June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Community Engagement Division
This paper presents lessons learned by Santa Clara University undergraduate students and their faculty advisor after more than four years of relationship building with and design projects for a community in rural Rwanda. Initial projects and communication did not incorporate a Human Centered Design Thinking approach, which was detrimental to early project success and community trust with the community. The described humanitarian engineering work is led by a team of volunteer undergraduate students who change from year to year. Through reflection on project challenges, the team leaders developed a unique sub-team that has evolved over several years to have a focus on building community between our team members and our Rwandan partners. As part of relationship building, the sub-team is responsible for the cultural and technical education of both our team members and our Rwandan partners. An overview of early failures, how they informed the role of the sub-team, and the resulting changes to our design and communication approaches that led to recent successes will offer insight for other institutions looking to develop humanitarian engineering programs.
Lim, S., & Thompson, S., & Nilsson, T. L. (2019, June), Engagement in Practice: Some Do’s and Don’ts in Partnership Development for a Successful Humanitarian Engineering Project. Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32713
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