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Market Vendors-Clinicians Cooperative

An alliance between market vendors and clinicians to increase healthcare access to Caldas' rural populations.

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Written by DeletedUser


I propose a new cooperative venture between market vendors and clinicians. Market vendors could pool together a portion of their resources to compensate and provide space for a clinician to be stationed at the market and offer health screenings to market customers for a fee. Given that some of Caldas' health needs are nutrition and maternal health, the clinician’s assessments could focus on these concerns and his/her recommendations could involve purchasing goods available at the market (e.g. encouraging pregnant women to buy and consume meats, produce, or herbs with more folic acid).

Market vendors are incentivized because the presence of a clinician would attract customers to the market (and thereby indirectly increase the chances of selling more goods), and the clinician's recommendations would directly contribute to increased vendor sales. Clinicians are incentivized to participate in this program because it facilitates access to new patient populations. Moreover, clinicians would not have to participate in the market every day of the week (just one or two); thus, they could maintain their regular office-based practice in addition to participating in the market day.


Although I have never lived in Colombia, I have spent time in Guatemala, Argentina, and Brazil. In each of these countries market days are important weekly events for community residents. Vendors sell a tremendous array of items (meats, produce, household nicnacs, etc.) and residents throng to these markets to stock up on necessary goods. Going to the market is also very gender specific activity - the majority of customers are women and mothers. Thus, the vendor-clinician cooperative is in a good position to target the population segments that most need improved access to health services (see the health overview presented in the challenge brief).

I am intrigued by the organization and patterns of human behavior. This concept is an attempt to tap into and leverage existing behavioral flows and established norms. The image for this concept is a photo I took of a piece of art by Argentine artist León Ferrari. For me, the aerial image and repeated graphic of people walking on different paths captures this idea of the patterns and regularity of human behavior.


The profits generated by this cooperative could in re-invested in the program to hire more clinicians, specialized clinicians, or provide clinicians over more market days. Building off of some of the technology and health inspirations, the profits could also be used to rent/buy specialized medical equipment.

How do you envision this idea making money?

Customers will pay a small fee to see the clinician. Clinician recommendations will encourage the consumption of market goods and result in increase vendor sales.

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

Women will be able to access health services more easily - thereby improving maternal health and family nutrition.

How does this idea add social value at every step of the process?

With greater access to clinicians, customers will learn how to take better care of themselves and their families. Through increased revenue, both market vendors and clinicians will be in a better financial position to provide for their families and communities.

What are the short term steps we could take to implement this idea tomorrow?

-map the location and determine the frequency of markets in Caldas -estimate the total number of people visiting markets and identify the demographic profile of customers -identify clinicians and market vendors willing to form the cooperative -conduct market and qualitative research to understand if market customers would be interested and willing to seek out health services while shopping at the market

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. How well do you think this concept considers life in low-income communities?

It is highly relevant to low-income communities - 62.5%

It is somewhat relevant to low-income communities - 25%

It does not significantly consider low-income communities - 12.5%

2. How effectively does this concept use social business principles (that is, it has social benefits for the community but does not pay dividends?)

This concept uses social business principles very well - 57.1%

This concept could be easily modified to incorporate social business elements - 28.6%

This concept does not connect with social business very well - 14.3%

3. How easy would it be to implement this concept?

Easy! This could be started immediately - 66.7%

It would take some time and planning – but I bet I could see progress in the near future - 33.3%

This concept would need extensive planning, partnerships & resources in place to get going - 0%

4. To what extent will this concept improve people’s health?

This concept would significantly improve people’s health and wellbeing - 66.7%

This concept seems like it might improve health, although maybe indirectly - 16.7%

This concept doesn’t really have much to do with health - 16.7%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world! - 50%

I liked it but preferred others - 37.5%

It didn’t get me overly excited - 12.5%


Join the conversation:

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I think that this is a fantastic idea; the way in which it subtly targets a particular section of the population is excellent.

Would it be possible to use the gathering of the community to further educate people about nutrition? Although this may diminish the commercial side of the project, disseminating the information to as many people as possible may be of benefit.

Could the local food resources be analysed and the information used to create affordable and nutritious meals that can form fresh and healthy traditional dishes?

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