Friday, October 09, 2009

Humanitarian Technology Challenge

The IEEE, in association with the UN Foundation has launched a Humanitarian Technology Challenge. with three projects for developing nations: Reliable Electricity, Data Connectivity for Health Facilities and Individual ID for patient medical records. Interested professionals are invited to submit ideas and join an online collaboration platform. A Solution Development Workshop will be held in Washington, DC (USA), October 26 - 28, 2009.

There are detailed documents on each project. For data connectivity there is "Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices". This is a very good overview document, but unfortunately it has been formatted as a 29 page 267 kByte PDF file. This is at odds with the aims of the project which emphasises the use of mobile devices and efficient use of communications. The project might want to reformat its documents in mobile friendly web pages, will reduce the bandwidth requirements by about 10 to 100 times.

Another problem with the project is the use of a red cross on a white background in the home page. The red cross symbol is reserved under international law for use by specific medical and other humanitarian operations. The usual symbol for first aid, is a white cross on a green background.

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