These are questions that should guide your selection and execution of a project

Choosing the Community and Project[edit | edit source]

  • How do community members make a living and what is life in the community like?
  • Is there a commitment between both the team and the community to see the project through and maintain it afterwards?
  • What resources does the community have (schools, clinics, electricity, water, latrines, internet)?
  • How far must individuals travel for school and water collection?
  • How are decisions made and are women involved in the local government?
  • What is the phone number to the closest hospital to the community?
  • Can local universities be involved?
  • Is the country on the US-State department "do not travel" list?
  • Where will the team stay? How much will travel accommodations cost?
  • What health hazards exist in the area (malaria, yellow fever)?
  • How did this project arise and what work has been done before in the area?
  • Are there NGOs currently working in the area?
  • Are foreigners welcome?
  • When is the best time to go including holidays and weather?

Researching the Location[edit | edit source]

Check the following websites for information on your location

  • USAID has country plans for individual countries - though they can be a little hard to find
  • The CIA Factbook has encyclopedic information about every country
  • Wiki Travel Is a wiki for travel
  • Lonely Planet Has a lot of information for different countries
  • The CDC travel guide has lots of information and good tools for travel health

Researching the Project[edit | edit source]

Project Questions[edit | edit source]

  • Will the project empower the citizens?
  • How would these members be affected in terms of their economies, environments, culture and health?
  • What are the socio-economics affecting the project?
  • Did the community request the project or is an organization forcing the project on the community?
  • What is the scope of the project?
  • Will education of the local community be necessary for the project to be successful?
  • Once completed, could be duplicated by members of the community?
  • How can potentially negative effects be avoided?
  • Will the community take ownership of and maintain the project after it is completed?
  • How much will the project cost? how will these costs be covered? Is there a budget?
  • Are the team members prepared for the cultural differences?
  • Is there a translator on the team?
  • What skills will your team need to complete the project?
  • What alternate designs are possible?

for buildings[edit | edit source]

  • Is the building site level and are there latrines, water, and electricity?
  • What construction materials are available to the community?
  • Is the community willing to do a large part of the organizing and manual labor for the project?
  • What construction techniques are in use in the community?

for water projects[edit | edit source]

  • How far away and what is the elevation differences for freshwater sources?
  • How high is the water table? Is ground water potable?
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Part of AAG Support materials
Keywords guides, international development
Authors David Reber
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 20 pages link here
Impact 272 page views
Created May 2, 2008 by David Reber
Modified December 13, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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