In this section you will find Frequently Asked Questions about different processes and requirements of SIGHT Group.
- Start a SIGHT Group FAQs
- SIGHT Projects and Project Funding FAQs
- Submit Your Annual Report FAQs
- Complete Humanitarian Training + Professional Development FAQs
- Management & Governance of Your SIGHT Group FAQs
- University SIGHT Groups FAQs
Start a SIGHT Group FAQs
addFrom whom should I get approval to start my SIGHT Group?
- IEEE Societies: Approval is required from Society President
- IEEE Sections: Approval is required from Section Chair
- IEEE Councils: Approval is required from Council President or Chair
- IEEE Regions: Approval is required from Region Director
- University SIGHT Group: Approval is required by Student-branch counselor, and a faculty-lead who is an IEEE member
- A chapter must go through the parent OU to create a SIGHT group
All SIGHT petitions must then be approved by the SIGHT Steering Committee
addWhat is the difference between a Professional SIGHT Group and a University SIGHT Group? Which kind of group should I start?
A Professional SIGHT Group is started by a group of 6 or more IEEE members with approval from a society, section, region, or Council, you will be a Professional SIGHT.
A University SIGHT Group is started by 6 or more faculty, staff or students at a University with approval from a Student Branch Counselor. All University SIGHT Groups require a faculty lead.
While the activities of Professional and University are consistent, there are significant operational distinctions between Professional SIGHT Groups and University SIGHT Groups.
addDo I need to be an IEEE member to participate in a SIGHT group?
Six IEEE members are required in the initial formation of a University SIGHT but IEEE membership is not a requirement to belong to a SIGHT group. In fact, groups are encouraged to seek out members from other disciplines and sectors.
addWhat are the responsibilities of an endorsing Organizational Unit (OU)?
The endorsing OU will provide ongoing support to the SIGHT group. The financial support can be both direct or through guidance in obtaining funding from local organizations and from sources available to IEEE SIGHT HQ.
Please note: the endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU must have a CBRS account through which funds are passed to the SIGHT group(s) for which it is responsible.
addAnother SIGHT group exists within my OU or University. Can we still start a group?
Organizational Units (OUs) may prefer to have multiple SIGHT groups to address distinct issues. The SSC will review all SIGHT group petitions for effectiveness and has the right to reject a proposal if it does not meet requirements. The decision is at the discretion of the OU leadership, as well as the SSC.
addWhat are the best ways to evaluate community needs before we start a group?
Your initial understanding of community needs will be based on assumptions, research, and your current understanding of the community. Be sure to note that these are assumptions and cite your sources for academic-based research.
addWe are a group of motivated students, but do not have a Faculty Lead. Can we start a group?
We require that all groups have a Faculty Lead. We are confident that many students are incredibly motivated, intelligent, and capable, but because students graduate each year we have found that for the sustainability of the group and for lasting (and positive) community impact a faculty is important.
We recommend reaching out to faculty at your school to express your interest, ideas, and commitment!
SIGHT Projects and Project Funding FAQ
addWhen are the project proposals accepted?
- Submission deadline for Call 1 is 31 March 2018
- Submission deadline for Call 2 is 30 June 2018
- Submission deadline for Call 3 is 01 September 2018
- Submission deadline for Call 4 is 15 October 2018
addHow is a SIGHT project proposal evaluated?
The SIGHT Projects Subcommittee evaluates how proposals respond to the following criteria:
- Alignment with SIGHT funding requirements in one or more of the three categories listed above
- Proposed community
- Clear identification of a need and an underserved community
- Evidence of the underserved community’s agreement with and engagement in the project
- Clear description of expected long-term outcomes for the community
- Expected number of people impacted by the project
- Project framework
- Clear project outputs with credible project plan to attain those outputs
- Clear description of technology to be used and its application to the local physical and cultural environment
- Understanding of similar initiatives (to avoid needless re-invention)
- Project budget and timeline
- Clearly defined timeline, with milestones to be attained in 2016 and planned milestones for future years
- Clear and reasonable budget with breakouts for major items
- Project risk analysis
- What risks are there to project completion?
- What steps are being taken to mitigate these risks?
- Sustainability of project outcomes
- Which project components will continue after funding from SIGHT is finished?
- What are the plans for the continuation of project components?
- Description of how the project outputs will contribute to the long-term outcomes, including empowerment of community
- Plan for measuring project outcomes (future proposals by the same team will require a report on previous project outcomes)
- Project team’s relevant experience
- How well the project involves volunteers, both IEEE and otherProject team and partners
- Established and/or proposed partnerships with clear indication of whether they are established or proposed
addHow can we identify and validate community needs & achieve community buy-in?
In the project proposal, you will be asked questions regarding the proposed community. You are asked to describe: the need this project will be addressing, the underserved community your project will be addressing, evidence of the community’s engagement in and support for the project and long-term outcomes for the community.
