521 – Pre-Assessment

Document 521 – Pre-Assessment Report

Instructions for Report Preparation

Please go to the EWB-USA website to make sure that you are using the most current version of this document.

The purpose of an assessment trip is to gather sufficient information to allow the chapter to a) assess the economic, social, environmental and technical viability of the project b) assess project sustainability; the potential for the project to last long-term, c) make a “go/no go” decision about continuing with the project, d) enable future design and analysis of the proposed infrastructure at the site and e) serve as baseline data for monitoring and evaluation of the project in the future.  The pre-assessment document is a planning tool for chapters to use to ensure that the pertinent information is gathered during the site assessment visit.  It also allows the EWB-USA National Staff to review the trip and make recommendations that are intended to improve the quality of the project.  To allow time for review by EWB-USA National Office staff, this report must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines posted on the EWB-USA website.  Your trip will be postponed if your chapter does not meet the posted deadlines.

Formatting – Please ensure correct page numbering in your document, and include a Table of Contents.  Also, please minimize the number of documents submitted.  Multiple documents are unprofessional and confusing.

Size Limit (10MB) – Please limit the size of the reports submitted to the National Office to a maximum size of 10MB. If you compress the photos within the document, this will help reduce the size of the entire document. If you do not know how to compress photos, please see our website for instructions. Please contact projects@ewb-usa.org if you have special circumstances that may require a larger report submittal.

There are two parts to the pre-assessment trip report: Part 1 includes the administrative information for the trip and Part 2 includes the technical information.

Part 1 is a fill-in-the-blank exercise that provides the EWB-USA National Office with specific information about chapter and community contacts, travel details, health and safety plans, and budget in a specific format.  The information should be provided in the exact format requested without deviation.  If you have questions about completing Part 1 of the report contact your Chapter Relations Manager (CRM) at the EWB-USA National Office.

Part 2 of the report is not a fill-in-the-blank exercise.  This is the portion of the report where your chapter provides all the technical information about the project and proposed trip.  The outline of this portion of the report can be modified by the chapter if necessary to present the project more clearly.  It is your chapter’s responsibility to clearly and thoroughly present your project and proposed assessment trip.  Note that you may need to include additional information that is not listed depending on the specifics of your project.  If you have questions about completing Part 2 of the report, contact one of the Project Managers (PM) at the EWB-USA National Office.

Pre-screening of the Report: Prior to a complete review of this document, it will be screened for compliance with the most basic requirements for a complete submittal.  Specifically, the submittal must include a Health and Safety Plan (HASP) and have a qualified Professional Mentor (for student chapters) or Technical Lead (for professional chapters) on the travel team or it will be rejected and the chapter must re-submit when those items are included.  This will likely necessitate postponing travel.

Part 1: Administrative Information – Instructions

1.0              Contact Information – Fill in the table completely with updated contact information for current project leaders.  This information will be used by EWB-USA National Office staff to contact your project team throughout the review process.

2.0              Travel History – Show every trip that your chapter has taken for this program.

3.0              Travel Team – Include information for all the travel team members.

Professional Mentors/Technical Leads – Please note, we have stringent requirements for our Professional Mentors for student chapters and Technical Leads for professional chapters.  Qualified Professional Mentors/Technical Leads must have experience as outlined on our website.  This is usually at least 5 years of direct professional experience (post bachelor’s degree, non-academic) in design and construction of infrastructure similar to that proposed in the project.  These requirements can be found on the website under Member Pages – Chapter Resources – Sourcebook Downloads – “405 – Mentor Qualifications”.  The team must have mentor coverage for the entire trip.

Travel Team Size – The size of the travel team should be based upon the requirements of the project.  The maximum travel team size is eight.  Most trips should be smaller.

Health and Safety Officers (HSOs) – Travel Team must have two HSOs currently certified in both CPR and First Aid as explained on our website Member Pages – Project Process – Health and Safety Program.  The website also explains when additional training may be required of the HSOs because of site-specific hazards.

Travel Team not Finalized– If the team is not yet finalized, fill in the table using “student” or “professional” nomenclature instead of the name of the individuals.  The Professional Mentor/Technical Lead must be listed by name in the table.  If the Professional Mentor/Technical Lead has not been determined, the report will be rejected and the chapter will be required to resubmit the document when the Professional Mentor/Technical Lead is finalized.

Multiple Teams – If there is more than one travel team, please indicate this either with multiple Travel Team tables or with a text explanation after the table.  There must be a qualified Professional Mentor/Technical Lead and two HSOs at the site at all times.

