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Foundations of Health

Learn about strategies, potential problems, and whereabouts when managing access to basic needs in developing communities. Also, explore what’s really in Boston’s bodies of water with an interactive activity run by Engineers without Borders.


EWB USA-NEU aids communities in developing countries by using engineering solutions to address basic human needs, such as the need for potable water – all the while supplying student members with educational, transformative experiences.


Since their establishment in 2004, EWB-USA NEU has designed and constructed water projects in eight communities in Honduras, Uganda, and Panama, affecting over 2,000 individuals. Students are continually drawn to EWB-USA NEU with the goal of helping societies in need, while gaining firsthand experience in all phases of the engineering design process. They are a dually focused organization: aiding communities in the developing world by implementing sustainable engineering solutions, while striving to give students a global experience and skills beyond the classroom.


EWB-USA NEU's  Honduras program has become well respected in the Yoro District of Honduras for building reliable and sustainable water systems. With this reputation and the support of their partner organizations, the Honduras design team has completed five water systems. Recently, EWB-USA NEU completed the design and construction of a gravity fed system in the village of El Carrizalito, which includes extending the electric grid to power the pump. The Honduras design team recently began working in a sixth community, Ocotal.


In 2009, EWB-USA NEU began their Uganda program in the village of Bbanda. Over the past 5 years EWB-USA NEU has installed four rainwater catchment systems on schools, rehabilitated one rainwater catchment system, and drilled two boreholes. The Uganda design team, while working alongside the Bbanda community, has also designed and completed the construction of a community-wide water distribution system. The Uganda design team is now looking into expanding the water distribution system by adding an additional source, tank, and more tap stands to meet demand. The goal is to increase the quality of drinking water and decrease the distance to the access of clean water.


In 2015 EWB-USA NEU took on a third project in the community of Las Delicias, Panama. The goal of the project is to increase the access and quality of water. The Panama team recently returned from their first assessment trip in August of 2015. The team plans to begin working on the design of a community-wide water distribution system.

Dr. Joseph Assan

   Joseph Assan is currently an Assistant Professor of International Political Economy of Sustainable Development in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, at Brandeis University. Joseph Assan holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool, UK. Until his recent appointment at Brandeis University, Joseph was an Assistant Professor of Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin where he acted as the associate director of the Masters in Development Practice Programme which was jointly run by Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to this, Dr Joseph Assan served as the Director of the International Development Programme at the University of Liverpool. Joseph has extensive field research experience in international development policy and practice and has worked as a project officer with organizations such as the Global Hunger Project New York. He has published in numerous international peer reviewed journals including Foreign Affairs, Journal of Sustainable Development, Journal of International Development, and International Development Planning Review. He has recently carried out research on the interaction between sustainable livelihoods, environmental variability/climate change and household well-being within the context of poverty reduction. Over the years, Joseph has developed teaching skills and research expertise in the field of political economy of international development with an interest in the interaction between development theory, policy and practice in Africa and Asia. Dr. Joseph Assan was recently invited to speak on Capitol Hill, discussing how to sustain Africa’s current growth and reduce inequality. He has also participated in various international high level fora including recent meetings at Brookings Institution, Washington DC, focusing on USA, China and Africa relations, Employment development strategies in developing countries, Internal Displacement and Vulnerability among others. Joseph served as a member of the scientific council of the Development Studies Association of UK and Ireland for several years. He currently serves as a board member of Boston Network for International Development (BNID).

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