Community-Driven Development

EWB-USA's community-driven development programs are driven by sustainability and collaboration and are underpinned by a minimum five-year commitment. Our programs originate with a community self-identifying its needs and requesting support from EWB-USA.

Learn more about how to apply to start a program >>

Within a program, chapters implement multiple projects to address the needs identified by the community. Our chapters work directly with the community to assess, design, implement, monitor and evaluate appropriate engineering solutions for small-scale infrastructure projects. Staff at EWB-USA's headquarters assist chapters by facilitating a robust quality assurance and quality control process that enables our chapters to work on hundreds of programs across the globe each year. In addition, the EWB-USA Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), comprised of experts in their disciplines, review and approve all project designs.

This approach is based on our organizational principles of development.

Read EWB-USA's Principles of Development >>

Leer los Principios de Desarollo de EWB-USA>>

Project Types

The hands-on engineering work occurs at the project level. The scope of these projects is diverse, ranging from the construction of a health clinic in Peru to the implementation of household biosand filters in Cameroon.

These seven project types aim to holistically address the breadth of a community's needs:

  • Water Supply
    Water Supply
  • Sanitation
    Sanitation
  • Civil Works
    Civil Works
  • Structures
    Structures
  • Energy
    Energy
  • Agriculture
    Agriculture
  • Information Systems
    Information Systems

Only technologies that are determined to be the most appropriate solution for a community's identified need are implemented. Both the chapter and community provide equal input in the project process. The chapter must work with the community to implement projects within a program that can be sustained by the community in the long-term. The community must have the financial, administrative, technical, labor and material resources available to operate and maintain the installed facilities without outside assistance.

International Development Consulting

EWB-USA's Engineering Service Corps offers the expertise of our most seasoned volunteers to organizations in the international development sector. We collaborate with NGOs and governments who use a community-driven approach and who lack access to the resources needed to design sustainable and appropriate solutions to engineering challenges. The Engineering Service Corps performs a variety of services, including engineering studies, owner's representation, planning, design, and monitoring and evaluation.

Learn more about the Engineering Service Corps >>

Measures of Impact

EWB-USA's overarching goal is that all members of our partner communities will enjoy an improved quality of life through being able to access, use and maintain technologies that are relevant to their identified needs. To make this goal a reality, we continually measure our impact throughout the chapter's involvement with the community as well as after their role in the program is complete.

Our framework to measure EWB-USA's impact includes:

    • Planning - EWB-USA Headquarters provides resources for our chapters to establish an understanding of the baseline situation in their partner communities and plan for long-term sustainability.
    • Monitoring - The chapter uses consistent organizational tools to assist them in monitoring the program's impact in the community.
    • Evaluation - The chapter evaluates the technical functionality of each project and their role in reaching the community's overall objectives for at least one year after construction is complete. We conduct periodic impact reviews after the chapter closes out their involvement in the program.
    • Learning - EWB-USA uses impact assessment tools to be accountable to our partners and to learn from our experience to improve our community-driven development delivery model.

Want to learn more about how we measure impact? Read the full description of our Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Program >>