IEEE Humanitarian Technology Challenge Project
Thursday, 3 December 2009 ● 14:00 - 16:00 ● South Pacific Ballroom 4

Organizers:ىRichard Baseil, IEEE Technical Activities
Mehmet Ulema, Manhattan College, USA

Chair: Roberto de Marca, Chair of the IEEE HTC Steering Committee

Mark Summer, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Inveneo
Harold Tepper, IEEE HTC Project Manager
Peter Spring, IEEE HTC Solution Chair for Data Connectivity
Mary Ward-Callan, Managing Director, IEEE Technical Activities

The Humanitarian Technology Challenge ( is a joint project between the IEEE and the United Nations Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian organization. ىThe project identifies and addresses three key humanitarian challenges, largely in developing countries. ىThe project objective is to create sustainable technology solutions to pressing humanitarian needs that can be implemented locally, within the economic and environmental conditions where they will be deployed. ىThe project also aims to define repeatable processes and models that can be used to address future challenges. ى

As far as we know, the HTC is the first time that a major humanitarian organization and a technology association have formed an up-front, collaborative relationship. ىWe intend to demonstrate the value of humanitarians working directly with technologists to create innovative solutions that serve the greater good. ىSupporting this partnership are funding Foundations, such as the Vodafone Foundation and the IEEE Foundation, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have resources “on the ground” in challenge areas, ensuring that solutions developed will be deployable into areas that will need them.

We have identified many humanitarian-driven needs through focus group efforts, and we selected three as Challenges to be addressed. They are: Reliable Electricity, Data Connectivity of Regional Health Offices, and Individual ID Tied to Health Records. فMany technologies are applicable to addressing these challenges, including those related to communications.

Working groups have been established to collaborate, both in-person and via web collaboration, in developing open-source-like technological solutions. فWe call this "collaborative crowdsourcing." ف We have IEEE members, other technologists, humanitarians, corporation representatives, philanthropic foundations, academicians, and students participating in the solution process, and we encourage involvement of more. ف(Email if you have an interest in participating.)

This session will consist of a panel of leaders participating in the HTC project, to address the background of the project, explain the needs being addressed, and present some of the solution ideas being proposed.