Sarah is a graduate student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, MA. Throughout her studies, Sarah has focused on community-based public health interventions that engage and empower community members.
Q: What interested you in working with Kouzin Dlo?
A: Throughout my studies, I have learned that the implementation of sustainable behavior change in a community must be driven by its community members. Kouzin Dlo does just that. By providing the necessary training and resources to local women, Kouzin Dlo empowers them to be health entrepreneurs in their community. In turn, these entrepreneurs are able to continuously educate and supply their community members with the tools for safe and effective water treatment practices. This feed forward approach allows for positive, sustainable practices throughout the community, which is why I knew I wanted to get involved as soon as I heard about Kouzin Dlo. So, this July, I'll be joining the Kouzin Dlo team for two months as the summer intern and I couldn't be more excited!
Q: What will you be doing?
A: After talking with Jessica about her desire for a more systematic evaluation of the sales agent training process, a fellow Tufts student (Ina Enatsu) and I designed a survey that will be administered at three time points to future Kouzin Dlo sales agents in three communities. Ideally, these surveys will give Kouzin Dlo more insight into the motivations and the current water practices and knowledge of women when they enter the business as well as their job satisfaction after starting work. By identifying possible gaps in the training process, these surveys should enhance the satisfaction and confidence of these sales agents as entrepreneurs and health ambassadors. After all, it's the sales agents who interact directly with Kouzin Dlo consumers!
One modification to the sales agent training that is already in the works is to add a nutrition module. This would incorporate more information about the long-term effects of diarrhea in children under the age of 5 that are often caused by inadequate water treatment. So I will put my graduate studies to the test as I prepare education materials to be implemented starting in the July training sessions.
As with any business, it's important to track and report a project's outreach in the community. Therefore, I will also help measure and update Kouzin Dlo’s current impact in existing sites as well as progress in new sites. These updates will focus on funder and partner reports, but will also be useful for other communications materials and future grant applications.
All in all, these efforts will hopefully help expand Kouzin Dlo's presence in Haiti and ensure continued success. See you in July!