Abstract

Those working in Engineering for Global Development seek to improve the conditions in developing countries. A common metric for understanding the development state of a given country is the Human Development Index (HDI), which focuses on three dimensions: health, education, and income. An engineer's expertise does not always align with any of those dimensions directly, while they still hope to perform impactful work for human development. To discover other areas of expertise that are highly associated with the HDI, correlations and variable selection were performed between all World Development Indicators and the HDI. The resultant associations are presented according to industry sector for a straightforward connection to engineering expertise. The associated areas of expertise can be used during opportunity development as surrogates for focusing on the HDI dimensions themselves. The data analysis shows that work related to “Trade, Transportation, and Utilities”, such as electricity distribution, and exports or imports, “Natural Resources and Mining”, such as energy resources, agriculture or access to clean water, and “Manufacturing”, in general, are most commonly associated with improvements in the HDI in developing countries. Also, because the associations were discovered at country-level, they direct where geographically particular areas of expertise have been historically associated with improving HDI.

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