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