COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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erol
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COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by erol »

Things are moving apace. We still have money to spend. Latest figures here

The plan is for the next COSH funded round of help deliveries to go ahead on Thursday with the 'blessing' of the Lapta Mayor following our meeting with him yesterday.

the previous effort described here viewtopic.php?p=251555#p251555 ended with a summary of things that were 'problematic' with that effort. These were in four main main areas. The plan is to seek to progressively make improvements in these areas (and any others people might bring to my attention) with each subsequent effort and ill give an update on plans in each.

Content of 'aid packages'.

I was 'concerned' with the content of the packages. In terms of no fresh produce and just the choice of items in them and value for money issues in buying 30 times of a small packet of something. For this coming Thursday's effort we are hoping to have things like bread, flour, eggs, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, oranges and cucumbers, whilst sticking to a price range of 50ish TL per 'packet'. This in turn is leading to an abandonment of the 'aid box' concept really which brings me on to the next 'area of concern'.

Sourcing of produce.

Having decided to try and look at more 'fresh produce' for 'aid boxes' we went to starling to see what a 50TL ish box of the things listed above looked like, with a vague notion of arranging to have 30 or 40 or 50 such packages made up and individually bagged by starling ready for collection Thursday morning. It quickly became clear that such an approach was not efficient use of money. No disrespect to starling in any way but I also had concerns that there might be a temptation to put all the 'rubbish' potatoes etc in these bags or 'yesterdays unsold bread'. Hence we are going to try moving away from the whole 'standardised aid packet' approach. This has a series of potential issues around it, in terms of distribution, storage, wastage and the like but we are going to try and see how this goes. It has such massive potential benefits I think we have to give it a go. So Diana has been out yesterday and today looking to source 'in bulk' for Thursday's effort. The up sides have been immediate. Already she has source a donation at no cost of cucumbers from a neighbour of hers.
cucs.jpg
She is today, having got necessary travel permissions, in guzelyurt sourcing Oranges. We initially understood that we could get these direct from growers at about a fifth of the price that we could find locally at retail outlets. Latest info I have is that we may have sourced much larger amounts at no cost than initially thought.

This in itself does raise an issue that I would welcome feedback and input on. One of my starting principles back in the original thread was 'Zero admin cost'. The bottom line is there is a real cost to obtaining these oranges in terms of fuel to transport them. The oranges are free but the fuel is not. I do feel a sense of unease in using money raised on anything that is not actually food. For now it is not an issue and I can absorb such costs easily and happily as a 'donation' myself but long term issues like these will become more real. I know it sounds silly but I can not get 'thin end of the wedge' thoughts out of my head.

I will continue in a bit with the other 'concern' areas.
Last edited by erol on Fri 24 Apr 2020 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by Mollie the cat »

Erol, this is a genuine offer. If anyone using transport for your good cause, if they could meet me in a local garage, unfortunately East side, I will fill their car for them.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by erol »

Mollie the cat wrote:
Tue 21 Apr 2020 2:08 pm
Erol, this is a genuine offer. If anyone using transport for your good cause, if they could meet me in a local garage, unfortunately East side, I will fill their car for them.
Thank you and will keep a note of your kind offer.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by EnjoyingTheSun »

erol wrote:
Tue 21 Apr 2020 1:48 pm

This in itself does raise an issue that I would welcome feedback and input on. One of my starting principles back in the original thread was 'Zero admin cost'. The bottom line is there is a real cost to obtaining these oranges in terms of fuel to transport them. The oranges are free but the fuel is not. I do feel a sense of unease in using money raised on anything that is not actually food. For now it is not an issue and I can absorb such costs easily and happily as a 'donation' myself but long term issues like these will become more real. I know it sounds silly but I can not get 'thin end of the wedge' thoughts out of my head.

I will continue in a bit with the other 'concern' areas.
It is impossible to run anything on zero admin, even if the admin cost is supplied as a donation it may be money that would have been donated more directly. I have a hatred of bureaucracy and admin but even I acknowledge there has to be some. The trick is to get a profit out of the admin/bureaucracy. If it saves valuable time or money by taking some time or spending some money then it is worthwhile. Just bear in mind economies of scale rarely work with bureaucracy and admin there is an optimum amount.

