HumaniNet Home Page Summary About HumaniNet HumaniNet Leadership Field Partners Frequently Asked Questions
ICT Features
ICT Articles
What We Do
You Can Help
Donate Now

Picture yourself going to work at your company in the morning, but you find some of the basics missing. There are only one or two older computers, no modern software, and no network or mail server. One person at a time can send and receive email, but the Internet connection works only occasionally and costs $3 per minute when it is available. Even the phone system is erratic and expensive. Clearly, your company could not function well, if at all.

Yet this is how managers and teams doing humanitarian work operate in the field every day. In tens of thousands of locations in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East, these dedicated people cope as best they can with poor or nonexistent communications and digital tools.

The Need. Humanitarian non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, work around the world to help the hundreds of millions of people who are affected by natural disasters, famine, disease, and conflict, and who are attempting to improve their economic and social condition. To respond to these crises, front-line relief and aid teams require reliable, effective global communications. However, NGOs are seldom staffed and equipped to investigate the complex communications solutions and information technologies that could multiply response effectiveness. Lives are put at risk and critical tasks are neglected as field teams struggle with poor communications and paper processes.

The Opportunity – ICT assistance. To address this need, HumaniNet was created to benefit humanitarian relief and aid NGOs. The participating beneficiary NGOs cooperate on the research and sharing of global information and communication technologies, or ICT, for both emergency and routine operations.

With its partners, HumaniNet, is investigating and testing available, affordable ICT solutions that provide interoperability in all geographies, enable the coordination of planning and operations, and facilitate the sharing of information among NGOs and other agencies.

While there are numerous organizations and initiatives that provide information and assistance to the humanitarian community, HumaniNet is the first resource available to all NGOs that is designed to identify current ICT opportunities and developments that NGOs can quickly translate into greater operational effectiveness and cost savings.

HumaniNet encourages NGO field users to provide feedback on “what works and what does not.” This facilitates the sharing of “lessons learned” and other useful information directly to NGO managers and field personnel through a Web information service.

The Mission. HumaniNet delivers global ICT assistance to a broad spectrum of humanitarian relief and aid organizations. By providing access to communications solutions and field applications, Humaninet multiplies the response effectiveness of field teams in emergency and routine operations alike, while helping managers to identify qualified service providers and control costs.

The Plan. HumaniNet accomplishes its mission by:

  • Researching and delivering current information on best practices, best service providers, favorable service and pricing, and new technology opportunities.
  • Providing assistance and information on reliable, cost-effective satellite and terrestrial telecommunications equipment and services.
  • Facilitating access to relevant technology information from selected service providers, business partners, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.
  • Reducing technology and communications costs by aggregating demand, identifying and working with service providers and business partners, and evaluating feedback from field teams.

Operational Model. As a new concept for assisting NGOs with existing and new technologies, HumaniNet is expanding its services to the humanitarian community by:

  1. Actively reaching out to humanitarian organizations of all sizes and missions.
  2. Demonstrating the value of researching and sharing ICT information with NGOs.
  3. Facilitating deployment of ICT solutions. We have assisted in the deployment of satellite phones and terminals to over 20 countries, establishing HumaniNet as an informed and capable advisory and support service.
  4. Helping NGOs to reduce costs through the HumaniNet Service Provider Program. HumaniNet has identified business partners with proven performance in supporting NGOs in the field and which offer excellent pricing and service to humanitarian teams.

Humaninet and participating organizations benefit from the expertise of a dedicated task force of technology volunteers who are eager to conduct research, provide information, and directly assist NGOs in the performance of their difficult missions. This community of expert volunteers from many fields of technology gives consortium partners significantly improved access current ICT information.

Humanitarian organizations whom we have assisted. Since its founding in 2002, HumaniNet has actively promoted the sharing of knowledge among many organizations and facilitated the successful deployment of new satellite communications tools to over 30 organizations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific region. We have provided direct advice and assistance to more than 50 humanitarian and mission organizations.

For a current list of organizations we have assisted, please see our Field Partners page

Peter Dickinson, Director of Information Technology at Mercy Corps, expresses the potential of the HumaniNet concept as follows:

“ Among the many strengths of HumaniNet is its resource leveraging. This includes alliances with corporate technology partners and the ability to bring expert volunteers to the project. Most NGOs cannot keep pace with the many changes in ICT without expert assistance from the corporate and private sectors.”

If you would like additional information, please email us at or contact Gregg Swanson at 503-957-2960.

| Home | Summary | About Us | Leadership | Field Partners | FAQ |
Designed by One Dog Designs