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Service Learning for Sustainable Development. CPHI Retreat Water and Public Health December 2, 2010. Community Impact: Global Water Crisis. 1.1 billion people worldwide have inadequate access to clean water 2.6 billion people worldwide have inadequate access to sanitation

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Service learning for sustainable development

Service Learning for Sustainable Development

CPHI Retreat

Water and Public Health

December 2, 2010


Community impact global water crisis
Community Impact: Global Water Crisis

  • 1.1 billion people worldwide have inadequate access to clean water

  • 2.6 billion people worldwide have inadequate access to sanitation

  • 1.8 million child deaths occur each year as a result of diarrhea


Opportunities
Opportunities

  • Communities in developing countries benefit from shared resources beyond their borders

  • Students from the U.S. benefit from global engagement in a cross cultural setting


Different goals
Different Goals

  • Primary goal for community is to improve health with a sustainable water and sanitation system

  • Primary goal for students and the sponsoring academic institution is a global education

  • How can these goals be achieved with a positive outcome for everyone involved?

  • Water supply more amenable to merging goals than other community development projects


What s needed initially
What’s Needed? - Initially

  • Request for assistance from an established NGO working in community

  • Proposed project small enough in scale

  • Community willing to contribute their own resources


What s needed preparation
What’s Needed? - Preparation

Preparation and Groundwork for Community and students before implementation:

  • Assessment trip to understand design constraints and begin relationship

  • Preparation of a Memo of Understanding outlining roles and commitments

  • Community needs to organize its leadership and resources for long term sustainability

  • Students need to participate in design and learn about cultural context in a course


What s needed implementation
What’s Needed? - Implementation

  • NGO critical

  • Students need to be hosted in community

  • Daily communication at all stages

  • Sharing of technical design attributes


What s needed follow up
What’s Needed? – Follow-up

  • Community needs technical oversight from NGO’s representative in communication with Mentor/student team to complete project

  • Students need to provide feedback on their experience and the opportunity to learn on impact of design

  • Should be independent evaluation of project after complete and operating.


Mission objectives
Mission & Objectives

  • Mission:

  • Improve the quality of life for individuals and communities in the developing world through sustainable technology and engineering, and through engaging students in learning about and service to civil society.

  • Program Objectives:

  • Teach students about the challenges in the developing world and the role that appropriate technology and sustainable engineering plays in this setting.

  • 2. Work closely with local communities to responsibly provide useful technical solutions to individuals and communities in the developing world.


Organization
Organization

  • SEAS Community Technology and Outreach Initiatives “office”

    • Local initiatives

    • Global initiatives

  • Departmental and faculty involvement

    • Teaching

    • Leading field projects

  • Student organizations

    • Integral to the learning and projects model

    • Student leadership experiences

  • Oversight and administration

    • SEAS Office of Academic Programs/Associate Dean

    • Faculty Advisory Committee

    • Director

    • Staff


Projects
Projects

  • Clean water delivery & sanitation systems

    Honduras 2006-present

    Cameroon 2007-present

    India 2009-present

    Guatemala 2009-present


Problem solving learning
Problem Solving/Learning

EAS 296 - Sustainable Development in Cameroon

  • EAS 297 - Sustainable Development: Technology for Water & Sanitation


Classroom Preparation - Engineering

Engineering for Rural Water and Sanitation

Water demand and supply; Public health

Spring Development and Protection

Engineering for Sustainable Development

Appropriate Technology in International Development

Practical Field Engineering


Classroom Preparation - Cameroon Orientation

Presentation by Travel Medicine

Review of Cameroon history and culture with focus on Kob-Tudig region

Meta language

Team work in cross-cultural setting


Academic deliverables
Academic Deliverables

  • Homeworks

  • System Design

  • On-the-ground experience

  • Daily journal

  • Capstone Project


Community impact
Community Impact

Infrastructure Education Health and Livelihood

- Dramatic increase in clean water availability

- Perceivably decreased soil

erosion and increased quality of environment

- Improved communication capabilities and access to information

- Increased access to information and educational resources

- Inspired greater desire to complete education and to advance to senior secondary schooling and beyond

- Reduced incidence of

waterborne diseases in the community

- Reduced time used for water hauling, increasing time available for productive tasks

- Increased individuals’

ambulatory ability leading to happier and more productive living


Key factors to success
Key factors to success

  • Strong NGO

  • Guidance and clear leadership of project mentors

  • Committed community. But how to gauge that from the beginning?

  • Long-term commitment to community, NGO

  • Ability, willingness to revise project tracking methodology on-the-fly


Conclusions
Conclusions

  • Community and students have an exciting, sometimes life-changing exchange – many say time too short

  • Sustainable projects are possible but there is a risk of failure if NGO is not able to cover for the time student/mentor team is not present

  • Academic institution needs to have a long-term program both for students and communities


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