Community Engagement in Sustainable Development Projects

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Community involvement is essential to any successful sustainable development project, but how can we best incorporate stakeholders into our project planning and implementation while avoiding common pitfalls? Applying a systems thinking approach will help us remember to take into account the context in order to avoid doing harm and achieve positive results. Whether you’re working in your own community or in a foreign one, hearing directly from community members about their needs, concerns, aspirations, or values is a crucial element of meeting any project's goals. Involving community members will also increase their buy-in and ownership of the project, which promotes successful implementation and retention. After completing this course, you will be better prepared to:  

  • Appreciate the importance of designing projects with/by the community, and how it affects the overall success of the project.
  • Identify different stakeholder groups in any given project and how to reach out to them.  
  • Understand possible methods for surveying stakeholders’ needs and involving community members in projects.  
  • Recognize common mistakes in implementing community engagement, and consider possible solutions.  

The course also demonstrates how healthy community engagement can be directly connected to successful outcomes in sustainable development projects, and includes a link to a toolbox to assist with identifying and assessing community concerns, needs, and assets.

This is the third module of the Humanitarian Technology and Sustainable Development at IEEE curriculum. We recommend you first complete the ""Introduction to Sustainable Development"" and ""Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Humanitarian and Sustainable Development"" modules (link if possible) before beginning this course in order to build upon the information previously provided.


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IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC)

The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) provides a suite of resources that inspire and enable IEEE volunteers around the world to carry out and/or support impactful humanitarian technology and sustainable development activities at the local level.

HAC focuses on raising awareness of how technically trained people can contribute, providing training for engagement in humanitarian technology and sustainable development activities, supporting and evaluating projects, and cultivating relationships and leveraging opportunities, so that IEEE can become a leader in the global sustainable development community. The committee reports to the IEEE Board of Directors.

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IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT)

IEEE SIGHT is a global network of IEEE volunteers partnering with under-served communities & local organizations to leverage technology for sustainable development.

Audience: Volunteers who are interested in learning about sustainable development and applying their technical skills by getting involved in humanitarian and sustainable development projects.

Publication Year: 2020

Community Engagement in Sustainable Development Projects
  • Course Provider: IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee
  • Course Number: HAC003
  • Duration (Hours): 1
  • Credits: 0.1 CEU/ 1 PDH