Summer Institute for Humanitarian Computing

Mission and Purpose

Mission and Purpose: Why is the Summer Institute for Humanitarian Computing important?

We expect the SIHC experience to strengthen participants' confidence and thus the likelihood that they will pursue a future in computing. The possibility of a conference publication and the donation of their code for use by humanitarian organizations will also provide participants with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  The SIHC program will provide students experience in mobile technology and its importance in empowering underserved people in local or foreign communities.  

We actively encourage all of participants to leverage their technical skills and knowledge to make a positive social impact in their local communities, and in the world at large.

What is the benefit to participants?

  1. Learn about our prior work developing mobile applications that have benefited the underserved,
  2. be presented with ideas for new mobile applications,
  3. receive training and support to develop such applications, and
  4. receive assistance preparing technical papers and posters about their work to be submitted for publication in conferences such as ACM Computing for Development (ACM DEV) and IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (IEEE GHTC). 

Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)

2016 Date TBD

IEEE GHTC focuses on advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. This cross-disciplinary annual conference provides the perfect venue for those interested in humanitarian projects to join their peers in Seattle in October 2015.

GHTC is a global humanitarian technology conference focused on bringing together people to address the critical issues for the benefit of the resource-constrained and vulnerable  populations in the world.   


December 1-2, 2015

The sixth annual Symposium on Computing for Development (ACM DEV 2015) will provide a premier venue to present original and innovative work on the applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols for computing in developing regions.

Humanitarian Technology 2016 (HumTech)

June 7-9, 2016 (Cambridge-Boston MA)

The purpose of HumTech2016 is to bring together scientists, engineers, technologists and policymakers from across academic, government, industry and non-government organizations to discuss, share and promote current research and recent accomplishments across all aspects of technology, from science to systems, that have a global humanitarian impact.


April 25-26, 2016 (Helsinki, Finland)

InnoFrugal is a forum for best practices, policy analysis, latest thinking and successes in frugal innovation. It brings together world class experts, executives, entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers from across various domains such as: Technology, Education, Energy, Environment, Food, Healthcare & Water. 

Get inspired! Check out examples of computing projects for underserved populations.

Civic Engagement
  • Urban Harvester: An application to assist with the collection of left-over/surplus food from local organizations to be delivered to nonprofits that serve the homeless community.
  • Mobile4All: A suite of mobile apps to connect homeless individuals to critical resources, in collaboration with Sparrow.
Mobile for Development
  • Looma: Collaboration with Village Tech Solutions to develop a tool to enable educational materials to be uploaded to Looma, which will be used in classrooms in Nepal.
  • Wakabi: Tool to provide farmers in remote regions in Uganda with access to possible transportation for people and goods. 
  • Glaucoma Diagnosis: Application, when coupled with appropriate device instrumentation, to diagnose cataracts inexpensively and quickly.

Examples of Conference Papers from the 2016 SIHC Cohort:

ClickHealth Paper

Housing Project Paper

Talk2Me Paper

Other Examples of Conference Papers:

Empowering the Underserved, One App @ a Time

Text for a Ride in Uganda

Examples of Project Posters from the 2016 SIHC Cohort!

A special thank you to Google, Inc. for sponsorship of the SIHC program.

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