Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

EWB’s Organizational Structure

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has an organizational structure called a venture system.  Each venture is its own semi-independent entity and EWB is the incubator.  The venture’s members are responsible for its direction (under the umbrella of EWB’s goals) and securing funding.  I think it is the hope for each venture to eventually spin-off and become fully independent.

Each venture has its own mandate and countries within which it operates.  For example, Water and Sanitation (WatSan) is in Malawi whereas Business Development Services (BDS) operates in Ghana, Zambia, Burkina Faso, and Kenya.

This decentralized organizational structure allows for more creativity and variety.  However, one criticism (depending on your point of view) is that there is little communication between the ventures.  I recently met someone in Vancouver who works with BDS in the same city as I’ll be based in, but he was a bit hesitant to answer when I said goodbye with a “See you soon!”

“Maybe.”

This autumn, I’m working with the Amplify Governance venture (formally called Governance and Rural Infrastructure or G&RI).  More on that tomorrow!

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