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Are you ready to join our global project support team?

IEEE Smart Village is looking for experienced volunteers and professionals who not only have a deep passion for humanitarian work, but also the expertise, experience, wisdom, and time to commit in support of our program. The primary role of our volunteers is providing pro-bono consulting, in-field technical & business support, and assistance with program organization.
We are currently seeking candidates for positions in our committees and working groups which typically meet online every two weeks. We are particularly looking to engage people with experience in sustainable development or participation in other IEEE committees to form and actively direct working groups within our education, engagement, fundraising, marketing, and technology committees.
Unlike many other IEEE activities, it is not necessary to be an electrical engineer or a member of IEEE to volunteer for IEEE Smart Village. We are eagerly seeking business analysts, education experts, marketing strategists, and sustainable development specialists in addition to engineers, technologists, and hands-on practitioners living in the field.
If you are a student or are interested in pursuing a small local project, we strongly recommend that you join or form an IEEE SIGHT group, which only requires 6 members. For more information, please visit http://sight.ieee.org/get-involved/. It is typically very challenging for students to maintain the regular weekly and monthly time commitment necessary to participate in IEEE committees and working groups.

We hope you are up for some dedicated and challenging work to help build skills and prosperity for some of the poorest people on the planet! It is an exciting opportunity to reach thousands (maybe millions of people) with the possibility to travel to places you never dreamed you would go (such as the Maa Tribes in Kenya, a monastery in the Himalayas at 5000 m, or the Galapagos islands).

To volunteer with IEEE Smart Village, please review and apply for one of our open committee positions in the “Volunteer” tab.

Are you a match for our global mission?

It is important to understand that IEEE Smart Village is not a charity. Instead, we function as a donor-funded venture philanthropy group seeking to launch holistically sustainable social businesses (both for-profit and NGO).

Our emphasis is the long-term financial sustainability of large projects that demonstrate the potential to scale with the eventual goal of providing economic empowerment to a million people in 10 years.

Please not that if your project is focused on technology development and small-scale deployment rather than regional expansion, there are additional support resources available through other IEEE Humanitarian & Philanthropic programs:

  • IEEE SIGHT (http://sight.ieee.org/): Funding under $20,000 USD for small projects and student groups. Projects should involve local volunteers with a minimum of 6 IEEE members or student members. Funding is provided through the SIGHT group.
  • IEEE HAC (https://www.ieee.org/about/corporate/humanitarian-activities-committee.html): Funding between $20,000 and $60,000 USD for technology deployment projects in at-risk communities with participation of local IEEE members. Funding is provided through the local IEEE chapter, society chapter, or section.
  • IEEE Smart Village: Funding between $50,000 and $200,000 USD for regional programs with a focus on electrification, education, and creation of holistically sustainable business. Applicants should be startups or well-established NGO with staff. Funding is provided directly to the applicant through a Project Agreement contract.

We recognize that electricity is usually one of many needs, but by itself is not enough to build a “Smart Village.” We desire that projects systematically address all three pillars – electrification, education, and entrepreneurship. Education (including technical, K-12, and vocational training programs) is the catalyst to empower the next generation of any community. Entrepreneurship focuses on creation of jobs and economic opportunities through access to technology and vocational training. In summary, the IEEE Smart Village model is a sustainable reallocation of commerce that creates value for its communities enables them to become self-sufficient, instead of dependent on foreign gifts and grants.

We acknowledge and respect that there are many approaches to developing communities, but our team prefers to partner with experienced organizations with proven processes that align with our own goals. For the sake of better understanding our requirements, we’ve created ten points that summarize what we value in our global partners:

  1. Understands and embraces ISV’s three pillars: Electricity, Education and Enterprise
  2. Startup experience with demonstrated success
  3. Respectful relationships which view communities as working partners, not charity cases
  4. Respectful relationships with authorities at the village, state and national levels
  5. Excellent management team with business, technology, and education components
  6. Clear vision of a business plan capable of reaching at least a million people
  7. Ability to attract investment capital for growth after a successful pilot
  8. Ownership plan that includes and incentivizes community members as business partners
  9. Willingness to collaborate with holistic partners in addressing other critical needs
  10. Passion and dedication to tackle the daunting challenges along the way

If your organization embraces these principles, we’d like to learn more about your thoughts on these points, the team that you work with, and how they are making a difference in their communities. Our goal is to launch ten new partnership startups every year for a decade – we will need the support of like-minded organizations to make that happen. We look forward to learning more about your organization so that we can share knowledge and develop ways to support each other.

To get started, see the “Apply for Funding” tab on this page to learn about next steps and our application process.

In the words of our own entrepreneurs, learn how your support and contributions can improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

 

More coming soon. . .

Are you ready to become an IEEE Smart Village Entrepreneur?

