The IEEE Board of Directors appointed two committees at its February meeting to review IEEE’s humanitarian activities.
The Humanitarian Ad Hoc Committee is to develop an overall strategy for IEEE’s efforts in that area. In part, the committee is charged with identifying IEEE humanitarian projects under way and surveying activities around the world to assess where IEEE could apply its resources.
The committee is also to provide operational oversight for the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Network Initiative, which received US $290 000 in additional funding. The network is a wiki-based Web site that is to become a repository for humanitarian technology projects developed by IEEE members and others. It is expected to be a resource for communications among projects, funding sources, and humanitarian organizations.
In January, IEEE president Pedro Ray appointed the Humanitarian Technology Challenge Ad Hoc Committee. The HTC involves IEEE members, humanitarian aid workers, technologists, and others working on technical solutions for problems that plague many countries. The Challenge Ad Hoc Committee is working with the HTC Steering Committee to recommend future directions to the Board, including a plan to assess the HTC’s benefits. The IEEE Board authorized $320 000 for the challenge program in 2010.