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.
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.
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.
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
- Reducing technology and
communications costs by aggregating demand, identifying and
working with service providers and business partners, and evaluating
feedback from field teams.
As a new concept for assisting NGOs with existing and new technologies,
HumaniNet is expanding its services to the humanitarian community
- Actively reaching out to
humanitarian organizations of all sizes and missions.
- Demonstrating the value
of researching and sharing ICT information with NGOs.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact Gregg Swanson at 503-957-2960.