IEEE HTB/SIGHT Projects Call for Proposals Focused on Pressing Community Needs

The IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board (HTB), formerly the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC), inspires and empowers IEEE volunteers around the world carrying out and supporting impactful humanitarian technology activities at the local level. The IEEE HTB mission is to support impactful and ethically informed volunteer-led initiatives, programs and projects, and mutually beneficial partnerships, as well as to inform policy formulation that harness technology and innovation to address societal challenges (including disaster recovery) in a responsive, effective, and sustainable way. 

This year, HTB/SIGHT (Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology) are offering a call for proposals to support IEEE member grassroots projects that utilize technology to address pressing needs of the members’ local communities. The call for proposals provides a powerful opportunity for IEEE members to utilize their technical expertise in their local communities to help IEEE achieve its mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.       

HTB/SIGHT recognize that there is a broad range of challenges in the local communities in which IEEE members live worldwide. The starting point for a project should always be the needs of the community as evidenced through dialogue and relationship with local community organizations and leaders. Projects must focus on people first, rather than starting with a particular technology that needs to find a use. That being said, there are areas of particular technical interest for HTB/SIGHT that can act as a guide when determining the technological solution to the community needs. These include:

  • Agricultural Technology
  • Climate Sustainability Technology
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT), including rural communications and connecting the unconnected
  • Sustainable Power Technology 
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) Technology
  • Other technologies to address pressing community needs  

A special consideration for this call for proposals will be to support projects that apply existing proven technologies within IEEE designated fields to challenges faced by a localized community of persons with disabilities or local organizations that serve persons with disabilities. This can include customization of the technologies, but would not include the development of new medical-type prototypes or research projects. Applicants of these proposals must demonstrate collaboration with the beneficiaries in the identification of the need and proposed solution.

It is important to note that IEEE is not a disaster response organization, and is not set up to address immediate needs of humanitarian challenges. All projects related to disaster recovery should focus on addressing medium- and longer-term needs. 

Funding Details

HTB/SIGHT will make awards of between US$1,000 and US$10,000 per project. Projects that have previously been awarded funding by HTB/SIGHT may re-apply if they have successfully completed their project and fulfilled all reporting requirements.      

Term of funding: Up to six months following the project start date. 


  • Applications may be submitted starting 15 March 2023 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage applicants to submit their proposals as soon as they can. 
  • Final deadline to submit: 17 April 2023 at 11:59pm EDT.

How to Apply


Applicants may prepare by taking advantage of the HTB/SIGHT educational resources on submitting strong proposals.

  • Proposals must clearly articulate the impact of the project and how it will be measured, using the Project Assessment Matrix. Instructions on how to complete the Matrix and an example are available here.
  • Applicants may take the free HTB/SIGHT online training course Project Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation on the IEEE Learning Network prior to developing your submission.
  • A Q&A session on addressing common pitfalls in completing the Project Assessment Matrix is available. The recording is available here.
  • See the following presentation on characteristics of a great proposal, tips on completing the project assessment matrix, and common proposal pitfalls, and how to submit an application.

HTB/SIGHT Project Management Process

HTB/SIGHT have developed and continually improved the project management process over the years to reduce risk and increase impact.

Legal, Compliance, and Risk

Humanitarian technology and sustainable development projects, due to their real world nature, may involve a certain amount of risk. It is imperative that potential risks are acknowledged and mitigated wherever possible. IEEE has taken steps to mitigate several of these risks.  While not a comprehensive list of risks or mitigation strategies, please review the following carefully:

  • Projects MUST comply with all national/federal, state/provincial, and local laws, guidelines, safety codes, and restrictions.
  • IEEE is subject to the full range of U.S. economic sanctions and export control laws and as such IEEE may not be able to provide certain services to certain designated countries or entities or individuals from those countries or entities. A more detailed description of OFAC, economic sanctions and embargoes applicable to IEEE can be found at
  • All projects that involve children must follow IEEE Guidelines for Working with Children. Any project funding will be contingent on policy compliance.
  • In the event the project collects, uses, processes, or otherwise involves the personal data of any individual, the grantee agrees that they shall, to the maximum extent possible, respect the privacy of those individuals. Grantee will comply with all applicable data privacy laws or regulations. 
  • HTB funds may not be used for a) tests of medical equipment on people/animals or b) mass production and/or deployment of devices that require but have not yet undergone the appropriate regulation, such as government approvals. Medical device manufacturing and deployment are highly regulated fields and may require partnership with and approval by relevant national/federal, state, and/or local authorities.
  • All projects considered for funding will be shared with the IEEE Office of Risk and Insurance Management Services (ORIMS) and, in some cases, the IEEE Legal & Compliance Department, for their review prior to final decision.
  • Projects must avoid any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest. Project teams must abide by the IEEE Principles of Business Conduct. For more information on what should be disclosed and how to avoid conflicts of interest, see the HTB website.
  • Projects selected must agree to the HTB Intellectual Property Policy as a condition of funding.
  • Legal agreements between IEEE and external entities must be vetted by IEEE Legal prior to signing.
  • HTB/SIGHT never disburses funds to individuals or external organizations. All funds flow through a local IEEE OU – generally the local Section. Any funds that are not used according to the approved budget will be returned to HTB/SIGHT.
  • Please note that, depending on the nature of a project, additional review may be required at any stage of the project. 

Past Funded Projects

HAC/SIGHT held joint calls for proposals from 2020 – 2022 to support grassroots IEEE Member humanitarian technology and sustainable development projects. See this page for reports, the HAC/SIGHT Project Success Story Portfolio and a list of the funded projects.

For earlier funded projects, please see the List of HAC Projects Funds Awarded through 2019.

Contact Us

Email us at with questions about the Call for Proposals or application process.