Think Richard Branson and the lottery. Branson wanted to run the lottery for publicity reasons, to make a lot of money in admin costs or for altruistic reasons. Take your pick. I think with recent events many's opinions might have changed on his reasons.
What lost him the gig was Camelot even running it as a stone cold business proposition would give most money to worthy causes which was ultimately the whole point of it.

You can't get side tracked by virtue signalling,you have to use some stone cold business. If it gets more food per TL in peoples mouth driving to get it than sourcing them locally then that is the main point.

Similarly the worry that some may get food that they do not necessarily warrant.
Again I hate fraud and corruption especially when a charity suffers or more worthy people miss out but think back to Live Aid/Band Aid. I'm pretty sure that the organisers realised that a massive proportion of the money raised was going to be lost in pay offs and corruption but took the view that the crisis was so urgent that even if only 10-20% of the money got through it would save lives and ease suffering.

Moving forward, this is going to be a long drawn out and ongoing crisis and speed is essential to get something in place but it can be fine tuned as you go along.
You ARE going to make mistakes, the main thing is you learn from them. The person that never made mistakes never did anything but own up to them yourself and don't let vanity convince you that you didn't cock up.

One of the best business theories I ever heard and followed was bullets then cannonballs. Which was based on old fashioned ships.
You had lots of muskets on board but could only carry an optimum amount of cannonballs because of the weight.
So you could spend days working out mathematical formulas which may or may not be accurate but it's better to fire the bullets first to see if the other ship is in range before wasting any of your valuable and scarce cannonballs. Obviously you could pick this apart by quoting physics formula's but hopefully you can see the sense of the theory. Try things before over-committing even though time is a factor.

I suggest looking into slsgjc's suggestion as a matter of urgency. If there is potential fresh produce going to waste maybe try to source that ASAP because that is going to rot long before tins of tomatoes and dried rice and I would imagine that the farmers might be planting a lot less in the short to medium term so get it while it's there.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by erol »

Thanks ETS

This kind of post is very helpful to me. Generally I am doing my best to consider and take on board any and all suggestions but am not really wasting time 'thanking' people for their suggestions and giving credit when I implement them. They know they made them and if as this evolves they see them being implemented then they should assume the credit and thanks is theirs. We are making some 'progress' on slsgjc's suggestion. See the free cukes above. And here is some (not all we got is in shown) piccies of some of the free oranges we sourced today (all be it with some fuel cost involved). If all continues to current plan these should start to get in to peoples hands and more importantly bellies from Thursday.
oranges.jpg

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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erol wrote:
Tue 21 Apr 2020 1:48 pm
I will continue in a bit with the other 'concern' areas.
Carrying on from this earlier in thread.

Recording help given

The need to and benefits of recording what help is given to whom and when are many. On our previous effort this was essentially done as a hand written list of name, address and phone number for each 'bag' given.

Moving forward I am looking to improve this in terms of, the data captured, how that data is structured and automating the capturing of data. I am fortunate to have access to free resource in terms of getting systems quickly developed and in terms of 'platforms / resource' they can run on. Ultimately I am looking to have a android based phone app that will allow people 'in the field' to efficiently record who is getting help and what help they got and when. These will not be in place for tomorrows effort but I hope to have them in place for any subsequent efforts after that. These will become tools that we will use ourselves but also hopefully they can be tools made available to others to help them in their efforts elsewhere.

What I will be working on tomorrow is the 'structure' of the data captured, even though it will be recorded predominately by pen and paper. To date we have been making lists of 'person name, address, telephone number (if they have one). I will be looking to move to a different structure based on two main connected data tables, First there will be a 'Households' table and then their will be a 'Delivered help' table. I am sorry if I am start talking in technical language but I need to get this down, with limited time. The Households table will have a key index of Household ID that will be the primary index and link for all the data in both tables. In less jargony terms the 'Households' table will tell us who is in need of help. The 'Delivered help' table will tell us who got what help and when.

