Publishers support engineering projects in developing world
Elsevier and newly acquired Knovel support Engineers Without Borders USA
By Ian Evans Posted on 20 February 2013
Hand-dug wells, composting latrines and hydropower systems are just some of the projects that Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) has assisted with in the developing world.
Now, various scientific publishers are offering their support through a plan that will make some of their books available to US chapters of the organization, free of charge. [caption align="alignright" width=300 ]
- American Society of Plumbing Engineers
- Industrial Press
- International Council on Mining and Metals
- Woodhead Publishing [/caption]
Mary Perkins, Corporate and Individual Giving Manager for EWB-USA, explained what this means for the nonprofit organization: “This is the first time we’ve secured a technical resource and had it available to our members through the online repository. It’s only been online for a few weeks, but we know that our members are interested in as much research as possible to enhance the work they’re doing with us. ”
‘Teach a man to fish (or dig wells) …’
(Photo by EWB-USA Portland Professionals on facebook.com/ewbusa)
The organization embraces the philosophy that it’s better to create growth rather than dependency – that, according to the well-known proverb, if you teach someone to fish, you feed them for a lifetime
Working collaboratively with communities around the world is one of the key elements of Elsevier’s approach to corporate responsibility. Melissa Fulkerson, Senior Channel Manager for Elsevier Science and Technology Books, based in Boston, said this approach fuelled the decision to get involved.
“It’s important for us to offer this content to the people who need it most,” she said. “EWB-USA members are volunteering their time, so it’s important for us to do what we can to make their jobs easier and allow them to be more effective.”
In 2011, more than 100 student and professional chapters of Engineers Without Borders USA partnered with communities in 37 different countries to deliver projects that would change people’s lives. Members are professionals and students from a variety of fields, including engineering, public health, anthropology and business. They set up small-scale projects in communities across the world and then train local community members and local NGOs to successfully monitor and maintain the projects.
The program is set to run until the end of the year, at which point Knovel and Elsevier will assess whether to renew the commitment.
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Ian Evans is Communications Business Partner for Global Internal Communications at Elsevier. He is based in Oxford.