Before reviewing the details of the project process, it is important to understand that the EWB-USA ICP project process operates at the program, community partnership, and project level in accordance with our mission to implement sustainable engineering projects as part of community-driven development programs.
The general definitions of programs, community partnership, projects, and trips within the context of the EWB-USA ICP project process are as follows:
Program: A program is a chapter’s focused work in a specific country, region/state, and municipality. A program may include one or more community partnerships, but usually involves a consistent non-governmental organization (NGO) local partner or local government partner.
Community Partnership: A community partnership represents the chapter's overarching commitment to collaborating with a community to meet its basic needs. Within a community partnership, chapters will often implement multiple projects to address the needs identified by the community. Managing multiple projects at the program level allows chapters to take a more holistic and integrated approach to community-based development. For example, the efficacy of a water treatment project is greatly increased when combined with a sanitation project.
Community partnerships also incorporate the community-needs assessment, education, and monitoring and evaluation components of a project. Chapters must plan on committing to a multi-year commitment in order to accomplish all that is required for a sustainable community partnership.
Project: Within each community partnership, chapters implement individual projects, which are defined by the technical nature of the work being implemented. The types of projects implemented by EWB-USA include water supply, sanitation, agriculture, civil works, energy, and structures. As stated above, multiple projects are often implemented within the same community partnership.
Although a project is defined by its technical nature, all projects involve more than the technical design. For projects to be sustainable, they must also include non-technical aspects such as cultural, social, environmental, and economic considerations.