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Designathon Proposal Group D21-27
In Concept notes
Harry Humphreys
Feb 19, 2021
Hey Lars, Great to meet you and thanks for your help! Apologies for the delay in reply, they are very good questions and took us a while to wrestle with! How do you think NGO`s will react to be asked to publish their problems online? ,... and what kind of consequences could that have for them? Anecdotal evidence would suggest that NGOs, who are often sparsely funded organisations, commonly come across technical problems that require a straightforward solution that they would be better off not having to have to pay a member of staff to do. For instance, a water distribution network would need to be specced before it can be modelled and designed. This is a simple task that saves the NGO money whilst providing invaluable work experience to the students. In brief, if marketed and used appropriately, the platform we envision would offer an incredibly competitive tool for NGOs to save time and funding, while continuing to increase outreach for their work. What other websites/ organisations/ approaches have you found which support a similar approach and how could you learn from their mistakes? Engineering and technology plays a pivotal role in many sustainable development NGOs , however, many engineering students do not consider non-profits as their future workplace (add statistics?). At the same time, “voluntourism” is a commonly known issue in the development sector. Our idea is aimed at facilitating student interaction with NGOs while introducing measures of quality control of that engagement to ensure a positive contribution of the students. EWB’s design challenge run within universities is a great start that can be built upon. Other companies that run student internships/work experience are: The intern group – Costs students £3000 Virtual internships – costs £1150 Volunteeringmatters.org.uk - great website no engineering opportunities Charityjob.co.uk - very few non-senior roles for engineers Onlinevolunteering.org - good opportunities for software engineers, little for others None of the above have university links I have the feeling that you didn`t yet define the problem yet and are more focussed on the solution. What would you define as the big problem here? The problems here are: NGO’s are underfunded would benefit from free technical assistance (We hope to use an employee time leveraging approach) Universities struggle to find all students opportunity to get involved in real projects and gain real work experience Students want work experience and something to talk about at interview to get jobs Engineering students want to help and find solutions to problems A lack of sustainable engineering and design for other cultures education within universities A voluntourism attitude to development work, we want to provide a framework that will ensure students deliver NGO’s with real implementable solutions. What NGO`s you think are more likely to get on board than others and how would you manage to get those on board? Although project implementation is not the primary objective of EWB-UK, the Engineers without Borders around the globe would undoubtedly benefit nontrivially from free and easy labour to relieve some of the stress placed on chapters. However, there are countless comparable organisations, including Geoscientists, Chemists, and Astronomers without Borders who do similar work. We also know from experience that larger NGOs, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Dassault systems Foundation commonly actively involves current students in their philanthropic work. On the long term, we envision our platform would primarily target small-scale NGOs on an international basis.
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Harry Humphreys

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