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Hi Nick – this is a great post, I also live in Uganda and am a big bean-soaking advocate! So great to hear someone else is fighting the good fight! I have not looked at your calculation but agree that the indoor air pollution reduction benefits could be significant. I do think you are overestimating how easy it is to successfully implement behaviour change interventions though, especially inside the home with gendered decision-making norms. Super happy to see this on the forum :) 

Hi Sean, thanks for doing this, StrongMinds sounds very cool! I have two questions: 

  • How does group therapy compare to 1:1 on treatment effectiveness? I understand group therapy is more cost-effective  in aggregate but am interested to know what the average effect of moving from 1:1 therapy to group therapy is on patient outcomes. 
  •  I live in Uganda and buy SSRIs without a prescription for around 600-800 Ush (15-20c) per tablet. Based on purely anecdotal evidence they seem pretty underutilised here. Obviously not all SSRIs work for all people and there are side effects, so distributing SSRIs isn't directly comparable to the StongMinds model, but I'd be interested to hear whether you consider distribution of SSRIs to people who meet the clinical definition for depression to be cost effective?

Thanks for the detailed answer - this actually sounds pretty doable!

Hey Michael, 

This is a tangent to your tangent, but are you still based in Australia? If so, how do you find Rethink's remote by default set up with the time difference?

For context, I considered applying for the same role, but ultimately didn't because at the time I was stuck working from Australia with all my colleagues in GMT+0 timezone (thanks covid), and the combination of daytime isolation/late night meetings were making me pretty miserable. Is Rethink better at managing these issues? 


Hi Lincoln and Ben, thanks for doing this!

I'm interested on your perspective on the magnitude of the cost of 'learning to do business in Africa', relative to the potential impact of a start-up like Wave. Was ease of doing business a consideration when you were thinking about whether this idea had legs? Was it a factor in choosing which countries to operate in? 

I think private sector development in Africa seems quite promising from an EA perspective, but non-financial barriers to entry make this path significantly less accessible (especially for non-citizens). I am a foreigner working for the government in Ghana, and my impression from friends in the private sector is that improving transparency and simplicity of regulatory processes (business registration, paying taxes etc.) is super important. 

However, I don't have a good sense of how important 'ease of doing business' is relative to other barriers (eg. access to capital), or whether these barriers are significant enough to prevent start-ups getting off the ground in the first place. I realise this is all quite difficult to quantify but I'm keen to hear your thoughts!