We have a phased process for applying for funding and becoming an ISV entrepreneur, which typically takes 12 to 18 months from initial outreach to execution of a project agreement.

1) Identify the Applicant Organization: This could be yourself, a local startup, or a qualified NGO with an extensive boot-on-the-ground presence that is ready to expand to a regional scale. Our program is structured to bring benefits and employment to communities and to educate local people to manage all the technical and business aspects of the local operation. Our goal is holistically sustainable economic empowerment, not charity.

2) Conduct Detailed Community Surveys: Having a strong local team is important, but so is understanding the needs, desires, dreams, existing competition, and potential opportunities in your target communities. This can only be done with detailed studies examining factors including current access to energy, education, water, sanitation, and opportunities for creating jobs in technology, IT outsourcing, agriculture, artisan crafts, construction, and numerous other fields – it depends entirely on your local community!

3) Develop Your Entry and Expansion Strategy: The next step is defining your approach to addressing the ISV three pillars with the help of the ISV Engagement Committee. You need to answer questions about your plans for providing electricity (microgrids vs kiosks), education (technical, K-12, vocational), and entrepreneurship (jobs and revenue for both your organization and micro-entrepreneurs in the community).

4) Complete Three-Step Online Application: After creating your business plan and empowerment strategy, it is very important to put it down on paper. ISV has an online application process managed by the Project Development Committee, which covers the details on your community development vision and plans for providing electricity, education, and empowerment with the potential for regional scaling.

5) Start Fundraising: As a donor-funded program of the IEEE Foundation, our Funds Development Committee has to raise all the grant monies that we distribute. The sooner you submit an application and receive preliminary approval, the sooner we can secure funding for your project. We also highly encourage that you start raising matching funds using your application and empowerment plan! Some of our entrepreneurs have been able to leverage their standing as ISV Entrepreneurs to receive 10:1 matching funds.

6) Approval & Project Agreement: Final approval of all projects is by vote of our steering committee composed of the chairs of our 10 subcommittees. After approval, you will create a Project Agreement, which is a legal contract that describes your exact project sites, deliverables, schedule, staff, and matching contributions.

7) Deployment & Reporting: We provide our project funding in tranches of either $25,000 or $50,000 USD each time our Monitoring & Evaluation Committee receives and approves your progress reports with detailed metrics, photos, and description of project successes, challenges, and lessons learned.

8) Ongoing Support & Consulting: We have a dedicated staff of volunteers on our committees and Total Project Support Teams who will continue to support and advise you even after you complete your project agreement. As an ISV Entrepreneur, you become part of our Smart Village family, focused on open sharing of data, business technologies, education resources, lessons learned, and even business plans.

The best way to get started is to review the existing projects posted on our website, join us at the annual IEEE PES PowerAfrica Conference, and join some our committee meetings and training sessions designed to help you through the process of becoming an ISV Entrepreneur.

Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

Responsibilities: Manage job postings; perform outreach to qualified candidates in IEEE and other organizations
Time Commitment: 2 hr/week for 1 year
Keywords: Human Resources; Volunteer Recruitment

Grant Application Writer

Responsibilities: Assist in writing grant applications for ISV projects; Assist in compiling sub-proposals from prospective ISV Entrepreneurs for use in funding applications
Time Commitment: 8 hr/week for 1 year
Keywords: Fundraising; Writing; Grant Applications

Education Committee Secretary

Responsibilities: Record, distribute minutes of the bi-weekly Education Committee online meetings focused on development of education projects and curricula
Time Commitment: 2 hr every 2 weeks for 1 year
Keywords: Education; Committee Secretary

Microgrid Simulation Analyst

Responsibilities: Evaluate new project designs; Run power flow simulations of proposed microgrids using OpenDSS, Xendee, GridLab-D, or similar software
Time Commitment: 10 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Technology; Project Review; Microgrids; Power System Simulation;

Social Media Manager

Responsibilities: Update ISV Social Media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
Time Commitment: 2 hr/week for 1 year
Keywords: Marketing; Writing; Social Media; Visual Art

Volunteer Screening Coordinator

Responsibilities: Review online applications submitted for committee positions; Direct candidates for orientation training
Time Commitment: 2 hr/week for 1 year
Keywords: Human Resources; Volunteer Recruitment

TV White Space Working Group Lead

Responsibilities: Lead consulting group for advising ISV Entrepreneurs and applicants about best applications, hardware, suppliers, installation methods of television white space technologies for internet and local intranet projects
Time Commitment: 4 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Internet & Connectivity; TVWS

Field Report Reviewer

Responsibilities: Review progress reports, quarterly reports, and tranche payment approval requests submitted by ISV Entrepreneurs; Provide summaries to ISV Steering Committee: Provide feedback to ISV Entrepreneurs.
Time Commitment: 4 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Monitoring & Evaluation; Project Management

