how they should go about advertising and informing the target end user about both the product that is being offered as well as UTIs and Preeclampsia. This would generate a higher number of women who ask for the screening as well as increase the number of people educated about these health issues, and these two outcomes kind of go hand in hand. My graphic design ability has already started to help the team, as I designed new packaging for the test strips that has been sent to the manufacturers for production.

A less obvious thing that I feel like I can bring to my team is the ability to stay calm and collected in stressful situations. Throughout my life, during sports and various everyday activities, people have commented to me about how I always appear very calm even when things are not going right, so I feel like that quality is something I could instill in the rest of my team members. During the course of this project, both during this semester at Lehigh and on the ground in Sierra Leone, unforeseen circumstances will arise in our project that will cause issues for the team. In situations like that, I feel like my ability to remain calm could be taken up by the rest of the team, which would result in us overcoming the problem in a timely and effective manner.

I believe a strength of mine that has improved over the course of this project and class is my diligence. Although I was a fairly hard worker prior to coming on to this project, I feel like knowing I am working towards a larger goal than just a grade for the class has made me more motivated to do good work. I feel like I proved this to myself when I had to put multiple hours in a single night into designing new packaging for the test strips, then learning a new system of graphic design on Mac when the format of my design wasn’t right for the manufacturers.

A weakness that I have discovered is that I could be a better captain at times. Although I do not think this has been an issue up until this point, I have realized that there have been times when I could have taken charge on something our team was talking about during our weekly meetings, but left the talking up to someone with more experience on the team, so that is something I have to work on.

 

Identify ten specific things you will do to strengthen your next presentation (and responses).

After reflecting on the presentation given by Ukweli Test Strips and after reviewing the feedback we had received, some ways I believe we could improve our next presentation and question and answer segment are as follows.

During the Presentation:

  1. One of the judges said that they see a potential challenge in us getting people to care a lot about UTIs due to all the other problems Sierra Leone has. Because of this I feel like we should emphasize the impact UTIs have on both the micro/individual level and macro level in Sierra Leone to prove to the judges that this is someone that people should focus on.
  2. Be more clear about who we are working with and who our partners are. We touched on it briefly in our first presentation, but looking at the comments from judges it seems like they missed that point, which could impact our credibility
  3. Clarify where the extra funding we are pushing for will go. We mentioned that we were looking for at least $10,000, but when it came to question and answer time some people were curious regarding how it would be distributed, so clarifying that during the presentation could help us.
  4. Discuss more in depth facts about the strip (Accuracy, shelf life, how often they become defected, etc.). Our project would gain a lot more credibility if we prove the strips are a product that actually works.
  5. Provide details regarding training of the people administering the test strips. Showing that we have a plan for the workers to effectively continue the project while the team is not in Sierra Leone is important.
  6. Mentioning the costs we take on and revenues more in depth would be beneficial in my opinion. Although no one really asked about it during the first presentation, showing a break down of everything could show that our project is developed and would be sustainable and successful.

During the Question and Answer Time:

  1. Have everyone participate in answering questions. It will make the team as a whole look stronger in the eyes of the judges.
  2. Utilize back up slides when answering questions. Our team had them in our presentation but did not show them when they would have been applicable.
  3. Avoid giving vague answers. Using numbers and specific names/actions would boost the credibility of our work.
  4. Do not carry on during answers. It is much more effective to say only what is most important in order to answer the question and not add fluff to it.

 

Does your work require IRB approval? If yes, articulate your detailed IRB strategy.

Since our work does involve studying pregnant women in Sierra Leone and most likely the workers under the direction of the Ministry of Health as well, our project would require approval from the IRB. Since our project does deal with pregnant women, we are working with a vulnerable population under the IRB guidelines. This means that we would have to go through extra steps to indicate that we would be working with this group in order for our project to be approved to move forward.

Another aspect of our project that should be considered when working towards IRB approval is language. Although English is spoken fairly frequently throughout Sierra Leone, Krio, Mende and Temne are also popular, meaning some of our research would possibly require working with those languages. Since we do have the potential to be working with non-English speaking populations, this is something that would have to be outlined in our IRB approval request along with the work being done with vulnerable populations.

 

Develop a Logic Model for your venture.

CINQ 396 Blog due 3_8-22maoga

CINQ 396 Post 2/22

Based on your life experience, skills, and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?

I am a very creative person, and in my free time I like to do graphic design and make art. Therefore, my design process would be creative and artistic to reflect those characteristics. My design process would be much more focused on the look and aesthetic of the final product rather than the technology behind it, since that is not a strong point of mine. My design process would produce a product that would be visually pleasing, whether that be using a minimalist style or something that pops. As someone who also is marketing minded, part of my design process would also look at the packaging that the final product would be placed in. The packaging would have a similar approach to the product, which is an approach that uses creativity and an artistic take to create a visually pleasing final object. With a creative and good looking design, the outcome of the design process would be effective because it would catch the attention of someone, making it more likely that they would use the product.

 

How will you validate your project concept, technology, usability, operational/business model?

Since the Ukweli test strip project has been worked on for a few years, the validity of the test strip in terms of its technology is pretty solid. Research has been done on how the strip should be manufactured, and last year months of research and testing was put into the strip to make sure that the technology in the product was working in the way it was intended to work.

Although the technology in the strips that helps detect UTIs works well, more work needs to be done in terms of the strips usability. The test strips are sensitive to light, temperature, and humidity, and can become defective and provide false readings as a result of those factors. Therefore, use of faulty strips can negatively impact the validity of the project and product. Currently Ukweli is looking into the use of stickers that would be placed on the packaging of the test strips that would identify if the group of strips has been exposed to too much sun, heat, or humidity, meaning they are defective and unable to use. This would improve the validity of the products, as it would ensure that only properly working strips would be used.

In terms of operational and business models on the ground in Sierra Leone, Ukweli has been working to increase their validity and is on the right path in doing so. Working with World Hope in Makeni gives Ukweli a partner that is highly trusted and respected by the citizens of Sierra Leone, which helps the validity of the project tremendously. One thing our team is working on that would improve business and operations validity is acquiring a marketing license. This form that outlines the product, manufacturing, distributing, and all other aspects of the project would give people a better understanding of our business operations and would also allow us to distribute the test strips throughout Sierra Leone.

 

Articulate your philosophy of engagement with communities, partners, and markets in Sierra Leone.

Engagement between the communities, partners, and markets involved with the Ukweli Test Strip project is crucial to ensuring the best outcomes the project can achieve. In terms of engaging with the community, we have to interact with them to make sure that we are operating our project in a way that they are satisfied with and actually gets them involved in our project. If they do not think that we are credible or if they do not approve of how our project is operating then they won’t buy into what we are trying to accomplish. In addition, if we are not implementing tactics that get the communities interested in what we are trying to achieve, then we will not attract enough people from the communities that are needed for our project to create widespread positive change.

It is also of high importance to have constant engagement with our partners, especially World Hope, while on the ground in Sierra Leone. Since World Hope is our main partner on the ground and has employees working on our project, we need to constantly be interacting with them about progress in the project as well as developments that they should be aware of in order to continue effective operations on their end. Without this engagement, a disconnect could develop in terms of what they are doing on the ground and what we are expecting of them.

Finally, engagement with the market and distributors of the test strips is needed in order for our operations to be effective. We are going to have our product within the healthcare system of Sierra Leone, which is a very complex structure that has a lot of intricacies. Therefore, our communication with the market is essential for us to understand the system better, which would help us understand how to operate our project on that front.