The Work

Promoting successful
development, one
project at a time.

Thanks to generous financial support from our donors, AWB’s projects have taken our volunteers around the world, from Africa to Asia to South America. They devote their time, energy, and expertise to short- and long-term projects that foster the skills and knowledge needed in areas such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and business—the building blocks of successful societies and countries.

The projects take place in all areas in which universities are engaged, including teaching, research, and back-office operations

Featured Projects

Recent Projects

In Guyana, at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, AWB is working to build capacity in both primary care and research methods in the family medicine residency program. The volunteers are working with the Master of Public Health program in Georgetown to develop modules in research methods and public health for medical residents, and deliver the modules in a training program. Four of four working visits for this project have been completed with the last one ending in mid April.

Date: 2016-2018


  • David Ponka, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Basia Siedlecki, Global Health Coordinator, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Thunder Bay, Ontario

In The Philippines, at the University of San Carlos, AWB is working with some of the faculty in its Science and Mathematics Education Department to upgrade their ability to teach and run workshops for school teachers in statistics and probability, which have just been added to the school curriculum in the Philippines. The project extends over 5 years. The first posting for the project was completed on May 10, 2015. The volunteer returned to USC in April 2016 for a four-week working visit to continue working with the teachers in workshops. The most recent working visit took place in April 2017.

Date: 2015-2019


  • Lionel Pereira-Mendoza, former Associate Dean (Educational Research), Graduate Programmes and Research Office, National Institute of Education, Singapore

In Uganda, at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), MicroResearch and AWB ran a research methodology workshop for health care workers in various disciplines. The first level result of the project was to develop the capacity of health care professionals in Uganda at MUST to propose, conduct and write local community based research projects. The training resulted in three locally-based research projects focusing on specific questions related to child and maternal health concerns in the region.

Date: 2017


  • Noni MacDonald, MD, Professor, IWK Health Centre, Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and Co-Director of MicroResearch International, Halifax, Nova Scotia

In Indonesia, at Syiah Kuala University, AWB helped to develop an educational obstetrical program to teach obstetrical and neonatal care to provide emergency obstetric skills in the rural areas of Sumatra. During her nine-week posting, the volunteer led training at multiple rural sites during nine weeks working with faculty at the medical school.

Date: 2017


  • Keyna Bracken, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario & Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation Fellow

How is a Project Chosen?

Every project begins with a request for help.

Universities in developing countries are key to improving the lives of all citizens, including the most disadvantaged. Often the quality of their educational programs and their research capacity limit the contributions they can make to their country’s development.

We believe that the best way to assist developing countries is to share academic expertise with their universities so they can develop their own leaders, experts and professionals. Educating people at home rather than abroad strengthens the ties to local culture and communities and makes it more likely that graduates will remain in their home countries.


Project Proposal

A university in the developing world submits a proposal identifying what it hopes to achieve and what help it needs to implement the proposal.

The projects vary from single courses to system overhauls.


Recruit & Send Volunteers

After AWB recruits suitable volunteers, the university selects the one best matched to its project. The volunteer is then sent to the university to carry out the project activities.

AWB and the host university cover the volunteer’s expenses.


Long-lasting Impact

We work to build sustainable systems for lasting impact.

Through the train-the-trainer model we use, each project builds local capacity and expertise so that the benefits of AWB’s involvement are multiplied and persist long after its volunteers return home.

Are you a university in the developing world with a project proposal to improve your institution?

We welcome proposals for new projects from universities and ministries of higher education in the developing world.

Since 2009, our projects have been mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, but also in South America, Central Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.

Where We Work

Our work concentrates on the most economically disadvantaged countries.

Years of global investment in primary and secondary education has increased demand for university-level learning, with informed estimates predicting that the number of students attending university in these countries will double in less than a decade.

Unfortunately, many universities lack the expertise and experience to respond adequately to the challenges of increasing numbers of students. That’s why they need help, and that’s why AWB’s involvement is so important.

AWB supports projects and institutions in the world’s least developed countries – those identified as low or medium in the United Nations Development Program‘s Human Development Index. In exceptional cases, AWB considers projects in countries that are not in this list but are included in the UNDP’s Multidimensional Poverty Index. For these projects, a compelling case must be made that, although the country is not among the world’s least developed, support is justified because of regional economic inequalities within the country.

To date we have partnered on projects with…

  • Abomey-Calavi University, Benin
  • Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Aga Khan University, East Africa
  • Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  • Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Guyana
  • Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Kenya
  • Hawassa University, Ethiopia
  • Kabarak University, Kenya
  • Karatina University, Kenya
  • Kenyatta University, Kenya
  • Kerala Veterinary & Animal Sciences University, India
  • Kwara State University, Nigeria
  • Lviv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine
  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
  • Mekele University, Ethiopia
  • Nairobi Hospital, Kenya
  • National University of Rwanda
  • Nelson Mandela African University of Science & Technology, Tanzania
  • Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal
  • Royal University of Bhutan
  • Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • State Islamic University Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia
  • Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health, Tanzania
  • University of Bio Bio, Chile
  • University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • University of Central Asia, Kyrgyz Republic
  • University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana
  • University of Liberia
  • University of Makeni, Sierra Leone
  • University of Malawi
  • University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • University of Namibia
  • University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • University of Rwanda
  • University of San Carlos, Philippines
  • University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam