Region 8 & Tech4Good Community Support Program - 2024 Call for Project Proposals

Overview

IEEE Region 8 and Tech4Good are partnering to conduct a collaborative call for proposals to support SIGHT Groups (and prospective SIGHT Groups) in Region 8 who would like to address local community challenges.

IEEE Region 8 Humanitarian Activities Committee takes a futurist approach aiding the development of innovative methods to support underserved communities within the region in addressing needs to improve livelihood. The core aim of this call for proposals is to support SIGHT Groups in the region with great initiatives and creative technological solutions for local communities. Proposed solutions must have a sustainability plan in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and take into account cost-effectiveness, environmental sustainability, trust-enhancement, relevance to users and community, community buy-in, and accessibility. 

Projects must have a good connection to a Region 8 SIGHT Group and engage a significant number of IEEE members. If there is a team of IEEE members from a Region 8 Section or Student Branch without a SIGHT Group, they may submit a proposal if they commit to forming one by November 2024. Please note that this funding program is highly competitive. Not all worthy projects may be funded due to budget limitations, or may be offered lower funding than requested.

Technology Impact Categories

R8 & Tech4Good recognize that there is a broad range of challenges in the local communities where IEEE members live worldwide. The starting point for a project should always be the needs of the community as evidenced through dialogue 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. Any local community challenge that can map back to the following UN SDGs can be considered:

  • Goal 4: Quality Education (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all)
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable)
  • Goal 13: Climate Action (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts)
  • Goal 15: Life on Land (protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss)

Call for Proposals

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire Call for Proposals for more detailed information, including budget considerations and legal and compliance requirements.

Submission Timeline

  • Applications may be submitted using the Online Funding Opportunities Portal starting 08 July 2024 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage applicants to submit their proposals as soon as they can. 
  • Final deadline to submit the Letter of Intent: 06 September 2024 at 11:59 pm UTC.

Funding Specifications

  • Amount of Funding: Grants for micro-projects will be provided between US$1,000 and US$5,000 per project.
  • Term of Funding: Project implementation plans may be up to six months following the project start date.

Proposal Requirements

  • Applicants must demonstrate understanding of the real needs of a local community or local stakeholder organization.
  • Proposals must involve deployment of technology, customization of technology, and/or development of technology that is relevant to IEEE fields of interest.
  • Projects should have active “local” Region 8 SIGHT Group volunteer involvement. That means that key Region 8 SIGHT Group members responsible for implementing the project are currently living in the country/countries where the project is to take place. Teams from Sections and Student Branches without a SIGHT Group may submit a proposal if they commit to forming one by November 2024.
  • Team members have relevant technical and other expertise to credibly execute the project.
  • The local community is actively involved in determining what is needed and how a project is designed and executed. All project teams are required to collaborate with at least one local entity that represents the community of individuals that will directly benefit from the proposed solution. This entity must submit a letter of support that acknowledges their awareness of the project, outlines their involvement, and states that they will be responsible for the solution after its deployment.
  • Proposals must include a thorough sustainability plan that includes capacity-building and educational efforts to ensure that local communities are able to continue managing the deployed solution after the conclusion of the six months grant period.
  • Proposals must clearly articulate the impact of the project and how it will be measured.
  • Proposals must not include solely interventions on buildings and infrastructures. Projects must have a strong technological and skills capacity building dimension, while any infrastructure aspect should be clearly justified and any allocated funding should be minor in the scope of the project resources.

Projects Not Considered

  • Projects that do not directly relate to a pressing need of a specific community, or that do not clearly articulate active community involvement.
  • Projects that do not involve deployment of technology, customization of technology, and/or development of IEEE technologies. 
  • Projects that are primarily research or commercial in nature.
  • Projects that are purely STEM education-related will not be considered. Projects that have a STEM education component are required to utilize the extensive resources on TryEngineering or justify why they are not applicable to the project. 
  • Projects with no clearly articulated plan for impact measurement. 
  • Projects that solely deal with immediate disaster relief. All projects related to disaster preparedness or recovery should focus on medium- and longer-term needs.
  • Projects focused on developing medical devices or medical device prototypes. 

Any proposal which (i) is incomplete, (ii) does not meet the attributes of projects considered, (iii) requests less than US$1,000 or more than US$5,000, (iv) has applicants with an ongoing or incomplete IEEE Tech4Good (or SIGHT/HAC/HTB) funded project, (v) is not in English, (vi) has a primary applicant who is not an IEEE professional member in good standing, or (vii) for which a completed IEEE R8 & Tech4Good Project Budget Template is not submitted will not be evaluated. All proposals must disclose if an identical or similar proposal is currently under evaluation for funding elsewhere.

Eligibility to Apply

  • The primary applicant must be an IEEE professional member grade or higher in good standing. Student members or SIGHT members may be secondary applicants. All applicant member numbers are checked during the intake process. If the membership status of the primary applicant is in arrears, the submission cannot move forward.
  • Each SIGHT Group (or future SIGHT Group) may submit one proposal.
  • Project teams that received Tech4Good (SIGHT/HAC/HTB) project funding in the past may only apply if the project has been successfully completed and all reporting requirements fulfilled.
  • An IEEE OU – preferably the local Section – must act as the fiscal agent. Applicants must discuss this with the Section Treasurer prior to proposal submission. Tech4Good generally cannot transfer funds to a Student Branch. IEEE financial requirements for funding disbursements will apply. Please see IEEE FOM 2.E – IEEE Unit Reporting (Including, but not limited to, Societies, Technical Councils, Geographic Units, and Conferences).

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Benefits to the local community are well articulated and show clear impact metric targets.
  • Project scope is defined and meets technological and sustainable development requirements.
  • Team composition demonstrates the strength of team and members’ technical capacity.
  • Potential risks have been assessed and the team has prepared a feasible mitigation plan.
  • Involvement of local organizations and stakeholders ensures the long-term sustainability of the technological intervention.
  • Clear potential for social and environmental impact with attainable success metrics.
  • Alignment with IEEE’s mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

Timeframe to Use Funds, Assessment & Reporting

  • Funds must be expended within a maximum of 6 months from the approved project start date.
    • Extensions may be submitted when unforeseen challenges prevent the carrying out of a project’s original work plan. Extension requests are reviewed by the HTB Project Monitoring Subcommittee.
  • Brief progress reports must be submitted every month after the project’s approved start date.
    • Further updates on the project are to be provided upon request throughout its duration.
  • A final report must be submitted with final accounting of expenses and evaluation and assessment information within 60 days of the conclusion of the project grant period.
  • Reports on longer-term outcomes and impact of the project may be requested for up to 3 years after the conclusion of the project’s grant period.

Contact Information

Do you have any questions you wish to ask about the potential suitability of your proposal? If in doubt, please contact the Region 8 Humanitarian Technology Activities Committee at humanitarian@ieeer8.org before developing and submitting your proposal.