My entry to Michael VanDervort‘s HR Blog Carnival for Haiti, which I learned about at Punk Rock HR. Thanks, Michael.

When it comes to disaster relief, I have started to believe over time that swift and immediate action is necessary to save the most possible lives following a disaster… but the rebuilding and redevelopment work, which may take years and be less successful at drawing donations than the initial disaster, is at least as important and may also save countless lives. This is not necessarily a cut-and-dried issue. However, in Haiti, hopefully that longer-term effort will include engineering and construction assistance to provide clean, reliable water sources and rebuild safer structures. For that reason, I have chosen to compile some information about Engineers Without Borders–USA.

In Part 1 of this post, I described how I had difficulty finding independent evaluations of EWB-USA. I know we all value concrete, objective information on charities that we choose to donate our money to. However, I believe in the concept and hope this post will encourage individuals to research the organization further for themselves and see if this is a cause they are interested in supporting.

EWB-USA was established in 2002 and is part of an international network of engineering charities, Engineers Without Borders–International. According to the mission of the U.S. chapter, its work “supports community-driven development programs worldwide through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while fostering responsible leadership.” Each of the group’s chapters makes a 5-year commitment to perform work in a partnering community and to train local people to sustain and maintain the projects that are completed.

Many of EWB-USA’s chapters appear to be university-affiliated, and accordingly, the group also has a leadership development and education focus.

Current projects being planned or undertaken by the group in Haiti include the following:

The full list of ongoing EWB-USA projects in Haiti is here. Each project, as well as the main page, contains a link to donate to the specific project, to a specific chapter, or to the organization as a whole, though I am unsure whether the group guarantees that your donation will go to your designated project. And though, again, I have little information on how efficient this group is considered to be and how successful its projects typically are, it appears to remain active in Haiti and elsewhere.

Other infrastructure-related charities I am aware of are Water for People, charity: water, Architects Without Borders, and, of course, the U.S. Peace Corps. Does anyone know of others or have feedback on the ones discussed here? Please share in comments if so. Thanks!

ETA: I just learned about Architecture for Humanity as well, via Alanna Shaikh.

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