​All EWB projects are strictly regulated by EWB-USA to ensure professionalism, high construction standards, and safety. Communication between student chapters and EWB-USA is maintained via extensive report-writing, the outline of which is provided here. Each report provides a thorough description of the community, the project’s design and impact, and much more. EWB-USA has assigned a number and a title to each report; both appear below.

Projects last for a minimum of 5 years and occur in three basic phases:

  1. Assessment trips: the pre-construction phase; these trips are intended for gaining information to assist project design, not for building structures or purchasing materials. They often mark the team’s first entrance into the community.
  2. Implementation trips: the construction phase; during this time, chapter members work alongside community members to complete the physical work required to produce the actual product, which is designed according to US standards.
  3. Monitoring trips: the post-construction phase; these trips help teach the community how to maintain the project and troubleshoot errors to promote sustainability, acquire status updates, and assess the project’s impact.

These phases are repeated as necessary to ensure proper design and implementation.

These are the corresponding number, title and description to each report for EWB-USA:


501 | Community Application

Engineers Without Borders maintains that projects must be community-driven in the interests of sustainability, community ownership, and community organization. This helps us integrate the project into the community through collaboration rather than instituting modern technology without mutual agreement or understanding.

502 | Chapter Application

The EWB student chapter submits their 502 shortly after the community submits their 501. This observes the EWB model of a community-driven partnership and, upon approval, marks the official start the EWB student chapter’s project.

521 | Pre-Assessment Trip Report

Designed to identify, declare, and organize the team’s objectives, which include “establishing relationships, verifying community priorities, assessing overall project feasibility and collecting sufficient technical data to support the design of a sustainable engineering project”.

522 | Post-Assessment Trip Report

Designed to “present, summarize, and document” the information gained during the assessment trip.

523 | Alternatives Analysis Report

Provides a detailed assessment of three potential solutions to the problem(s) identified over the course of the assessment trip as well as why one of these solutions might be preferred.

524 | Preliminary Design Report

Includes the chapter’s entire project design, which at this point still requires technical review and improvement. This review is provided by an EWB-USA Project Manager.

525 | Pre-implementation Trip Report

Contains the chapter’s final design and must be submitted along with an extensive Health and Safety Plan (HASP; form 600) and an emergency contact list (form 606).

525B | Pre-implementation Short Form Report

Used for the approval any implementation trips required beyond the first implementation trip.

526 | Post-implementation Trip Report

Presents and records the process of implementation as it actually occurred.

530 | Pre-monitoring Trip Report

Ensures that safety and sufficient time are included in the chapter’s monitoring trip, which occurs after project implementation to identify post-construction issues and to gather data for determining the project’s success.

531 | Post-monitoring Trip Report

Describes the monitoring trip activities and the status of the chapter’s implemented project.

501B | New Project within an Existing Program

Used to begin a new program while a separate program is already being executed. For instance, if the community asks the chapter to build a bridge while the chapter is already building a school, if the scope of the project changes considerably, or if the chapter is asked to complete a project in a neighboring community, then a 501B must be completed.

527 | Program Closeout Report

Formally closes a program and provides a final status report. This is used for the closure of an entire program, not a specific project within a program.

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