June 2022
Sustainably Speaking - Thoughts from the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) Chair

Dear IEEE Colleagues,

This has been an eventful month for HAC with great progress made across various partnership fronts. First, HAC had an exciting in-person meeting in Boston to discuss a broad range of topics and identify actionable plans to deliver enriching experiences for IEEE members contributing to humanitarian technology activities at the grassroot levels. Thank you to the HAC committee members and staff team for contributing to a productive meeting.
HAC continues to make great strides in establishing strategic collaboration with IEEE OUs and external global organizations. I was able to represent HACHAC Committee Members & Staff at the United Nations Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP15), held at the UN headquarters in New York City. It was wonderful to meet global leaders, policy makers, and disability rights advocacy group representatives and discuss ways we could collaborate to build networks, scale existing programs, develop new approaches, and pilot new activities. HAC also hosted its first side event to COSP15 - “Leveraging a global network of technologists to advance assistive technologies/innovations in serving local communities.” In this session, we shared ideas for engaging IEEE’s technologists in developing assistive technologies to address challenges faced by local communities of persons with disabilities around the world.

This month, HAC has engaged with IEEE Region 8, IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS), and IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) to deliver impactful member engagement programs that connect, inspire, and engage IEEE members on humanitarian technology activities at a grassroots level. The collaborative HAC and Region 8 call for project proposals is open through the end of the day (30 June) to SIGHT Groups in Region 8. HAC also is holding a collaborative call for proposals with SPS - more details on how SPS chapters can apply for project funding through 14 July can be found on the HAC website. Early next month, HAC will participate in the IEEE Latin American Electron Devices Conference (LAEDC) in Puebla, Mexico with a capacity-building workshop to educate and train EDS members on humanitarian technology activities. I thank Region 8, IEEE SPS, and IEEE EDS leadership teams for closely collaborating with HAC to deliver these key global programs.

Just last week, I attended the IEEE Board of Directors meeting series, where I greatly enjoyed my conversations with senior IEEE leaders and board members. I shared details on HAC’s global strategy, its record-breaking growth in recent years, and the process improvements to maximize the impact of HAC/SIGHT projects. We deeply appreciate the encouragement and support from the IEEE Board of Directors towards IEEE humanitarian technology activities.

As a final note, I am thrilled to announce that Lwanga Herbert has been appointed by the IEEE Board of Directors as the incoming HAC Chair for 2023. Given his contributions to SIGHT and HAC, I am confident that he will be successful in this role. I wish him the very best!

Stay safe and healthy,
Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan
2021 - 2022 IEEE HAC Chair

Thoughts from the IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) Chair

Dear Esteemed SIGHT Members,

Welcome once again to the HAC/SIGHT monthly newsletter. I hope that it finds you growing your skills in managing community challenges using humanitarian technology strategies!


Several weeks ago, I had a chance to present to IEEE Kenya Section volunteers during a webinar on IEEE HAC/SIGHT grant writing. I spoke about partnerships and collaboration in project implementation, and how they are a key factor to success. I sincerely thank all the volunteers who organized and participated in that great webinar and encourage SIGHT members who are interested in submitting a proposal in the future to watch the recording when they are able.

I also take this opportunity to encourage all the SIGHT Groups in Region 8 to respond to the current IEEE Region 8 & IEEE HAC Call for Proposals. This is one way for you to receive funding from IEEE to deploy your innovative ideas and solutions in responding to community challenges.

I would like to close today by sharing that I have the privilege of serving as the 2023 HAC Chair. I humbly request your support so that together we can continue to work on advancing HAC activities for the betterment of humanity at the global level.

Yours sincerely,
Lwanga Herbert
2021 - 2022 IEEE SIGHT Chair


IEEE SPS & HAC Projects Call for Proposals


The IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) and IEEE HAC are partnering to conduct a special Call for Proposals to support projects in SPS Chapters that utilize signal processing technologies to address local community challenges. Awards from US$1,000 to US$2,000 will be made to selected projects that present a convincing plan to a) understand the real needs of a local community or local stakeholder organization and b) complete in no more than six months’ time a pilot project utilizing signal processing technologies to address those local community challenges.

The submission deadline is 14 July; please see the HAC website for more details, the call for proposals, and submission instructions.


IEEE Region 8 & HAC Call for Proposals

IEEE Region 8 (R8) and IEEE HAC are conducting a collaborative call for proposals to support SIGHT Groups in Region 8 who would like to implement community intervention projects to address local community challenges. With this call, R8 and HAC aim to support great initiatives and creative ideas on how to address challenges using technology in the local, underserved communities of R8 SIGHT Groups. Proposed projects must have a sustainability plan, demonstrate community buy-in, and be cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, trust-enhancing, relevant to users and the community, and accessible. Direct outreaches were sent to SIGHT Groups in R8 throughout June to make them aware of the opportunity; today 30 June is the last day to submit a proposal. For more information, please see the HAC website.


Calling all Innovators to Enter the 2022 IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge!

IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge

Compete and help IEEE contribute to worldwide digital inclusion by submitting a novel, early-stage project or concept that offers unique ways to increase Internet access and usage for the 2.9 billion unconnected people around the world. The global 2022 IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge is now open for submissions of unique solutions to bridge the digital divide. Last year’s challenge awarded 12 teams with a total prize pool of US$60,000 across multiple categories. Read the competition rules and learn about how to enter your novel projects at https://ctu.ieee.org. Deadline is 13 July.


IoT In The Community - Evolving Home Farming With The Internet 

Enhancing Digital Technology in Rural Schools

Starting at the end of last year, the Sarawak Subsection SIGHT Group in Malaysia undertook a project to raise public awareness and academic interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) by providing a combination of live demonstrations and online workshops on how to easily build and use a simple monitoring system for home-scale vertical farming. The team designed and deployed smart learning kits for schoolchildren and their teachers to have them build small hydroponic systems at their homes. More than 55 people (students, their parents, and teachers) participated in the project’s activities.

Update on HAC/SIGHT Project Proposals Submitted in April 

The HAC/SIGHT Projects Committee continues to review project proposals from the first call for proposals of the year which received a significant response of 144 applications. If you have not yet received a funding decision for your proposal, we thank you for your understanding and patience with the review process, and expect to contact you soon.

SIGHT Group Reporting Using IEEE vTools

Has your SIGHT Group reported its 2022 Chair and Officers for 2022? If not, please be sure to report them using the IEEE vTools Officer Reporting. SIGHT Group Chairs can enter the Group’s Officers for the positions of Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. Group members can also be listed. SIGHT also asks Groups to report their activities and events using vTools, which is taken into consideration throughout the year and when it’s time to determine the SIGHT Group of the Year. Not familiar with vTools? See these tutorials on the different functions. Write to [email protected] with any questions. 


Important Dates & Upcoming Virtual Events

Visit the HAC/SIGHT calendar for more humanitarian technology events and activities (all virtual for now).



Your donation of any amount to the IEEE SIGHT fund of the IEEE Foundation will help form the IEEE sustainable development leaders of the future and incubate projects that support IEEE’s mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity in communities around the globe.

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See the free HAC/SIGHT resources on the IEEE Learning Network (ILN) and SIGHT website to equip participants with a basic understanding of humanitarian technology and sustainable development topics.


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