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[Above] A student member collects a water sample for testing from the holding tank in the community of Sainji, India. [Cover] Construction workers install wall framing on the health clinic, now complete, that serves Barrio Camilo Ortega just outside Managua, Nicaragua.



Vision Mission Core Values

3 3 3

Thailand Program Nicaragua Program India Program Malawi Program

5 6 6 7


Chapter Structure Key Partners Organization Model Organization Structure

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Vision Mission Core Values

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Our vision is a world in which the communities we serve have the capacity to sustainably meet their basic human needs, and that our members have enriched global perspectives through the innovative professional educational opportunities that the EWB-USA program provides.


EWB-USA supports community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders.

CORE VALUES EWB-USA Values Integrity Service Collaboration Ingenuity Leadership Safety Expanded Chapter Values Responsibility Student Development Excellence


EWB and community members with an implemented slow sand water filtration system in Thailand. Similar systems were installed in 6 villages.


HISTORY The student chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo began in 2004 with a core group of students dedicated to making a global impact, and the chapter was chartered by EWB-USA in 2005. Cal Poly’s EWB chapter has successfully implemented projects across the globe, impacting the lives of thousands. Since its founding, the chapter has expanded from one community in Thailand to four including Nicaragua, India and Malawi. The chapter has applied its service and sustainable principles locally in San Luis Obispo County as well. Cal Poly’s chapter was honored as the Premier Student Chapter by EWB-USA in 2012, demonstrating a strong commitment to EWB-USA values. The enthusiasm and passion of the student members is not only seen in a successful project history, but also the growth that the organization has realized.



The chapter established its first program in Huai Nam Khun, Thailand in 2005 with a drinking water assessment which grew into a multi-phase implementation of 8 slow sand water filters, the last of which was built in 2011. The Thailand program continues to monitor these filters. In 2013 the team investigated a potential hydroelectric project and an organic composting process to reduce fertilizer costs and chemical runoff of the local coffee plantations.

[Above] Community members prepare the site for foundations in Thailand. [Top left] EWB member making some new friends in Nicaragua. [Bottom left] The Cal Poly chapter at the 2012 West Coast Conference, hosted in San Luis Obispo.


The Nicaragua program began in 2006 and moved forward to build a water storage system in the partner community of Nueva Vida. The program progressed to take on one of the chapter’s greatest challenges— design and implementation of a health clinic structure to service the community of Camilo Ortega. In 2012 the team began working towards the future implementation of a school structure and household latrines in Camilo Ortega.


The chapter founded its program in Sainji, India in 2010. The program began with the introduction of a small hand-held device to remove kernels from dried corn. The team moved forward to address the wastewater treatment challenges of the community after thorough assessment. The program completed an initial household septic system in 2012 and began implementing a community wide wastewater treatment system in 2013.



In 2012, the chapter chose to explore the option of establishing a fourth international program. A team of members formed to seek out like-minded NGOs and potential partner communities. In 2013 the team chose to explore relations with the Kumponda Village Development Committee in Southern Malawi.


The chapter serves its local community through both volunteer events and technical projects. An annual community service campaign titled IMPACT, established in 2012, brings local community members together in service work. The chapter’s past projects include the Morro Bay National Estuary Water Program in 2005 and a septic tank reuse project in Los Osos in 2012.

[Top] Friendships come in all shapes and sizes. [Bottom] Building a new fence for Montana de Oro State Park as a part of the chapter’s annual IMPACT event.



After a long day of work pouring concrete in Sainji, India. The team successfully installed a single family wastewater treatment system in partnership with the community.


ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION The Cal Poly chapter strives to utilize strategies and methodologies that align with EWB-USA best practices. These principles allow the chapter to move towards progress and innovation each year. The EWB-USA model for community driven development includes extensive and careful assessment of community needs and close collaboration on project selection. Project designs must be socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. The community is highly involved in implementation itself and is thoroughly trained on operation and maintenance. During the monitoring phase, the chapter ensures that the

community can maintain the completed project without outside assistance. Each project is initiated, supported, and maintained by the community. The chapter focuses its projects on small scale infrastructure improvements that are practical and affordable for local residents. The chapter not only follows but builds upon development best practices through self-examination. This includes closely monitoring the chapter’s active and closed projects. Further, the chapter gains insight into improved methodology through the review of the work of others and through inter-chapter and inter-organizational collaboration.

Cal Poly chapter at the 2012 EWB-USA International Conference in Las Vegas. The chapter was named the 2012 Premier Student Chapter, EWB-USA’s highest recognition.



The Cal Poly chapter has established an effective leadership structure in order to accomplish annual chapter goals. The officer board is comprised of a core group of student leaders, each of whom is responsible for an area of the chapter’s activities. The officer board executes chapter functions including fundraising, local efforts, public relations and marketing, social events, and university relations. Officers chair multiple committees to oversee various events and campaigns throughout the year. This group is ultimately responsible for facilitating and maintaining a strong support network for the chapter’s international projects. Project managers for each international team work with the officers on chapter matters and practice self-governance within their own programs.

Lending a hand with homework in Sainji.


The chapter’s continued success is dependent on mutually beneficial relationships with its key partners. Each program’s partner community is at the core of the chapter’s functions, and the partner non-governmental organizations provide guidance, communication, and physical resources necessary to project success. In order to make this international work possible, the chapter receives extensive support from Cal Poly. This includes resources within colleges, departments, faculty, student body, and administration. Corporate partners provide both monetary and technical support, as well as a professional network for student members. EWB-USA provides structure, oversight, and resources to the chapter on an ongoing basis. Additional partners include family, friends, and the San Luis Obispo community which provide support for projects and opportunities to apply EWBUSA principles on a local level.

