What We Do:

Humanitarian Technology Challenge

Humanitarian Technology Challenge

Imagine hundreds of development experts and technical professionals around the world working together to develop technology-based solutions to pressing challenges faced by humanitarian experts and others working in resource-constrained environments.

Now be a part of it. Join the Humanitarian Technology Challenge (HTC), a joint initiative of the United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership, and the IEEE.

The Challenge

Even at a time when developing economies represent the fastest-growing markets for many multinational companies, far too many people lack basic resources such as electricity or health care information.

However, the rapid growth of new and lower cost technologies creates a fertile opportunity for innovation in the service of humanity. Three areas of opportunity HTC will address are:

• Reliable Electricity – Availability of electric power for lighting and other electronic devices in resource-constrained environments. Important for education, communications, and economic development.

• Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices – Capability of exchanging data among remote field offices and central health facilities. Important for accessing treatment protocols, creating health trends, and sharing results of treatments.

• Patient ID Tied to Health Records – Consistent availability of patient medical records. Important for ongoing treatment of patients, especially migrants, and those with long-term diseases.

The Solution

A two-day conference on June 1-2, 2009, in Washington, D.C., will introduce definitions of these three top challenges identified by humanitarian and health experts, and kick off a solutions development process that will continue through an online, collaborative platform after the conference closes.

The solutions development process will continue into 2010, with product development and piloting expected in 2011 and 2012.

Get Involved

Sign up to participate in the online solutions development process by visiting or sending an email to And learn more about the United Nations Foundation & Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership by emailing or following Tech4Dev on Twitter.

You can read the full conference agenda (in PDF form) here.