We spent 8 weeks living, working, traveling and conducting research with Bana and its extensive network engaging in participant observation, conducting interviews, and creating ethnographic field notes. We observed how Bana staff interacts with various members of local communities and how they conduct their menstruation education workshops and business skills training. The workshops and trainings teach schoolgirls to manage menstruation and basic knowledge needed to generate income and provide for themselves. The observations were conducted at two primary schools and five secondary schools where we were able to observe Bana interact with over 150 schoolgirls. In addition, we conducted observations at five community-meeting places, one health clinic, one Bana collection center, and repeatedly at Bana headquarters. The interview guide — created collaboratively with the Bana team — included questions pertaining to the impact the enterprise has had on personal lives and the communities. We conducted 28 group and individual interviews with Champions (saleswomen), users, parents of users, teachers, and health clinic workers. While in the field we took 87 pages of ethnographic field notes.
- Pads + Education = Impact. The combination of the availability of pads and the education efforts enables Bana to realize its mission.
- Change Agents. Bana relies on word-of-mouth communication and taps into existing communal networks in order to spread awareness of the mission. Those spreading knowledge and awareness about Bana’s mission become change agents in their community.
- Demand. Bana’s educational and outreach efforts have created greater demand for their products and services than they can currently provide given their limited resources. Mechanizing the manufacturing process of pads is one of the key steps needed to take in order for Bana to satisfy demand.
Environmental Studies, Communications
Faculty Research Mentors:
Monitoring & Evaluation Plan: In order to track the various health impacts that Bana has on the community, we created a monitoring and evaluation guide, consisting of two tools: a health data reporting system and an interview guide. The health data reporting system will help Bana understand the relationship between regional sales data and incidents of acute infections and conditions related to menstruation. The interview guide will provide further detail to the health report data and also collect feedback on their products and services so that they can improve their impact.
Theory of Change Profile: This enterprise case study documents in detail how Bana achieves its social impact. It explains how Bana spreads awareness, educates communities, and operates as a business. The report narrates the diverse impacts Bana has on local communities. This case study explains Bana’s impact model and theory of change to external stakeholders and potential investors.