Friday, October 24, 2008

IEEE Seeks Volunteers for Humanitarian Technology Challenge

The Humanitarian Technology Challenge (HTC) is a partnership between IEEE and the United Nations Foundation designed to bring together technical professionals and humanitarians to develop technological solutions for pressing challenges facing humanity.

A small number of IEEE members are needed to help shape the early stages of the program, working with humanitarians to further detail challenge definitions and outline a solution process. This is a unique opportunity for IEEE volunteers experienced in systems engineering to work directly with prominent humanitarian volunteers.

The following initial challenges were identified by focus groups composed of representatives from ten humanitarian organizations:
*Reliable Electricity – Availability of power for electronic devices
*Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices -- Capability of exchanging data among remote field offices and central health facilities
*Local Management and Tracking of Supply Distribution – Ensure that supplies are getting to the people that need them in order to maximize the impact of assistance
*Incident Tracking – Determine locations and extent of medical problems in order to focus resources
*Patient ID and Tie to Health Records – Maintain consistent patient records, including when patients visit different clinics and when they relocate.

IEEE volunteers should be experienced in the application of technology to solve humanitarian issues and be willing to commit approximately two to four hours per week to the project. A conference call/webcast for early stage volunteers is scheduled to take place in late November, 2008. This will be followed by an in-person conference scheduled for the first quarter of 2009, where additional volunteers will be needed.

For more information, visit the HTC Web site ( Interested volunteers should contact Harold Tepper, IEEE HTC Project Manager, at


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