Children from Huai Nam Khun.




Key Partners

Key Activities

Value Propositions


• Technical review • Recruitment

• Health, infrastructure improvements • Empowerment and support

• Cal Poly • Friends and family

• Community collaboration

• Partner communities and NGOs

• Fundraising

• Corporate partners

• Local events

• Professional mentors • San Luis Obispo community

Key Resources • EWB-USA support • Cal Poly campus

• Corporate social responsibility • Student recruiting • Professional development • Global competence • Civic Engagement • Community service support

• NGO knowledge

• NGO and personal contact

• Corporate partners

• 5-10 year commitment

• Annual events

• University connections • Campus marketing • Meetings, workshops

• Community service events Channels • Collaboration • Sponsorship recognition

• Events and updates

• Project work, leadership

• Local events

• Technical training

Revenue Streams • Grants • Corporate Sponsorships • Community contributions • Friends and family contributions

Distribution piping in a slow sand filter in Huai Nam Khun.


Customer Segments

• Campus marketing

• Grants/ donations

Cost Structure • Student travel • Project materials, equipment • Events

Customer Relationships

• Partner communities

• Student members • San Luis Obispo community





Completed health clinic in Camilo Ortega that now serves a region of over 23,000 people.





VISION, MISSION, AND VALUES As a student chapter of EWB-USA and an organization within Cal Poly’s College of Engineering, EWB Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo shares the mission and vision of both organizations. The College’s vision of transforming students into world class, innovative and collaborative engineers to meet the challenges of the 21st century can be realized through the intercultural and inter-disciplinary project opportunities within chapter’s programs. The College’s mission to provide an excellent Learn by Doing education and graduate indemand, Day One-ready professionals is accomplished through hands-on project work and professional development opportunities. By closely following both the College and the EWB-USA mission and vision, the Cal Poly chapter serves its partner communities by facilitating community driven development. Student members are afforded opportunities for growth and the ability to apply learned knowledge from the class to realworld projects.







enriched needs
















implement engineering





development EWB-USA leaders

partners responsible programs creating


local design transformative

[Above] Water testing in Thailand draws a crowd. [Left] Construction worker plasters inside of septic tank in India.


CORE VALUES EWB-USA outlined a set of six core values in the March 2010 strategic plan. These values are fundamental pillars that govern the organization. Integrity Being honest, credible, trustworthy, and respectful as staff and community development project work is conducted. Service Serving developing communities. Collaboration Executing projects in the framework of partnerships. Ingenuity Being adaptable, flexible, inventive and entrepreneurial as community development and project work is planned, designed, built and commissioned for long term operations. Leadership Being purpose-driven; team centered; adventurous; innovative; responsible; respectful; open; inclusive; and influential by actions demonstrating character, professional excellence and integrity. Safety Being committed to safeguarding the health, safety and security of all members, partners and communities by the identification and mitigation of risk and acting with deference to safety and security as work is conducted.

Children in Thailand pose for a picture near the community water storage tank.



EWB and community members collaborating during construction in India.


EWB member building community relations in Nicaragua. It is the chapter’s goal to create responsible global leaders who understand the context of chapter projects.


VISION, MISSION, AND VALUES The Cal Poly chapter accepts and lives out the EWB-USA values but acknowledges the benefit of expanding these principles. The following values incorporate the Cal Poly culture and make up a comprehensive set of chapter values: Responsibility Being able to act as a professional to apply knowledge in the pursuit of appropriate solutions. Student Development Dedicating due effort to expand global perspectives and awareness. Excellence Being able to self-evaluate, acknowledge failure, and utilize resources in order to strengthen programs, people, and projects. These values reflect how the Cal Poly chapter strives to operate and relate to its partners. Each value can be translated into a chapter strategy which is utilized in accomplishing the EWB-USA and Cal Poly College of Engineering missions.

Cal Poly College of Engineering Mission

“The College of Engineering provides an excellent Learn by Doing education and graduates in-demand, Day One-ready professionals.�

View of Sainji Village where the chapter has been active since 2010.


MOVING FORWARD STRATEGIES Responsible Impact Chapter projects will utilize known best practices in the field of international development to facilitate community driven, sustainable, and appropriate change. By incorporating expert knowledge, collaborating with like-minded organizations, and practicing selfexamination, the chapter will maintain these best practices. Student Experiences The chapter will invest in developing members to obtain proficiency in cross-cultural communication, global competency, teamwork, and leadership. Students will have opportunities in inter-disciplinary project work and international travel. The chapter will provide faculty mentorship and professional networking.


Collaborative Relationships The chapter will cultivate long-term partnerships that provide an open exchange of knowledge and resources between partner communities, faculty, students, professionals, sponsors, and local organizations. The chapter will strive to provide value to each of its partners. Iterative Improvement In all endeavors, the chapter will value and practice innovation, transparency, and evaluation. This includes reviewing past efforts, expanding on existing knowledge and strengthening goals. The chapter will annually reassess its progress and make adjustments to continue molding to meet current needs. Knowledge Transfer Typically considered a fundamental principle of international development, the chapter will apply this concept across all activities. It will be a priority to ensure that members understand EWB-USA processes, methodologies, and practices. Chapter leadership and mentorship will promote this exchange on a regular basis.


Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Student Chapter 1 Grand Ave. 40-117 San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

EWB Cal Poly Strategic Plan  
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