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IEEE SIGHT Presentatiion

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Hi All -- an invitation for a webinar on IEEE SIGHT opportunities in Australia, as Australia does not have an IEEE SIGHT Chapter:

Do you want to use your technical skills to have a positive impact on our local community? Come to our IEEE SIGHT workshop to get started!
The IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) is a network of IEEE volunteers around the globe that partner with underserved communities and local organizations to leverage technology for sustainable development.
In this interactive workshop you'll hear about the SIGHT program from the steering committee chair, identify what opportunities for impact we have here in Australia, and meet other people with the same interests.
Come with your ideas on what we can work on, and who we can work with!
Workshop Date and Time
  • Date: 26 Jun 2020
  • Time: 09:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Presenters and Event Details: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/232691
Please Register for this workshop by clicking on this link - https://events.vtools.ieee.org/event/register/232691
This event will be hosted on Zoom (Please register first): https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/98285368813
For more information on SIGHT, visit http://sight.ieee.org 
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  • 2 weeks later...

I participated in this well-conducted and well-attended event, but, unfortunately, had to leave before it concluded.

Some (constructive) observations, however, based on the discussion in which I was involved.

I understand, I think, that SIGHT groups are intended to "leverage technology for sustainable development". My first observation is that "technology" encompasses far more than "EE" (as in IEEE) technology, and, for many communities, may not be their highest priority for sustainable development.

I presume "leverage" means to ensure the maximum positive impact for the resources and effort applied.

I think the lessons of past development work of any kind is that the keys to sustainability and maximum effect are the building of a relationship with the communities concerned, recognising their sovereignty, and understanding their context and priorities.

Sustainable outcomes involving any "technology" are dependent on the leadership and management of projects built on these fundamentals.

So, SIGHT's aims are entirely admirable, but the temptation to find a problem which suits the "technology" needs to be avoided, in favour of finding and partnering with communities and developing/applying technologies to suit their needs and priorities.

From this perspective, SIGHT members will benefit from membership of this Community of Practice, and access to its growing BOK, discussion forums, and network of practitioners.


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Thank you Rob, I agree completely.

We absolutely need to centre the community in the work of the program in order to have sustained positive impact. The SIGHT program does require a group to include a local community engagement plan as part of its proposed activities - but writing the proposal is very different to actually building a genuine partnership with the community. 

One of the important outcomes of yesterday's meeting was that SIGHT members in Australia should continue to meet as one single group, which will make it easier for us to improve our proposals and projects through engagement with the HumEng Community of Practice. We can do this through education and training using the BOK, and also by insisting on a high standard of background research and community engagement when we ("SIGHT Australia") approves a group proposal.

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