INTERESTED IN STARTING A NEW PROGRAM WITH EWB-USA?
EWB-USA openly accepts applications from community-based organizations which believe they can benefit from an EWB-USA program. Communities can submit an application and begin a program with an EWB-USA chapter if applicable. While outside NGOs and individuals are welcome to assist communities with submitting an application, the application should come directly from an organization based within the community in need. This requirement is consistent with our community-driven approach to development. You can learn more about our overall approach for implementing community programs here: EWB-USA Community Programs.
GET STARTED TODAY!
Are you a community interested in partnering with EWB-USA?
The following 4 steps will guide you through the application process.
Step 1 - Application Review Criteria
FACTORS CONSIDERED BY OUR APPLICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE (ARC) AND REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION
- Community Organization and Involvement
— In order for EWB-USA projects to succeed, communities must be highly organized and motivated to contribute to the project(s). We believe that communities know their needs, resources and constraints best and therefore, it makes sense that the request for partnership comes directly from the community. This application should demonstrate that the community has been actively involved in the development of the project proposal and is driving the application process. To demonstrate this, applications must include the following:
1. Contact information for an existing community-based organization (CBO) – An existing community-based organization (CBO) that has the capacity and interest to act as the primary partner for the project must be included on the contact page. The CBO can range from a local women’s group to a farming cooperative to a town council.
- 2. Community Contact – At least one community contact and his/her contact information (e-mail and/or phone number) must be listed on the contact page.
- 3. Letter of Endorsement from Community Representatives – The goal of this letter is to verify that the community is requesting the partnership with EWB-USA. In their own words, community members should express what the need is, why they are requesting a partnership with EWB-USA, what their commitment and contribution to the proposed project will be, and what they have done up to this point to address the issue. This letter can come in the form of an e-mail, document which is scanned and e-mailed, fax, or an account of a phone call which is transcribed. Please include this as an attachment to this application.
- Local Partnering Organization
– EWB-USA projects are most successful when there is a three-way partnership between a CBO, a non-governmental organization (NGO) and/or local government, and the EWB-USA chapter. Therefore, in addition to a partnering CBO, there must be a local NGO and/or local government (municipal/city) included as a primary partnering organization in the contact section of the application.
Please see document 511 – Project Partner Roles and Responsibilities for more details about the typical roles and responsibilities of each project partner.
- Expatriate Volunteers Please Note:
If the application is being submitted by an expatriate working in a community or for an NGO (Peace Corps Volunteer, missionary or similar), there must be another in-country contact and community-based organization listed on the application, in addition to the expatriate volunteer.
- Community Cash and In-Kind Contributions –
EWB-USA is not a funding organization and will only collaborate on community-driven projects. As part of the community-driven criteria of all EWB-USA projects, we have always required a significant contribution from partnering communities. For example, the community is expected to provide in-kind contributions. In-kind community contributions may include: unskilled and skilled labor, project materials, tool use for the project, logistical support for the chapter, food and/or lodging for the chapter, etc. Please address the in-kind community contributions for the first proposed project in Section A)4 of this application.
While a community cash contribution towards the capital construction costs of the proposed facilities is not a requirement for program approval at this point, we do currently consider this factor during the application review. Based on best practices learned from our projects, as well as findings within the field of international development, it is evident that a community cash contribution is a significant factor impacting the long-term sustainability of community development projects. Therefore, we anticipate making this a requirement for all new proposed programs starting in September 2013. At that time, we will likely require a written commitment from the community, which confirms that the community will provide a financial contribution of a minimum of 5% of the capital construction cost of the facilities in cash. If the community can provide more than a 5% cash contribution, this will likely increase the sustainability of the project. If the community currently has funds for the community cash contribution for this proposed first project, please address this in Section A)4 of this application.
- Project Ownership
– Project ownership must lie within the community and the proposed project facilities must be owned by the community. This should be addressed in Section B)2 of this application.
If the program is being proposed by an in-country NGO, in conjunction with a community-based organization, the following are requirements:
- 1. The NGO should have permanent presence in-country.
- 2. The NGO should state in the application that it understands that project ownership lies with the community, not the NGO.
- Financial Independence and Sustainability
— EWB-USA does not provide cash donations or grants to communities. The Program, and each project within the Program, must demonstrate financial sustainability. This application must demonstrate the ability of the community to maintain projects once the projects have been implemented. EWB-USA may provide financial support for project implementation, but this should not be expected. In addition, it is the communities’ responsibility to create a fund for ongoing maintenance. The long-term funding sources and overall plan for financial sustainability, including operation and maintenance, must be addressed in this application in Section B)2. For example, a community wishing to implement a water project must demonstrate the ability to create a water committee which will collect monthly fees from community members for maintenance and repair costs. Without the ability to maintain the infrastructure, the project will never be sustainable. Therefore, a Program will be declined if it is clear that the community would always depend on donor support for the projects to be sustained and maintained over the long-term.
- Mission and Vision
– The overall Program and proposed first project must be in-line with EWB-USA's mission and vision.
- Scope of work
– The Program and each project within the Program must be within a reasonable scope to be realistically developed and completed by a group of engineering volunteers. We typically collaborate with small communities (100-5,000 residents) on projects that cost well under $100,000 to implement.
- Open Access
—The Program and each project within the Program must be openly accessible to all members of the community regardless of race, religion, or social standing. EWB-USA projects must not be used as a means of proselytism. The Program and each project within the Program must benefit the entire community.
- Long-term Commitment—
EWB-USA requires that both our chapters and the communities we work with commit to a five year partnership. Unfortunately, EWB-USA is not in a position to provide emergency humanitarian relief.
Step 2 - New Program Application
Communities wishing to partner with EWB-USA begin by filling out our New Program Application. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis starting the 1st of each month. Once your application goes into the review process by our Application Review Committee, the community will receive a decision in roughly 4-6 weeks.
Click here to download the New Program Application
Completed applications should be sent to Projects@ewb-usa.org
Step 3 - Program Approval
If your application is approved, it will be posted on our website and be available for adoption by one of our student or professional chapters.
However, receiving approval does not guarantee the program will be adopted. The amount of time it takes to match a program with a chapter can vary greatly, and you should be aware that in some cases, we are unfortunately unable to get approved programs adopted. If the program is not adopted within one year we will remove the application from the website.
Step 4 - Program Adoption
Once your program is posted on our website, EWB-USA Chapters can then begin submitting proposals to adopt the program. If and when we find a qualified chapter to adopt your program, the community and its partners will be notified immediately. The chapter that adopts the project will become the primary point of contact for the community, although the EWB-USA national office will always be available to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. NGO's and individuals who helped the community complete the application are welcome to help coordinate and facilitate the program, but it should be understood that the direct partnership is between EWB-USA and the community.
Moving Forward After Program Approval
After your program has been officially adopted, the community and chapter will begin working out the details for the first assessment trip. This trip can occur anywhere between 3 months to 1 year after the date of adoption. During the assessment trip, the chapter will acquaint themselves with community, perform a community needs assessment, and gather baseline and technical data relevant to the program. The assessment trip is intended to be highly participatory and typically lasts from 1-4 weeks.
Depending on the results of the initial assessment trip, the chapter may choose to return to continue assessing before an implementation occurs. In general, it takes at least one to two years from the date of adoption before an implementation occurs. Following the initial implementation, the chapter will continue to visit the community for further assessment, implementation, and monitoring trips. The frequency of the trips will depend on the availability of both the chapter and the community and are often times contingent on the chapter's ability to raise necessary funds.