To support your community-centered work, make sure you have reviewed the education resources on creating and sustaining community-centered projects. Once you have reviewed the education materials, please complete the IEEE SIGHT Community Worksheet to help determine which tools and resources you will use to determine and validate needs, build partnerships, and get buy-in from the community.
addHow can we create a Project Framework to track our outputs and outcomes?
In the project proposal, you will be asked questions regarding your Project Framework.
In order to describe your objectives and outputs, you should complete an IEEE SIGHT Logic Model Worksheet to work through the structure and framework of your project. We also recommend you review the following resources on developing a logic model:
addHow can we assess the local environment?
In the project proposal, you will be asked to describe the technology in the context of its external environment. A Pestel (political, economic, social, legal, environmental, technological) analysis is an important tool to assess the overall environment. You should complete a PESTEL analysis using this PESTEL worksheet before completing the project RFP.
addHow can we benchmark our project and survey similar initiatives?
addHow can we create an effective project budget and timeline?
Project management is a key to implementing a successful project. Without managing the people and processes—key deliverables, outcomes, and objectives are nearly impossible to achieve in a timely manner. Please review the education resources on project management, complete the budget template, and create a work breakdown structure & GANTT chart. Please include key dates and deliverables for your project.
addHow can we assess and mitigate risk in our project?
We recommend you complete the risk analysis worksheet.
addHow can we plan for sustainable impact?
Sustainability is imperative. Making sure the impact of a project is positive and lasting is the ultimate objective of any development project. Particularly for volunteer-led initiatives, it’s important to build an exit-strategy and establish partnerships within a community from the beginning.
- Partnerships Map
- Creating a business/sustainability plan
The following are a few resources that may help you develop a sustainability plan:
addHow can we establish partnerships?
All projects should be integrated into the community through partnerships. Complete a Building Partnerships Map to help identify potential partnerships and the ways they can help you achieve your goals.
addWhere can I find examples of SIGHT projects and activities?
Submit your Annual Report FAQs
addWhere can I find the annual report and when is it due?
The 2016 annual report will be made available shortly – stay tuned!
The date for 2016 Annual report submissions is still TBD – stay tuned!
addHow do we conduct a group-level assessment?
Please complete the worksheet on group-level assessment to aid your evaluation process.
SIGHT group-level assessment activities and requirements will contribute to and be documented in the Annual Report. It is a requirement for each SIGHT group to collect data on the following metrics each year to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of SIGHT groups worldwide. Please refer to SIGHT group evaluation matrix (indicator, unit to be measured, measurement technique) for guidance.
- Group has established a clear goal and 2 year plan with objectives and metrics
- # of projects currently being implemented or completed (project-level assessments will also be conducted for reporting purposes)
- # of volunteers participating in SIGHT group and corresponding hours contributed
- % of volunteers expressing increased value due to participation
- # of hours and type of internal capacity building/education training
- # of community partner organizations
- How did the SIGHT group service improve the reach or service of community partner
- % of community partners satisfied with SIGHT group relationship
- # of lessons learned or learnings presentations delivered
- # of other SIGHT groups receiving presentation
- Basic activity requirements self-assessment: education, capacity building, project
addHow can we conduct project-level assessment?
Please complete the worksheet on project-level assessment to aid your evaluation process.
SIGHT group project-level assessments will be self-reported. The goal of project-level assessment is to:
- Clarify the objectives of the project (assumes logic model developed for project proposal)
- Define indicators to assess and identify data sources
- Produce the evaluation (quantitative, qualitative, or combination) methodology
- Form the evaluation team and define roles & responsibilities
- Determine data collection methods and tools (survey questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, field observation, etc.)
- Collect initial data to establish baselines (if needed)
- Ongoing data collection throughout project implementation
- Organize and manage data in simple databases (excel)
- Analyze the data, generate insights, and incorporate findings in future project designs
There are a number of social impact outputs and outcomes scientific evaluation techniques as described below.
- Randomized control trials – pre and post comparison of test and control groups
- Quasi-experimental design – pre and post comparison of test group
- One-time measurement – one-time collection of data on the outcome
- Tracked indicators and outputs – measuring outputs of proven causality
Complete Humanitarian Training and Professional Development FAQs
addWhy is there a requirement for training and professional development?
What do engineers need to learn/be in order to make lasting impact in community work? Engineers are technical people with hard, useful skills. With a foundation in mathematics and the sciences, they are able to go very deep into the complex workings of physical and digital systems. They are naturally prone and have been highly educated to understand materials, codes, languages, formulas and patterns of things so that systems perform continually. For these reasons, engineers are needed to solve the toughest sustainable development challenges. What is not typically included in an engineer’s education, however, are the softer academic and practical skills that can help make a project successful—those that, for example, an economist, an ethnographer, a designer, a business executive or a sales agent could bring to the table. SIGHT groups’ Education Requirements are intended to introduce IEEE engineers to the most proven and useful of these “soft” skills.
addWhere can I find resources to help learn about humanitarian work?
