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

The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) provides a suite of resources that inspire and enable IEEE volunteers around the world to carry out and support impactful humanitarian technology and sustainable development activities at the local level. One mechanism for this is the funding and support of such projects. 

This year, HAC/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.       

HAC/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 HAC/SIGHT that can act as a guide when determining the technological solution to the community needs. These include:

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

Projects that are purely pre-university STEM education-related are asked to instead apply for the 2022 IEEE Pre-University STEM Portal Grants (deadline of 04 March). Projects that have a pre-university STEM education component are required to utilize the extensive resources on TryEngineering or justify why they are not applicable to the project.

Projects should have good connections with local IEEE organizational units (OUs) and engage a significant number of IEEE members. HAC/SIGHT require that teams have relevant technical and other expertise to credibly execute the project. 

Funding Details

HAC/SIGHT will make awards of between US$1,000 and US$5,000 per project. Projects that have previously been awarded funding by HAC/SIGHT may apply for up to US$5,000 in scale-up funding if they have 1) successfully completed their project, 2) submitted all reporting requirements, and 3) can provide sufficient justification to scale up.      

Term of funding: Up to 6 months following the project start date. 


  • Applications may be submitted starting 01 March 2022 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage applicants to submit their proposals as soon as they can.
  • Final deadline to submit: 04 April 2022 at 11:59pm EDT.  

Call for Proposals

How to Apply


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

  • Applicants are required to take the free HAC/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.

HAC/SIGHT Project Management Process

HAC/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, 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. 
  • Please note the Message from IEEE on coronavirus COVID-19, particularly “We request that all members avoid conducting in-person activities in areas impacted by the coronavirus threat and instead maximize the use of our online and virtual alternatives.”
  • Projects developing a medical technology device must collaborate with medical professionals and/or organizations. HAC 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 HAC website.
  • Projects selected must agree to the HAC/SIGHT Intellectual Property Policy as a condition of funding.
  • Legal agreements between IEEE and external entities must be vetted by IEEE Legal prior to signing.
  • HAC/SIGHT never disburse 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 HAC/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

In 2020 and 2021, HAC/SIGHT held calls for proposals to support grassroots IEEE Member humanitarian technology and sustainable development projects that addressed the COVID-19 situation and other pressing community needs. See this page for more 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.