Although everyone on the Global Partners team has an important role to play, the members of our technical team deserve special recognition. Our core technical team, affectionately called “Team Engineer” by the rest of the Global Partners staff, consists of Joseph Ochieng (Technical Director), Elias Njoga (Field Engineer), and Michael Glaser (Technical Advisor and GPFD Board Member). So why does this team deserve a special shout out?
Their expertise guides our work from partner selection to long-term project sustainability. When we first assess a potential partnership with a school or community, the technical team looks at the existing infrastructure and notes any resources and obstacles. Once a community selects a project, our technical team works with them to determine how to best turn their vision into reality. They then create project designs and budgets, work alongside construction contractors and crews to ensure that projects are implemented correctly, and provide operation and maintenance trainings to ensure that projects keep working well into the future.
They are problem solvers. When we run into a challenge or problem involving infrastructure projects, we count on the technical team to come up with creative and effective solutions. For example, we frequently partner with schools whose latrines are sinking. Conventional latrines are prone to collapse in certain soil types, which is both dangerous and costly. The technical team put their heads together and began implementing SanPlat latrine systems in areas with problematic soil. These latrines actually become stronger as they fill and are a more sustainable solution.
They are always looking for better ways of doing things. While many might be content to say “good enough,” the technical team is constantly striving to improve our designs, make our projects more environmentally friendly, implement better technologies, and leave communities with the knowledge to sustain projects long-term.
We couldn’t do our work without this amazing team. As stated by Michael Glaser, “We are literally responsible for the health and wellbeing of people’s lives.” Lucky for Global Partners and our partner communities, we are in good hands.