4.0              Health and Safety – All EWB-USA trips require a site-specific HASP as explained on our website – Member Pages – Project Process – Health and Safety Program.  The website also contains a required HASP template and other health and safety resources to help the team complete their HASP.  For this document, simply state that your travel team will follow the site-specific HASP that has been prepared for this specific trip and has been submitted as a stand alone document along with this pre-trip report. A HASP must be submitted at the same time as your 521 – Pre-Assessment Report or the document will be rejected and the chapter must re-submit when the HASP is included.  This will likely necessitate postponing travel.

5.0              Budget – fill in each of the tables in the report template without modifying any of the headings.

5.1              Cost – This should be your total budget including what team members are paying.  Please include in-kind contributions.

5.2              Donors and Funding – Please include in-kind donations.  An in-kind donation is a non-monetary contribution to the project.  For example, if someone donates solar cells, please include this in the donations with an estimated cost.  Funding that is deposited in a 501(c)3 account (EWB-USA or university account) is not an in-kind donation.  However, if someone pays for their own ticket, that is an in-kind donation provided they do not reimburse for the ticket.

6.0              Project Discipline(s) – The headings in bold are project types, the subheadings are project disciplines. Check all project disciplines addressed in this report. Note that each project type needs to be approved by an EWB-USA Project Manager. If this is a new project that has not previously been approved, your chapter may need to submit a 501B – New Project Within Existing Program Application.

7.0              Project Location – Provide the longitude and latitude of the project location so that the project site can be located using Google Earth.

8.0              Project Impact – Provide an estimate of the number of people impacted by the project.  Use an exact number, not a phrase like “the whole village”.

9.0              Mentor Resume – Attach the resume for the traveling Professional Mentor/Technical Lead even if you have attached it in a previous report.  Please see document 405 – Mentor Qualifications for Professional Mentor/Technical Lead requirements related to the project area. This can be found in the Sourcebook Downloads on the Member Pages of the website. In our review of the submitted resume, we are most interested in experience outside of academic research, such as consulting, working in industry, etc.

Part 2: Technical Information – Instructions

1.0              Introduction – Explain the purpose of this document and provide a short description of the proposed project and trip.

2.0              Program Background – Provide the background for the project.  This includes a description of the program that has been proposed for the community and where this assessment trip fits within that program.  If this is a first assessment, the background can be taken directly from the 501 (Program Application) form.  If this is a second (or subsequent) assessment trip, additional information should be provided including a brief overview of previous work carried out in the community or neighboring area. Do not simply copy the background section of your previous report submittal.

3.0              Objectives of Site Assessment Trip – State the objectives of the trip clearly, concisely and in detail.  Developing clear objectives for the trip will help ensure that you complete the tasks that will be needed for subsequent design and implementation.  The objectives of a first assessment trip should generally be to a) determine whether the program/project is feasible, b) determine what the first project of the program will entail and c) start discussing the outline of an agreement/contract with the community.  The objective of the second assessment trip generally is to collect sufficient data to a) allow for the analysis and design of the project, b) work with the community to start the set-up of an operation and maintenance system for the project after completion and c) sign the written agreement/contract with the community.  Depending on the specifics of your community and project, there may be other objectives of an assessment trip.

4.0              Community Information

4.1              Description of the Community – Describe the community as well as possible given the fact that you may not have carried out an assessment to the community.  Information should include those items that will have a bearing on the design of a project such as population, population density, infrastructure in the community (type and number of houses, water, power, industry, farming, roads, etc.), geographical size of the community, proximity to transportation, etc.

4.2              Community and Partnering Organization/NGO Resources and Constraints – List and describe the community resources and constraints relevant to your project.  The design of your project will depend heavily on the resources available to your community and the constraints that the community has.  The resources and constraints could include (but are not limited to) items such as financial resources, political organization of the community, administrative capability, language skills, geographic location, distance from vendors of construction materials, educational level and job skills of individuals in the community.  What community resources may be important for your project?  How will you investigate these and document them?  What constraints may limit the alternative designs that will be later developed? Also consider these topics as they relate to the partner organization/NGO, i.e. what resources are they able to bring to the project and conversely what are their constraints.

4.3              Community Relations – Describe the contacts that you currently have with the community, their relationship with the community and what they are providing you.  Include information about the partnering organization/NGO with which you are working.

4.4              Community Priorities – List the community’s priority projects, if known.  If this is not known, a community needs assessment must be performed and discussed in this section.  If the community’s priorities are known, teams are still encouraged to verify these identified priorities prior to beginning work on a specific project.

