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Project Guide

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Appropedia Action Group Document

This page is part of the support material for Appropedia Action Groups, an online collaboration to tackle real world problems.


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

Choosing the Community and Project[edit]

  • 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]

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]

Project Questions[edit]

  • 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]

  • 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]

  • How far away and what is the elevation differences for freshwater sources?
  • How high is the water table? Is ground water potable?