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IEEE Humanitarian Program Sees Report Development


The IEEE Humanitarian Actions Committee had loads to rejoice final 12 months. HAC doubled the membership of its IEEE Particular Curiosity Group on Humanitarian Expertise (IEEE SIGHT) program, partnered with distinguished organizations, and acquired a file variety of undertaking proposals.

The committee, which experiences to the IEEE Board of Administrators, focuses on elevating consciousness of how technically educated folks can contribute to society. It additionally gives coaching on find out how to go about doing that. HAC can be centered on constructing a sustainable improvement group inside and past IEEE. As well as, the committee gives funding for humanitarian know-how initiatives and sustainable improvement actions.

HAC’s IEEE SIGHT program, which helps join IEEE members with underserved communities and native organizations for work on sustainable improvement initiatives, now has nearly 25,000 members. The variety of undertaking proposals elevated by nearly 50 % final 12 months. And it spearheaded a number of engagement alternatives with United Nations businesses.

“Final 12 months was particularly very satisfying for me as a result of we’re scaling this program to new heights regardless of challenges the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated,” says IEEE Senior Member Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, the committee chair.


The committee participated in a number of U.N. occasions final 12 months, together with the Multi-Stakeholder Discussion board on Science, Expertise, and Innovation for the SDGs and the World Sustainable Expertise and Innovation Neighborhood Convention.

On the STI Discussion board in Might, HAC introduced the Toes on the Floor: The right way to Join with a World Community of Native, Technically Skilled Companions within the Time of COVID and Past workshop. Veeraraghavan and Holly Schneider Brown, director of IEEE Public Imperatives and Company Improvement, instructed policymakers from world wide about a number of the initiatives the group has funded. They embody an automated soil-monitoring and irrigation system, remote-education assets for underserved communities, and pandemic-related applied sciences.

HAC members additionally spoke at different U.N. panels such because the WSIS Stocktaking Repository of Ladies in Expertise, the Science Summit at UNGA76, and the engagement alternatives and coverage debate roundtable hosted by IEEE TechEthics and the U.N. Division of Financial and Social Affairs.

In October the committee led a G-STIC panel that supplied an summary of a number of IEEE packages together with IEEE Entrepreneurship, which gives mentoring and different assets to members who wish to begin their very own firm. The panel, which is obtainable to watch on demand, additionally coated what IEEE is doing within the space of sustainable improvement and the way know-how may also help handle agricultural, well being care, and pandemic-related challenges.

IEEE HAC has elevated its capability to “encourage and allow IEEE volunteers worldwide to hold out and help humanitarian initiatives and sustainable improvement actions on the native stage.”

The group has fashioned relationships with IEEE areas, sections, and teams via its partnership packages. Area 10 was the primary to collaborate with the committee. The 2 teams issued a joint name for proposals in June, looking for prototypes of applied sciences that handle communities’ wants in areas corresponding to well being care and training.

“We needed to offer an engagement alternative that enabled our members to [find] a distinct segment for his or her expertise,” Veeraraghavan says.

Rows of people in masks standing with thumbs up in a grassed -over bricked area surrounded by buildings.
Volunteers from the IEEE Malaysia Part and IEEE SIGHT members are working to implement an IoT and good software answer to develop hydroponic crops with real-time monitoring capabilities. The undertaking acquired funding from IEEE HAC.IEEE SIGHT

Fifty-six proposals, which addressed challenges introduced on by the pandemic, have been submitted from seven nations and 17 IEEE sections. Twenty-seven of the initiatives acquired funding, together with ones that discover robots to help well being care employees and distant instruments to watch sufferers’ important indicators.

IEEE HAC additionally collaborated with IEEE Ladies in Engineering. The 2 teams devised a coaching program for IEEE WIE chapters to show them methods to arrange humanitarian and sustainable improvement actions. This system goals to encourage WIE members to take part in HAC actions. A pilot of this system is slated to start this 12 months.

By growing the brand new relationships, Veeraraghavan says, IEEE HAC has elevated its capability to “encourage and allow IEEE volunteers worldwide to hold out and help humanitarian initiatives and sustainable improvement actions on the native stage.”


The committee held its first World Summit in November. The digital occasion—first of its sort—introduced collectively IEEE members from world wide who’re utilizing or wish to use their technical experience to handle sustainable improvement challenges of their space.

Audio system included 2021 IEEE President Susan “Kathy” Land; Paola Vega Castillo, Costa Rica’s minister of science, know-how, and telecommunications; and Houlin Zhao, the U.N. Worldwide Telecommunication Union secretary-general. ITU facilitates focus teams in radio communications, requirements improvement, and telecommunications improvement to determine tips and requirements. The summit additionally included panel discussions on HAC-funded initiatives, which can be found to watch on demand on IEEE.television.

There have been 345 registrants from 48 nations. In a survey HAC performed after the occasion, greater than 80 % stated they have been glad with the occasion. One attendee wrote that they loved studying about HAC’s multidisciplinary initiatives which have been utilized in “serving to to unravel or alleviate a number of the emergent points attributable to the pandemic.”

Elevating HAC’s visibility appears to be paying off, Veeraraghavan says. Final 12 months practically 385 undertaking proposals have been submitted, in contrast with the 263 submitted in 2020, in response to the committee’s annual report. For the primary time, IEEE members from China, Ethiopia, Hungary, Italy, Panama, and Thailand submitted proposals.

The committee additionally for the primary time awarded funding for initiatives in Fiji and Spain. The initiatives embody growing info and communication applied sciences for instructional functions.

In keeping with the report, greater than 100 partnerships have been fashioned with native organizations corresponding to hospitals, nonprofits, and universities due to initiatives funded by the committee.

A photo of people in a classroom and a person in an IEEE shirt and mask looking at a laptop with an IEEE sticker on it.
IEEE scholar members from Moi College in Mombasa, Kenya, designed and deployed «good kibandas»— open huts or cubicles used for casual enterprise. The kibandas will use photo voltaic power to energy lights, refrigeration items, and safety cameras. The undertaking acquired funding from IEEE HAC.IEEE SIGHT

To showcase initiatives that assisted with the pandemic, the committee launched a set of articles, the Success Story Portfolio. Tasks included a cellular app to map clear water programs, 3D-printed protecting gear for hospitals, and educating educators find out how to conduct digital lessons.

“The success of such initiatives showcases how members are fixing the grandest sustainable world challenges utilizing their technological improvements,” Veeraraghavan says, “and constructing a greater future for the worldwide group at massive.”

HAC plans to showcase each pandemic and non-pandemic associated initiatives in future portfolios.

“We’re going to proceed to put money into world packages the place we’ll foster extra member engagement and ship worth for our members,” Veeraraghavan says.

To study extra in regards to the committee or to hitch, go to the IEEE HAC web site.

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