Surveying the Community Community Water Council Project Design
Education Community Involvement Safety Monitoring
Although every project we work on is different, the process used to find and execute a solution is mostly the same. Below you will find a summary of our process. For more information please follow the links found within the summary.
Every project starts with a survey of the community. At this time we introduce ourselves to the community, and give everyone an idea of what can be expected in the upcoming weeks and months. We then conduct interviews with community members to learn as much as we can about the community, their values, and their aspirations.
While some people are conducting interviews, others will be mapping out the community through a process called participatory mapping.
Once we have the information from our interviews and maps, we are ready to start moving towards a solution. The first step is to set up a Community Water Council. This council will be instrumental in all parts of the project; from design, to execution, to maintaining the completed project.
The council will also be the voice of the community. Through regular meetings, the community will be involved in every aspect of the project design, a key point in making the project a success that lasts long into the future.
HydrateLife will provide the community with several solutions to choose from based on their feedback. As a driving principal, all solutions will be centered on the idea of utilizing simple and appropriate technologies, that are friendly to the surrounding environment.
In order for the community to get behind the purpose of the project, and make an informed decision on a solution, they must be educated on the connection between dirty water, unfit sanitation practices, poor hygiene, and health. This is the basis of the first part of our education program, which will occur as the council is being established, and during the early stages of design.
Once a solution has been decided on, it’s time to start working. At the direction of HydrateLife, and our in-country partners, the community will provide all of the labor needed on the project. Our projects could not be done without community involvement, which is very important in fostering a real sense of ownership among the community. Because the community will be providing the labor, safety will be a big factor. Therefore, we will have a project specific safety plan on every project.
During the build-out, our education program will continue and we will teach the community the specifics of the solution being implemented, focusing on how it will lead to a healthier community, and how to properly use the equipment and facilities.
Once the project is complete there are still a couple of steps left. The first is to set up a monitoring plan, making sure that the communities we work with continue to be healthy after we leave. Additionally, the last part of our education program will deal with training select members of the community on the repair and maintenance of the equipment. This is essential to the lasting success of the project, and will be the last step before leaving the site.