Over the course of two classes, we discussed the idea of “conceptual frameworks” and how we could integrate them into our specific ventures, but also how we could use them to look at the Global Social Impact Fellowship as a whole. By identifying the key systemic issues that are creating the problem of focus for our venture (maternal mortality in Sierra Leone for Ukweli’s case), and a little bit of artistic talent, we created a two part conceptual framework, one which highlights the issues causing high maternal mortality and the other focusing on how Ukweli helps resolve those issues to create situations where mothers can safely deliver their babies.
This graphic illustrates the barriers, or the “mountain”, that inhibits pregnant women from either reaching a Peripheral Health Unit for screening, or from reaching a PHU at all, which is a major factoring in the high maternal death rate of Sierra Leone. The barriers that exist consist of transportation issues, poor education regarding health and maternal health, cultural stigmas surrounding urinary tract infections and preeclampsia, low income of the patients, and a lack of medical resources nearby to the women who need maternal health assistance.
This is the graphic of the conceptual framework that outlines how Ukweli is working to bridge the gap between the women in communities and screening services for their maternal health. By instituting a system that is specific, affordable, accessible, and empowers the health workers within the communities in which pregnant women live, Ukweli is able to create a service and a product that is more effective in potentially lowering the maternal mortality rate than the current system in place. The affordability helps alleviate the barrier of low income for these women, as Ukweli’s strips are a fraction of the cost of current strips on the market, while the accessibility and the fact that CHWs are now able to screen takes away the barrier of women having to potentially travel hours to the nearest clinic to get screened, which usually discourages women from getting screened at all.
GSIF Conceptual Framework
This conceptual framework outlining the Global Social Impact Fellowship revolves around the 3 main individuals or groups that allow for the projects and program as a whole to be successful, with those being groups being students from multiple disciplines at Lehigh, the professors and faculty that oversee and serve as mentors to the projects, and the in-country partnerships that allow for effective communication and logistics to be organized in the countries of focused. Together, those three players utilize their unique skillsets and expertise to create the large, overarching goal of the GSIF program, which is Impact. Using the resources available, some of which are outlined in the blue ring, these players are capable of creating Impact on many aspects of life, which are outlined in the outer ring of the visual. The aspects of life that positive impact are being created for include things such as reduction of maternal mortality, providing sustainable and locally sourced food that provide employment for individuals, reducing stunting and malnutrition in children, and many other issues that are looking for solutions.