Field Support TPST – Green Village Energy Nigeria

Responsibilities: Assist energy kiosk design, microgrid installation, and commissioning at 3 community centers and 35 schools in Papua New Guinea. Available as volunteer or intern position.
Time Commitment: 3 to 6 months on site
Keywords: Field Support; Papua New Guinea; Microgrids; Installation; Intern;

Business Strategy Reviewer

Responsibilities: Review and critique the sustainability and viability of business plans submitted by prospective ISV Entrepreneurs as part of online application process; Provide feedback and guidance for business plan improvements.
Time Commitment: 4 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Business Strategy; Project Review; Proposal Review

Technology Hardware Reviewer

Responsibilities: Evaluate new project designs, hardware selection, and controller compatibility
Time Commitment: 2 hr every 2 weeks for 1 year
Keywords: Technology; Project Review; Hardware Design; Component Evaluation; Microgrids

Grant Application Researcher

Responsibilities: Research potential grants which ISV may apply for using online searches and FoundationDirectory
Time Commitment: 8 hr/week for 1 year
Keywords: Fundraising; Research; Grant Applications

Video Editor

Responsibilities: Create and edit video content for YouTube, ISV website, and social media
Time Commitment: 12 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Marketing; Video; Visual Art;

Donor Outreach Working Group Lead

Responsibilities: Lead outreach to
Time Commitment: 10 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Fundraising; Donor Recruitment

Education Strategy Reviewer

Responsibilities: Review and critique the applicability and validity of education plans submitted by prospective ISV Entrepreneurs as part of online application process; Provide feedback and guidance to ISV applicants; Report results at Project Development & Education online meetings.
Time Commitment: 4 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Education; Project Review; Proposal Review

Press Release Developer

Responsibilities: Review project reports and create press releases publicizing items of interest; Coordinate with IEEE PR
Time Commitment: 4 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Marketing; Writing; Research

Technology Committee Secretary

Responsibilities: Record, distribute minutes of the bi-weekly technology Committee online meetings focused on development of microgrids, PAYGO systems, etc.
Time Commitment: 2 hr every 2 weeks for 1 year
Keywords: Technology; Committee Secretary

Women’s Empowerment Working Group Lead

Responsibilities: Organize a team to identify, sort, develop, and assemble training resources in women’s empowerment; Assist ISV Entrepreneurs in implementing women’s empowerment programs in Africa, India, Asia, Americas
Time Commitment: 2 hr every 2 weeks for 1 year
Keywords: Education; Research; Women’s Empowerment

Volunteer Orientation Coordinator

Responsibilities: Provide brief orientation training to new volunteers by email, phone; Assist development of pre-recorded orientation videos and training
Time Commitment: 10 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Human Resources; Volunteer Recruitment

Field Support TPST – Green Village Energy Nigeria

Responsibilities: Assist with on-the-ground research on expansion opportunities for a successful solar microgrid ISV Entrepreneur in Rivers State, Nigeria.
Time Commitment: 3 to 6 months on site
Keywords: Field Support; Nigeria; Microgrids; Research; Intern;

Website Updates Manager

Responsibilities: Update ISV website with new materials, announcements, webpages. WordPress experience required.
Time Commitment: 12 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Marketing; Web Development; WordPress

Project Development Committee Secretary

Responsibilities: Record, distribute minutes of the monthly Project Development Committee online meetings.
Time Commitment: 2 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Project Development; Committee Secretary

Crowdfunding Working Group Lead

Responsibilities: Organize crowdfunding programs in collaboration with IEEE Foundation
Time Commitment: 4 hr/week for 1 year
Keywords: Fundraising; Donor Recruitment

Project Expense Manager

Responsibilities: Track specific project costs; Compare budget line items; Communicate variances to Steering Committee.
Time Commitment: 10hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Finance; Budgets; Project Management

Marketing Committee Secretary

Responsibilities: Record, distribute minutes of the monthly Marketing Committee online meetings.
Time Commitment: 2 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Marketing; Committee Secretary

IEEE OU Outreach Working Group Lead

Responsibilities: Lead outreach to IEEE Organization Units for funding requests; Establish relationships with IEEE Society financial committees;
Time Commitment: 10 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Fundraising; IEEE Societies

Microgrid Training Working Group Lead

Responsibilities: Organize a team to identify, sort, develop, and assemble training resources in microgrid design, installation, commissioning; Assist ISV Entrepreneurs in receiving appropriate technical training
Time Commitment: 2 hr every 2 weeks for 1 year
Keywords: Education; Microgrids;

Volunteer Recognition Coordinator

Responsibilities: Assist development of methods for recognition of volunteer contribution of ISV
Time Commitment: 4 hr/month for 1 year
Keywords: Human Resources; Volunteer Recognition

Fuel IEEE Smart Village’s proven model of success by participating in the multi-million dollar humanitarian initiative and fundraising strategy now underway.