5.0              Data Collection and Analysis

5.1              Site Mapping – Describe what items you will include for site mapping and how the mapping will be prepared.  The mapping that you develop will help you during the project design and will allow presentation of the work for review by others.  Site mapping is not required if this is a first assessment.  However, site mapping will be required for the implementation of almost every project.  The type and detail of the mapping is dependant on the type of project.  Remember that a site map is often the most efficient way of presenting information about the project.  Include in an appendix any relevant mapping that has already been developed. If your team is not able to develop mapping that clearly illustrates the components of the project and the design issues that are associated with the project, this likely indicates a significant deficiency with the project.

5.2              Technical Data Collection – Provide a detailed description of the data that will be gathered at the site, what that data will be used for and how the data will be collected.  Identify any specific design standards or criteria that exist in the country you are working in that will affect your engineering design.  Examples of country-specific design criteria may include structural design codes, water demand for new water systems and rules regarding the appropriation of a water supply.

6.0              Monitoring – EWB-USA chapters are required to monitor their project over time to measure the impact their work has had on their partner communities, both positive and negative. Your initial assessment trip schedule should include time to gather data that will be used as a standard against which you can compare the results of your implementation to report on the affect of your work.  Develop project specific metrics by which you can measure the success of the project as it relates to functionality and maintenance.  Describe at least three metrics for your project that you plan to use to measure the long-term impact of your work in the community. Specifically describe how the data will be gathered before and after implementation of the project. All EWB-USA projects are required to undergo a period of monitoring by the implementing chapter that lasts at least one year after the implementation of the project. Your project schedule must include a return to the site at least one year after implementation to ensure that the project is functional and maintained.

6.1              Monitoring of past-implemented projects: If you will be monitoring past-implemented projects on this trip, include the following additional information related to those efforts. List at least three metrics by which you will measure the success of that project. List all data, both quantitative and qualitative, that will be required to develop those metrics. Also provide details on the methods used for data collection.

Additionally, be prepared to answer the following questions in your post-trip report for each past-implemented project:

Project Discipline – State the discipline of the past-implemented project you are monitoring. Use only the terms listed in Part 1, Section 6.0 above.

Date of Completion – What was the date of the completion of the project implementation? (month/day/year)

Functionality – What percentage of the project implemented is functioning as designed? (0-50%, 50-75%, 75-100%)

Enhancement – Has the community enhanced the system implemented at all? (Yes or No)

Duplication – Has the community duplicated the design on their own in another location? (Yes or No)

7.0              Community Agreement/Contract – A community agreement/contract can take many forms including a memorandum of understanding, signed letter of intent, formal contract, etc.  You will need to decide which is most appropriate based on feedback from your community partners.  If available, provide a draft of the English version of your agreement/contract with the community leadership that you plan to develop with them on this trip. If this is a first assessment trip, you will likely not yet have the details for maintenance of the design worked out. At this point, your draft should include responsibilities relating to community ownership at a minimum. Note that the EWB-USA National Office expects this agreement/contract to be signed prior to your team commencing implementation.

8.0              Schedule of Tasks – Present all trip tasks within a trip schedule.  It is essential that any chapter carrying out an assessment trip gathers as much information as possible during its time in the community.  In order to do this, it is important to organize the tasks that must be accomplished and the schedule of the team members.  Different chapters accomplish this in different ways.  Some examples of trip/task organization include lists of tasks, daily schedules and decision trees.  The trip organization should provide justification for the length of the trip and the number of travel team members.

9.0              Project Feasibility – The first question that a chapter must answer after its initial assessment trip is whether the project is feasible or not.  Provide a list of the criteria that will be used by the chapter to determine the feasibility of the project and whether the chapter will continue with the project or the program in general.  The chapter may decide that the originally proposed project is inappropriate but that another project is feasible.  It is important to establish the criteria that you will use to make this decision prior to your trip.

10.0          Mentor Assessment – The Professional Mentor (for student chapters) or Technical Lead (for professional chapters) should write a short assessment of how the project team prepared this pre-assessment document. This assessment should include individuals involved, studies and designs carried out, project management tasks and a description of any training that was carried out for the trip. You should discuss the requirement of this section with your Professional Mentor/Technical Lead ahead of time to accommodate their schedule in anticipating the submittal deadline. This section is required for review.

10.1          Professional Mentor/Technical Lead Name – List the name of the mentor who wrote the assessment.

10.2          Professional Mentor/Technical Lead Affirmation – The Professional Mentor/Technical Lead should write one sentence here acknowledging their involvement in the development of the assessment trip plan and their acceptance of responsibility for the course that the project is taking.