September 2, 2021

The Survey Is in: What We Learned About You in 2021

The results are in from the 2021 survey of our members and online community. More than 3,000 of you responded – 3,055, or about 7 percent of our membership. The findings varied widely from those of previous surveys, and we had more respondents than in the past.

Trying to understand these results, we recognize they were not obtained as a representative sample of the community. We also note that those of you who responded have, by virtue of your action, designated yourselves as people who are engaged and active in our online community. With that in mind, this is what we learned about you.

You are diverse

Your responses show roughly equal percentages of our community in the different sectors and stages of employment. Those include public and private sectors, academia, retirement, seeking employment, entrepreneurship and others. The chart below shows the numbers.

And you work in a variety of sectors. Most of you work in design, engineering, international development and other technical professions, as we suspected. But there are exceptions.

You are actively designing and implementing technologies

We asked you “What is your role?” And many of you told us you are actively designing or implementing technologies that meet basic needs in underserved communities. The bar graph below shows your responses.

To understand the chart above, please see these longer titles for each bar.

a. Team member delivering tech-based solutions
b. Design/invent products/services for development/undeserved communities
c. Product purchase to distribute/sell to low-income customers
d. Funding for new products that serve low-income customers/ underserved communities
e. Advise/mentor projects/ventures
f. Manage social impact related programs
g. Teach development engineering/social impact design
f. Research in Technology and systems for international development
Student interested in learning more about sustainable development

You are looking for project guidance, collaboration and investment due diligence in implementing technologies

How do you use our platform? One-third of you use E4C to identify experts or potential collaborators. One-third of you find guidance on project implementation on our site, and nearly one-third of you, or 29 percent, use our platform for due diligence on investments. The survey allowed more than one response, and similar numbers of respondents said you use the site for academic research and to inform design and performance parameters.

Our platform helps meet your goals

How did E4C’s resources affect your goals? The highest number of you, the respondents, said our platform improved your project strategy and implementation (37 percent). Similar numbers of respondents said the platform inspired new ideas, enabled new partnership and improved technological solutions.

You want more implementation guides and courses

What do you want from E4C? The most sought-after resource is implementation guides, with more than 40 percent of you requesting more. Following that, roughly one-third of respondents requested more courses, checklists, podcasts and in-person workshops. Each gathered roughly one-third of the responses, as the system allowed you to check more than one item.

What are you getting out of E4C?

We asked you to describe your experience in one sentence. Themes among the responses were networking, information, inspiration, and education. These are real responses you gave.

  • I get more inspired for engineering innovation design, beyond my academic training, by discovering my creativity and innovation skills when it comes to build new sustainable and innovative engineering solutions.
  • E4C connects me to a broad range of research topics and professionals in the engineering for global development space.
  • Network and professional development.
  • I am getting an all-in-one platform for job opportunities, industry updates, and relevant courses and webinars.
  • Access to persons working on projects that may be of interest to me.
  • Wider view of potential solution to assist in international development projects
  • I’m getting the tools I didn’t receive during my undergrad/grad studies. The intro to EGD in particular was very useful to organize and develop new projects.
  • I met like-minded people

What we learned

We view your responses as a snapshot of opinions from some of the people who are active in our online community. The survey was not designed to scientifically represent our membership, but your feedback has launched discussion about how we serve our community. We are taking to heart the calls for resources you would like to use, such as implementation guides and courses. And we are encouraged by the suggestion that we are meeting our goal to improve technology design and implementation and the sector of engineering for global development.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourselves. If you missed the chance to fill out the survey, leave a comment below to tell us about your work, how you use the resources on this site, and what you would like for us to improve.

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