Emily Ward on Empathy in Design

Emily Ward is an EWBNZ team member who recently returned from Cambodia, where she was working with Engineers Without Borders Australia to increase accessibility for Cambodians with a disability. We spoke to Emily about her experiences and the upcoming Pathways to Development workshop on Community Engagement for Better Outcomes.

What was your role when working for Engineers Without Borders Australia in Cambodia?

Emily: I worked in partnership with the Agile Development Group to deliver projects like the Mobility Tuk. Before Cambodia, I had worked as an engineering manager in the Air Force, so I provided a technical skillset that included risk analysis and safety management. I was able to bring communication and organisational skills, and knowledge of the design process to the team. As an outsider, it's easy to come across like we're telling the community that they need to change the way they do things. The Agile Development Group brought their local knowledge and facilitation skills to the table. Together we were able to work with communities to deliver projects in a sustainable way.

What skills did you find useful when delivering projects?

Honestly, the biggest asset was having empathy. Human-centered design is really important when you're working with communities. It's important to collaborate with others to identify solutions, especially if you want your solution to last. Working together is how you get buy-in from the community, how you can ensure that your solution will be maintained.  Learning patience was also an important skill!

What do you think your typical engineer in New Zealand can learn from humanitarian engineers?

Engineers can learn the importance of empathy and the importance of stakeholders in design. At the end of the day we are designing for people. We are solving problems in a way that works for all stakeholders. It's a way of looking at challenges from a different perspective, a way of thinking outside the box. And this can be applied to any challenge, not just engineering. We're moving away from copy and paste solutions. We're talking innovation here!

Emily Ward will be facilitating the Pathways to Development workshop organized by EWBNZ in partnership with MAS on 3rd April in Christchurch.

Get your tickets here!


EWBNZ appoints new Chief Executive

Engineers Without Borders New Zealand is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Dane Hart as CEO, effective November 2018.

With a comprehensive background as a civil engineer, Mr. Hart has held several leadership roles over his 10 years within Engineers Without Borders New Zealand (EWBNZ). This includes leading the Research Team, the Dialogues on Development team and most recently, overseeing Leadership and Training programmes within EWBNZ for the last three years.

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Programme Manager

Engineers Without Borders is excited to be recruiting a new programme manager!

This is your opportunity to join our team of enthusiastic change makers.  EWB is at an important point in our organisational growth and we are looking for a motivated leader.  Working with a reasonable amount of autonomy and independence, can you lead and support the strategic growth of our programmes?

  • Job Title - Programme Manager
  • Employment Basis - Permanent position for 16 hours per week
  • Salary - $25,000 per year
  • Location - Anywhere in New Zealand (with some travel required domestically and internationally)
  • Start Date - November 2018
  • Application Closing Date - 5pm Monday 22 October 2018

This role has now been filled. For information on other opportunities on how to get involved please contact your local chapter president.


EWB at Week of Engineering

Week of Engineering was a huge success in Auckland, with thousands of curious young participants engaging in thinking and problem solving, including interactive activities from EWB!

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Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now

Early Bird Tickets

Early bird tickets to the EWBNZ 2018 Conference are available until May 31st.

Buy tickets now to reserve your place!

Humanitarian Engineering 2018 is a one-day conference on July 6th which will bring together like-minded professionals to share their knowledge about sustainable development and human-centred design.


A 'Real' Engineering Summer Work Experience

Southern is one of our student members of our Working With Communities team. He's an engineering student at the University of Canterbury and a long time volunteer with EWBNZ. He recently completed a month in Vanuatu shadowing Matt King, the Project Facilitator and Technical Mentor for the Sanitation in Challenging Environments project. He told us about his summer there.

Southern, helping work on plumbing to the Septic Tank

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EWBNZ at Festival of Cultures

The EWB Palmerston North Chapter had a great day at the Festival of Cultures recently, on Saturday 24th March. There was a constant flow of interested parties all day. 

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Sanitation Project Mentor - Vanuatu

This is your opportunity to join an innovative sanitation project in Vanuatu and support communities in Vanuatu to access sanitation. 

Since 2015, EWB has been working with Live and Learn Vanuatu on the early stages of the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing and Innovation Programme. This programme aimed to improve sanitation and hygiene access and behaviours by improving supply chains and demand for sanitation and hygiene and creating supportive environments in communities that enable behaviour change to occur.  Live and Learn's innovative approach to sanitation in the South Pacific is based around establishment of Community Based Sanitation Enterprises (CBSEs).  These enterprises are run and owned by the local community and are a market based approach to sanitation.  In 2017, a second EWB placement was initiated to strengthen the skills and capacity of the construction teams within the CBSEs.

The next phase will involve expanding to Espiritu Santo through the establishment of a CBSE in Luganville.  The focus of this role will be supporting the newly formed CBSE in Luganville with some additional support being provided to the two existing CBSEs in Port Vila.

The Sanitation Technical and Business Mentor will spend approximately 40% of their time on providing business support and 60% providing technical mentoring and construction support.

Working in collaboration with EWB Australia, this placement offers you a great opportunity to make a real impact on the sanitation sector in Vanuatu.

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Call for Abstracts Now Open

Engineers Without Borders New Zealand invites participants to showcase their technical projects which demonstrate a sustainable, people-centred approach to working in communities in New Zealand, the South Pacific and beyond.

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Wellington Running Without Borders

Eight fantastic volunteers have raised over $1700 in the Wellington Running Without Borders 2018 Fundraiser!

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