As water becomes increasingly scarce, it becomes more important to ensure its reliable access, especially in rural areas dependent on agriculture for both national food security and personal livelihoods. Too often the aid that is funneled to support these rural regions results in poor project sustainability and resiliency. With a variety of major actors in these project implementations, the actual definition of an achievable and successful project remains elusive. This research seeks to better understand how projects are evaluated from the perspectives of four main stakeholders: engineer, funder, government, and international NGO. We have used text mining analysis on a novel Stakeholder Evaluation Database (SED) to find representative phrases for each of the main stakeholders. Using cosine similarity, we compare top phrases across stakeholders and find evidence of differing priorities. While most stakeholder comparisons showed convergence, funders and international NGOs remain relatively dissimilar, a surprising result from stakeholders that often must interact closely throughout the project process. We also find a lack of available information on the opinions of the recipients of projects. This process is a first step in recognizing the differing priorities of stakeholders. Further refinement of the method seeks to include the recipient community perspectives, giving a voice to those most dependent upon and vulnerable to the success or failure of international engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2019
Event2019 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Boston, United States
Duration: Jul 7 2019Jul 10 2019


Conference2019 ASABE Annual International Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Big data
  • Contextual engineering
  • International development
  • Phrase mining
  • Project evaluation
  • Rural water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Bioengineering


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