You are on page 1of 5

Page 1 of 5


Organizational Network Analysis of Humanitarian 3D Printing in Rural Kenya

Principal Investigator: Dr. Karla Kitalong,, 906-487-3252

Co-investigator: Noah Kozminski,, 906-370-9870

This study is a research project designed to gather information by an interview and survey method. It
focuses on identifying the interests, capabilities, and needs of organizations in East Africa which have a
focus on technology, innovation, and healthcare, especially 3D printing. The collected data will be used to
create an organizational network map depicting these groups’ overlapping and separate interests,
specialties, and needs, to promote easier and more effective coordination and collaboration.
Noah Kozminski, co-investigator for the project, is an undergraduate student in Scientific and Technical
Communications program, Department of Humanities, Michigan Technological University. Dr. Karla
Kitalong, the principal investigator, is his advisor for this project.
Kozminski is a communications specialist for Kijenzi, one of the key groups involved in the study. He
spent June and July of 2017 in Kisumu, Kenya, working with Kijenzi at hospitals and with technology
and innovation groups in Kenya, which has given him access and connections to many of these
organizations, and an understanding of the sociocultural environment surrounding 3D printing technology
in the region. Kijenzi is a humanitarian venture seeking to strategically implement open-source 3D
printing technology in East Africa’s medical sector.
The potential for 3D printers in humanitarian aid work has captured the interest of practitioners in the
field [1], as 3D printing can have positive effects on nearly every step of the humanitarian supply chain
[2]. Use of 3D printing technology has been adopted by organizations operating in the East Africa, such
as Field Ready [3], and has been demonstrated as effective in medical and humanitarian response contexts
[4, 5].
However, this idea and many of the ventures pursuing it are in a pilot or even conceptual stage [6], and
while there have been efforts to form like-minded consortiums [7], there is no consolidated service
demonstrating their strengths and focuses.
This study seeks to assess the interests, capabilities, and needs of organizations in East Africa with a
focus on technology, innovation, and healthcare, especially 3D printing. The findings of this study will be
used to create an organizational network map depicting these groups’ overlapping and separate interests,
specialties, and needs, to promote easier and more effective coordination and collaboration.
I. Target Population and Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
The participant population consists of members and leaders of organizations working in East Africa in the
fields of technology, innovation, and healthcare, especially 3D printing. These individuals are expected to
be 25-50 years old, of mixed genders, engaged in technological improvement, generally being in the
middle class (relative to their country), and will be from Kenya, other East African countries, US, UK,
and Europe.
Page 2 of 5

Participants of the study will be selected based on the following criteria:

1) They hold an administrative or advisory position within their respective organization

2) They have been involved with the organization for a duration of at least six months
3) They are involved in a branch of their organization pertaining to the focus of this study (3D/tech)

Given that these individuals are fluent English speakers and have extensive experience working with
international, English-speaking audiences, they should NOT be considered a special non-English
speaking population.

Participation in the study is voluntary. Each participant will be informed about the purpose of the study
and interview procedures. They will be also informed that they may withdraw at any time without
consequences of any kind and may refuse to answer any questions they do not want to answer. Each
participant will be read the oral consent form as attached.
II. Participant Enrollment
The maximum number of participants to be enrolled is 25.

III. Recruitment and Screening Procedures

Identification of potential participants will be conducted through a list of collaborators and contacts
assembled by Kijenzi. This will involve researching websites of organizations known to be involved in
the technology and humanitarian sphere in East Africa, and compiling a list of contacts provided by those
websites, and new contacts identified through interviews (snowball sampling). This population will be
contacted by email and/or phone to gauge their interest in participating. No printed materials will be used
for recruitment.

IV. Informed Consent Process

This research is focused on finding information about organization’s goals and procedures. Questions on
the survey are phrased as open-ended, and multiple-choice questions include options for further
explanation and an “other” choice. Due to the minimal risk of the study, a waiver of written consent is
being requested. No personal information on individuals is being recorded, other than their current
position within the organization and the participant’s name recorded on the oral consent form (attached in
separate document) will be the only records linking the participant and the study.

V. Data Collection Procedures

Participants will be read an oral consent model (attached in a separate document) and if they give consent,
will be asked a series of questions (attached in a separate document) concerning their organization’s
interests, specialties, and needs, the services the organization provides and their constituents, and the
organization’s interactions with similar groups. Most participants are multilingual (Kenyan participants
speak Swahili and a tribal language), and all speak English as a primary language. The questionnaire will
be administered to them orally in English by the co-investigator, who will be recording their responses

VI. Study Timelines

The study will last from May 6 to August 28, 2018. The co-investigator will depart for Kenya on May 6,
returning to the US on July 13. May and July will be devoted to gathering contacts and background data,
and establishing a plan for July, at which point interviews will be conducted with identified participants.
The remainder of July and all of August will be devoted to conducting any remaining interviews over the
phone and compiling collected data into an organizational network map.
Page 3 of 5

VII. Study Location(s)

Surveys will be conducted over the phone or in-person in Nairobi, at locations agreed upon between the
interviewer and the participant. The international component of this research will require approval from
the Kenyan government, which includes submitting proof of local ethics (IRB) approval. The co-
investigator, who will be conducting interviews, is familiar with regional business and social customs
from previous work in the area with Kijenzi.

