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Dateline: Mid-March 2012
Location: MIT Sloan
by Marisa Gerla & Mary Anito

Our ghdLab project has officially kicked-off and we’re starting to get a better idea of what we will be focusing on.  This semester we will we working with the Sustainable Housing Initiative Project, or SHIP, in Mbarara, Uganda, which is a partnership with MGH here in Boston. SHIP’s goal is to help create microenterprise opportunities for patients to help offset the cost of their treatment, be it for drugs, transportation, or other related healthcare expenses.

Photo from: “Broiler Management Guide”, Cobbs, 2010,

ghdLab has been working with SHIP over the last years on a few business ideas and this year we will be looking into the poultry microenterprise business.  SHIP has already launched a pilot program with layers(a chicken which lays eggs that can then be sold into the market).  Program participants purchase laying chicks from the project organizer, as well as materials for the coop and feed for the chicks to support them through their first six months before the chickens start laying eggs.  After the six-month laying incubation period, the chickens can then go on to lay eggs for around 17 months before they are typically sold for their meat.

In an effort to help SHIP expand for the future, this year our project will take a look at two important questions:

  • In addition to the layer model, how could the broiler (a chicken which is raised for its meat to be sold into the market) model fit into SHIP’s objectives?
  • Given the high start up costs and current profit model, what is a realistic loan repayment plan?

After the kick-off meeting with our client team at MGH and SHIP we have started some preliminary research, talking to others who have launched similar projects in Africa as well as teams who have previously worked with SHIP.  Given our team’s experience with microenterprises, micro financing, as well as operations and supply chain, this should be a fun project for us to take on this semester!  Looking forward to our trip to Africa in a couple of weeks!



Notes from the field: Resource constraints and constraints on resources, as seen by a team of students in Uganda

April 16, 2011

Dateline: March 16 and 17, 2011 Location: Kyetume, Mukono District, Uganda A resource-constrained environment March 16, from the student team We visited Katosi Health Clinic, one of the two clinics run by our host organization. We were warned that the catchment area for Katosi is extremely poor. The majority of the population in the area more »

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ghdLAB toolkit: conducting strategic planning

March 25, 2011

Strategy for a rural community health program: An overview of MIT students’ 2009 strategic analysis and planning for a participatory organization serving multiple needs in rural Uganda. Kyetume Community-Based Health Care Programme (Kyetume or KCBHCP) was founded in 1994 to serve local residents of the Ntenjeru and Nakisunga sub-counties of the Mukono South county in Uganda, more »

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ghdLAB toolkit: best practices for small clinics

February 10, 2011

Operational and strategic assessment for Kampala Family Clinic in Uganda A capsule case report of analysis for improvement in finance, operations, marketing, and information technology Kampala Family Clinic (KFC) was founded in 2004 by two Ugandan entrepreneurs to provide quality, affordable healthcare to the growing middle class in the city of Kampala, Uganda.  The clinic grew quickly more »

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