Lack of efficient information and communications technology (ICT) in the developing world makes it difficult for governments, nonprofits, and individuals to improve healthcare, education, agriculture, conservation, and economic opportunities.
During natural disasters or other crises, this challenge can be even more pronounced if communications infrastructure is knocked out. Without Internet connectivity in particular, responders cannot coordinate the delivery of food, water, shelter, and medical care to victims.
Cisco helped found NetHope in 2001 in collaboration with Save the Children and with the assistance of Cisco Leadership Fellows, two of whom have served as the organization’s executive director. NetHope’s 37 members include the world’s leading humanitarian, conservation, and emergency relief organizations.
By collaborating with major technology companies, foundations, and individuals, NetHope members aggregate resources, reduce technology costs, and increase their capacity. This collaborative network enables them to deliver better services more quickly to more people, saving lives and reducing suffering.
Cisco support helped NetHope develop its signature product—NetReliefKits (NRKs), or suitcase-sized cabinets that provide rapidly deployable, eld-based voice and data communications—for use in areas where xed communications infrastructure has been destroyed.
NetHope Academy, modeled after the Cisco Networking Academy program, trains ICT professionals at humanitarian and conservation organizations and unemployed youth in the developing world to ll local demand for ICT experts.
A NetHope initiative called Innovation for Development designs practical, replicable, scalable technology solutions for pressing humanitarian problems, aided by donated used equipment and discounted hardware, software, and services.
NetHope’s 37 members operate in more than 180 countries, providing $40 billion in support for humanitarian development, emergency response, and conservation programs.
As many as 20 humanitarian organizations—serving 500,000 people at the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya—are using a more cost-eective LAN network installed by Cisco and NetHope, assuring more money is available to provide relief services.
Following the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, Cisco teamed with NetHope to deliver high-speed wireless Internet to 15 responding organizations, speeding delivery of vital food, water, supplies, and healthcare to victims.