Abstract

With limited time and resources available to carry out Engineering for Global Development (EGD) projects, it can be difficult to know where those resources should be allocated to have greater potential for meaningful impact. It is easy to assume that projects should occur in a particular location based on personal experience or where other development projects are taking place. This can be a consideration, but it may not lead to the greatest social impact. Where to work on a project and what problem to work on are key questions in the early stages of product development in the context of EGD. To aid in this process, this article presents a method for assessing global needs to ensure thoughtful use of limited EGD resources. We introduce a method for identifying locations where there is human need, gaps in technological achievement, and what the work environment is in a country. Results of the method are compared to what countries receive the most foreign aid dollars per capita. Measures were calculated using the principal component analysis on data from development agencies. These results can help practitioners in selecting where to undertake development projects with an eye toward targeting locations that may yield high levels of social impact.

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