Poverty Alleviation - the role of the engineer

Cover image for Poverty Alleviation - the role of the engineer

This companion document to David Singleton’s ICE Brunel International Lecture sets out how engineers can collaborate to alleviate poverty.

Key features

‘Poverty Alleviation: the role of the engineer’, by David Singleton (Chair of Arup’s global Planning practice), is the companion document to the ICE Brunel International lecture by the same name.

Poverty alleviation in the developing world will invariably involve a contribution from professional engineers. However, such initiatives are too often unsustainable. The sustained alleviation of poverty through the implementation of infrastructure solutions requires attention to the underlying social, economic and political influences. The engineering profession should not accept a role of supporting poor policy with ‘good engineering’.

The role of the engineer is important but the engineer must work in collaboration with other professionals if sustainable poverty alleviation is to occur. Engineering solutions to poverty situations must take account of socio-political and economic frameworks, if they are to achieve medium to long-term sustainability.

Creative engineering solutions to alleviate poverty can be achieved when the engineering profession acts to meet the challenges posed by the developing world.

Nicole Hahn of Arup undertook the research for this paper.

Watch David Singleton presenting the lecture