Household table

This table will start with a household ID. Then we will record address of that household in terms of written address but also as GPS co ordinates because written addresses here are often of little use. We will also record the 'municipality' that household is in. From there we will then record people within that household starting with adults, then children then babies. The first adult recorded for a household will also become the 'primary contact' for that household. For each adult in a given household we will record Name, DoB, Nationality, passport number and picture of passport and contact details (phone, email, whatsapp any way to contact them). For each child in a household (age 4-16) we will record name and a picture. For each baby (age 0-4) we will record name and picture.

Of course there are issues with all of this kind of data collection in terms of 'data protection laws'. We will be working on the basis of consent of those giving us this data and with an over all policy that we will not withhold help to anyone we believe is in need of it based on either an unwillingness to give us their data or inability to do so.

Deliveries table

When we make a 'delivery' we will 'pull up' via household ID how many adults, children and babies there are in that household and then hand over help consistent with those numbers, record in writing and with picture what help was given and when.

With a structure like this, ultimately stored 'online' we should be able to produce a series of reports as needed. We will be able to show to anyone who needs to know, exactly who we are helping and where they are located and how we have helped them historically. We will be able to produce reports that tell how long it has been since a given household last got help, what that help was and even to some degree using the GPS location data an efficient 'route' to travel to get more help to people. And much more besides.

Looking a bit further down the road there is also other data I would like to start collecting in addition to that listed above. However I will leave discussion about this to another thread about plans / ideas 'going forward'.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by erol »

SD

No one knows with any certainty what the chances are that through the actions we are taking to help people not be hungry we might become vectors for the spread of coronoavirus nor to what degree individual measures taken are effective in achieving this. We will continually do our utmost to improve measures and systems in order to reduce risk of spread to the minimum that can be achieved. Our first goal will be to reach at least the same levels laid out by MM for the working of their engineers as 'essential key workers'. We will not reach this level tomorrow but I hope to get close to it and to make large improvements compared with previous efforts. I hope to report how well we did in this regard after tomorrows deliveries at some point.

Now there are 'issues' with spending money raised to help people deal with hunger on 'protective equipment'. For now these are not manifest and we can source the necessary protection supplies without cost. Moving forward this may become more of a challenge. We may need to move from 'zero admin cost' objective to a 'not more than 1%' admin cost'.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by EnjoyingTheSun »

I think with regard to recording it might be an idea to colour code/tier the recipients. Families with children and the elderly being prioritised over others. Maybe then with view that people can be moved within those categories.
There is a lot of pride with accepting help and people may visit less than they should because of that and only visiting when literally starving.
Perhaps if someone has had a food package that should have lasted 7 days who then doesn't request help for 10 days they can be red flagged to be enquired about?

Re Data protection, is that a thing out here to any degree? Try not to get bogged down second guessing possible bureaucratic problems. Re admin and bureaucracy, time is as big a cost as money. Desperate times means urgency. no-one goes to war after referring to Human Resources.

I would hope that the local authorities appreciate the help and they might be the best port of call re PPE. If they won't donate it maybe if they are getting a discount for bulk buying they can let you share in the discount.

Don't be shy rattling the tin at companies and maybe get the papers onside. Firms may be more willing to contribute if they get name checked for their generosity in the local papers.

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Re: COSH - progress update 21 Apr 2020

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Post by erol »

So we will be making a 'delivery run' tomorrow.

Here is a 'sample' of what we have managed to put together this time as a 'help packet' , with an estimated cost of 50-60 TL per packet, exact costs to come later once there is a chance to properly tally everything up and calculate such. It contains free elements (cukes, oranges) as well as paid for ones, some bought in bulk at substantial discount and some as individual elements from supermarkets with minimal discount.
packet2.jpg
this can be compared with our previous 'delivery run' packet at a cost of 51.5TL per packet detailed here viewtopic.php?p=251574#p251574
packet1.jpg
and Atakara aid packets detailed here viewtopic.php?p=251243#p251243
atakara-packet.jpg
atakara-packet.jpg (16.05 KiB) Viewed 2324 times
and the image of the 60TL Lapta bele / bestmar packets on their poster , details here viewtopic.php?f=8&t=50821
lapta-appeal.jpg
lapta-appeal.jpg (22.12 KiB) Viewed 2324 times
I think the 'progress' in this can be seen ?

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