VIII. Participant Compensation

There will be no payment or other compensation for participation in this study.

I. Potential Risks
This study aims only to gather information about organizational practices through interview and survey
methods. As such, it presents minimal risk to participants. However, consent of each participant is sought
before conducting an interview. Participation is voluntary. Participants may refuse to answer any question
they feel uncomfortable. If participants experience any discomfort, they will also be encouraged to
contact the PI. No directly identifying information of participants will be collected in this study.

II. Benefits
There will be no direct benefit to participants. However, the findings from this study may lead to more
awareness of technology and innovation-focused organizations in East Africa. The results of this study
will be used in designing a network map illustrating related to digital rhetoric, multimodality, and
cosmopolitan subjectivity. The future research would, therefore, benefit the academic scholarship of these
areas as well as the fields of communication and education.

III. Privacy / Confidentiality of Participants

Participants will not be identified by name in this study, though other demographical data will be
collected. The data will not be shared or reported in any way that would allow for the direct identification
of participants. Responses collected from participants and their consent forms will be correlated with a
code, the key to which will be kept in a password-protected document on a private hard drive.
Unanticipated Problems/Adverse Events
There are no expected problems or adverse events associated with the interviews and surveys to be
conducted as part of this research. Should a participant feel uncomfortable, they may withdraw, and
responses will be discarded as described below.

IV. Participant Complaints

Participants seeking more information about the research will be directed to contact information for the PI
and the co-investigator. Those with any complaints will be directed to contact Michigan Technological

I. Data Management Procedures and Confidentiality
Survey responses will be recorded manually on digital or printed copies of the questionnaire form
(attached in separate document). These responses will be recorded and compiled digitally for analysis.
Physical documents will be maintained securely in the co-investigators personal possession. Digital
documents will be stored on a password-protected external hard drive belonging to the co-investigator.
Page 4 of 5

Federal IRB regulations require the retention of records for three years after the completion of the final
report. After this point, documents will be deleted or shredded accordingly.

II. Data Analysis/Statistical Considerations

The questions in the survey (attached in separate document) are phrased to allow for the collection of
quantifiable data, or easily interpretable qualitative data. Qualitative data to be collected is interpreted into
incremental responses, which will be used to compare these responses. Additional questions offer
participants to further explain their choices, and this qualitative data will provide a more holistic
understanding of the intent and goals of each organization.
Data collected from the surveys will be compiled and will be used to create a profile of each organization
interviewed. These organization profiles, which include the interests, capabilities, and needs of each
group, will then be assembled in an organizational network map illustrating how these values intersect
between these organizations. Missing or incomplete information will result in a more limited profile for
the affected organization, which may reduce the ability to compare that particular group within the
network map.

III. Participant Withdrawal

Should participants choose to withdraw during data collection, existing responses will be destroyed and
their involvement in the study will cease. Participants choosing to withdraw after data collection has
occurred will be asked if they would like to give a reason for their leaving, and all records of their
responses will be deleted or shredded.
Page 5 of 5

1. James, E.; Gilman, D. Shrinking the Supply Chain: Hyperlocal Manufacturing and 3D Printing in
Humanitarian Response; OCHA Policy and Studies Series; OCHA: New York, NY, USA, 2015;
Volume 14.
2. Tatham, P.; Loy, J.; Peretti, U. Three Dimensional Printing—A Key Tool for the Humanitarian
Logistician? J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag. 2015, 5, 188–208.
3. Field Ready. Available online: (accessed on 6 June 2018).
4. Bhatia, S.K.; Ramadurai, K.W. 3D Printing of Medical Devices and Supplies. In 3D Printing and
Bio-Based Materials in Global Health; Springer: Berlin, Germany, 2017; pp. 63–93.
5. Wong, J.Y. Ultra-Portable Solar-Powered 3D Printers for Onsite Manufacturing of Medical
Resources. Aerosp. Med. Hum. Perform. 2015, 86, 830–834.
6. Ott, D. Can Digital Fabrication Revolutionise Humanitarian Action? ICRC Blog, 2016. Available
action/ (accessed on 6 June 2018).
7. MakerNet. Available online: (accessed on 6 June 2018).