We have collected a few of our recommended readings, trainings and resources here in the toolkit. If you are not familiar with Engineering for Change (E4C), we recommend you start there! “E4C’s mission is to improve the lives of underserved communities by better preparing the global development workforce, optimizing the solutions development cycle, and ensuring public health and safety.” Engineering for Change works in partnership with IEEE, ASME and Engineers without boarders USA.
Management & Governance of Your SIGHT Group FAQs
addOur group was just approved—how can we get started?
Congratulations on your approval! You’re now officially a SIGHT group and it’s time to get started. A few recommendations for first steps:
- Select your candidates for your SIGHT group Executive Committee from the signatories of the SIGHT petition. The Chair and the Treasurer must be active IEEE members since they will have influence and decision power on funds available to your SIGHT groups. The “active IEEE member” requirement should be kept in mind for candidates for Vice-Chair or for those positions intended to be “stepping stones” for Chair or Treasurer the following year.
- Host your first Executive Committee meeting and define your VMO – vision, mission, values.
- Set your goals for the year and create an activities calendar for your project, education, capacity building and assessment activities.
addHow can we manage the governance of our SIGHT group?
Below are a few pointers:
- Request involvement by and presence of your SIGHT group organizer and SIGHT contact at your parent OU
- Select your candidates for your SIGHT group Executive Committee from those signatories of the SIGHT petition who agreed to participate as officers and select their roles for your SIGHT group
- Host your first Executive Committee meeting and define your SIGHT group’s vision, mission and values
- Set your goals for the year and create an activities calendar, keeping in mind that a report is expected on your activities and results every year
addHow can we work with our parent OU?
There must be a formal connection to an IEEE unit capable of receiving funding. Working with your parent OU is important for successful SIGHT Group. Your SIGHT group is responsible for the alignment of its projects and initiatives with the Mission and Objectives of SIGHT and for the establishment of reasonable expectations of the period within which measureable results will be obtained. Your endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU is responsible for the funding of your SIGHT group; therefore, exchange current identities and contact information of your SIGHT ExCom with the ExCom of your endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU; especially significant for Student SIGHT groups that change leadership every Academic Year. Your endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU is responsible for the timeliness and agreed quality/ appropriateness of the content of your required reports to SIGHT-HQ and for any subsequent determination of the continuance of your SIGHT group. Keep your endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU current on your plans and activities and results and, most important- any assistance you need to be successful.
addHow can I find out the status of my SIGHT? Is it active, dormant, or closed?
addOur SIGHT became dormant, how can we re-activate it?
Please have the sponsoring OU declare the previous SIGHT de-activated to SIGHT HQ and start the petition process to start a new SIGHT.
addI am the new chair of my SIGHT, what should I do?
Introduce yourself and your SIGHT ExCom to your endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU and let the SIGHT Steering Committee know that leadership has changed.
You are responsible for managing the operations of your SIGHT group. See also the question above regarding the governance of our SIGHT group. You announce the meetings of your SIGHT group ExCom and you are responsible for assuring that the objectives and time-table for results are met and reported to your endorsing/sponsoring/parent OU.
addWhat are my responsibilities as a SIGHT Group chair?
Your responsibilities may depend on the specific needs of your group but every SIGHT Group chair must:
- Ensure your group remains in good standing by fulfilling the four requirements (project, education, capacity building and assessment)
- Correspond with IEEE staff and the SIGHT Steering Committee (SSC)
- Submit RFPs for projects
- Write and submit an annual report
- Run SIGHT group meetings and manage the executive committee
addHow do I run an effective meeting?
Mindtools: Running effective meetings
HBR Article: “How to Design an Agenda for an Effective Meeting”
University SIGHT Group FAQ
addWhat is the role of the Student-Branch Counselor?
The Student Branch Counselor will need to have approved and signed your petition to form a University SIGHT group. Going forward, this person will be your contact within your section and will be responsible for managing any funds or details that require section involvement.
addOur University SIGHT group was just approved—now what?
Congratulation! You’re now officially a University SIGHT group and it’s time to get started. A few recommendations for first steps:
- Talk to your University about the role of your SIGHT Group within the University. Some schools may allow you to become an official organization or club which may come with added benefits.
- Select your candidates for your SIGHT group Executive Committee from the signatories of the SIGHT petition. These can include faculty, staff and/or students. The faculty lead must be an active IEEE member responsible for the sustainability and cohesion of the group.
- Host your first meeting and define your VMO – vision, mission, values
- Set your goals and create an activities calendar for your project, education, capacity building and assessment activities
addWhat are the responsibilities of the Faculty Lead?