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Topic Title: ODI type fellowship for Qualified Engineers
Topic Summary: Engineers supporting developing economies
Created On: 05 March 2014 06:07 PM
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 05 March 2014 06:07 PM
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Avatar for broweriie                                         .
broweriie

Posts: 24
Joined: 25 July 2008

I want to make a list so ask if anyone has come across schemes, in any form, for Engineers, that mimics that run by DFID and the Overseas Development Institute? (I am not referring to disaster relief run by NGO's or charities but a more long term concept). The ODI offers highly qualified new and experienced practitioner Economists and Statisticians the chance to help developing countries. The scheme sends fellows to work abroad for 2 years (paid a £22K/yr stipend) posted within a government sector in one of 30 developing countries. The value to both the developing country and latterly to the UK economy of that experience I believe is a great asset. The engineering professions offer such a broad set of skills and knowledge from electrical, power, communication, water, I could go on, that would be an asset to the developing world. Engineers could be posted to work with government departments within their specialty in an advisory role.

Julian Brower CEng FIET

Edited: 06 March 2014 at 07:50 AM by broweriie
 07 March 2014 12:34 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
Joined: 05 September 2004

There is also a wider strategic point, from a European prospective.

We have a first priority interest (in terms of security and stability on our EU borders) in seeing successful and vibrant economies maintained and growing in the countries that border the EU. To the south the North African countries of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia Algeria and Morocco.

Ukraine is a particular issue at the moment. That is a country that needs to be weaned off subsidised energy imports over the next few years. This will require huge engineering input, in helping advise on energy efficiency measures etc. It will mean huge investment as existing industries will have to reinvest in more modern energy efficient equipment and processes to stay in business. Both Russian and EU governments and investors have an important part to play here. Hopefully once the Crimean referendum has taken place a treaty can be drafted and signed between Ukraine and Russia guaranteeing the rights of the minority ethnic and religious populations resident on the peninsular as part of a new consitutional settlement and perhaps increased autonomy - which ever becomes the lead nation from a defence and security point of view.

My view is that we can't take peace and security in Europe and surrounding nations for granted, we have to engineer this somehow in partnership with our neighbours.

We don't want to head unthinking into a destructive period of resource wars, fighting over rights and applied subsidies, in regards to energy and water resources.


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James Arathoon
 10 March 2014 12:15 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
Joined: 05 September 2004

Simply air lifting in aid or fixed mindset aid workers, in the style of the old NGO aid model is no answer...we just create aid dependency and weaken confidence and self-respect; by undermining local economies, cultural bonds and knowledge.

Somali farmers benefit from al-Shabab reforms

al-Shabab are instituting self-sufficiency projects to keep NGO's out of the somalia. I am not condoning the bad things that al-Shabab (as an organisation) has done; we should however listen to legitimate criticism of what happens when NGO's supply food and other aid in the wrong way, helping to destroy local economies, rather than helping make them more resilient.

"By not taxing farmers for their land but for what they produce, Boru said al-Shabab is encouraging more people to farm - which means more tax income from the increased produce. And by providing rent-free premises for restaurateurs who serve only locally sourced food, the group is maintaining the demand for local food and safeguarding their coffers, he added.

Al-Shabab's decision to ban aid organisations could also help minimise risks to the armed group's security. "Making the residents self-sufficient reduces the opportunity for relief aid - a 'honey trap' for intelligence gathering by the Western aid agencies."

Regardless of al-Shabab's motives for banning NGOs and building canals, many locals have welcomed the developments. "Before, I was a beggar. Now what I produce with my two hands in my farm is sold in the markets of Mogadishu. God sent us al-Shabab to chase [out] the NGOs," said Qarawi, the sesame farmer
."

It's a strange world...

Just as conflicts can arise in different ways than we might expect - it is also true that solutions to conflicts can start to arise in suprising ways - perhaps via water engineering and self-sufficiency initiatives in this case.


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James Arathoon
 14 March 2014 08:12 AM
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Avatar for broweriie                                         .
broweriie

Posts: 24
Joined: 25 July 2008

'Engineers without borders UK' is an interesting organisation that has a network of young engineers from various institutions and working environments. They are recruited to go to mostly developing countries to tackle real challenges. It is all voluntary so can only facilitate short period placements. I wonder if there are any other organisations like this?
 14 March 2014 02:26 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1043
Joined: 05 September 2004

There was the Intermediate technology movement inspired by Fritz Schumachers "Small is Beautiful" idealism. I came across this in the late 80's. They had a whole series of engineering designs for small scale intermediate tech applications. This organisation has now morphed into something called "Practical Action".

http://practicalaction.org/history

My feeling now is that engineers should try to approach all new problems with an open mind, even for tasks they think they have encountered before, and not be unduly weighed down by a particular ideology or set of ideologies.

And by the way...anyone from around the world is free to join this organisation. There are people on these forums giving advice free of charge to people all over the world. So in a sense we are operating an engineering mentoring service without borders and all on a voluntary basis (apart from the IET paid staff).

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James Arathoon
 19 March 2014 03:05 PM
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Linda D

Posts: 6
Joined: 09 December 2010

Julian

As well as Engineers without Borders and RedR - already mentioned - you may find some useful information in this document which we provide on the IET Awards websitewebsite link

Alternative Financial sources Document
Another scheme I am aware of is for citizens of a developing Commonwealth country: http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply...ips/info-hosts/


If you come across any schemes which you think we should add to the above document, please email them to awards@theiet.org

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Linda Deleay
Awards and Prizes Manager
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

Edited: 19 March 2014 at 03:12 PM by Linda D
 10 April 2014 02:04 PM
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Avatar for broweriie                                         .
broweriie

Posts: 24
Joined: 25 July 2008

Linda, thanks for that link.
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