PES Humanitarian Activity Webinar – PES Projects Focusing on Local Community Needs: Design Challenges and its Impact

A very effective webinar was held on 23rd April 2020. The speakers of the webinar were IEEE PES President Frank C. Lambert, IEEE Humanitarian Activity Committee (HAC) Chair Karthik Kulkarni and IEEE HAC Education Chair and IEEE PES-HAC Chair Shaikh Fattah. At the very beginning, Shaikh Fattah gave a brief description on importance of humanitarian technology (HT) projects in PES areas involving local community. He pointed out the key challenges in conducting HT projects and their social impact. The opportunities created due to the PES-HAC effort driven by IEEE PES Member Driven Initiative under Montero Quirós Juan Carlos (PES VP Membership and Image).

Frank C. Lambert delivered his speech where he first shared opportunities in IEEE PES and then presented his experiences and connections with humanitarian technology projects related to PES. Next, Karthik Kulkarni presented an introduction to HAC, various funding opportunities in HAC and SIGHT and explained his long connection with humanitarian technology projects. It was really very exciting for the audience to know about their personal experiences related to humanitarian technology projects.

In the next part, Shaikh moderated a panel discussion. During the panel, first the speakers shaded light on motivation and scopes of humanitarian technology projects. Frank shared his own experience about a successful humanitarian technology project where Georgia Tech students were involved: installing a solar-based microgrid power system at a health clinic in the remote village of Haiti. Karthik recalled the project for physically and mentally challenged children, which he led and the project won IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Competition in 2009. Next, they discussed the importance of relevant stakeholder identification and community engagement. Finally, they discussed about the main factors in design challenge and the necessity of finding the impact of the projects. There was a question answer session at the end. Special thanks to Ajay Kumar Machani, Chair of PES Day 2020 Committee and Nirupama Prakash, Humanitarian Activities Lead of PES Day 2020 Committee and Project Chair of IEEE HAC for organizing such a valuable webinar.