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MakerNet: Intro to Phase 2


Overview * Design Sharing Concept * Aid Sourcing Concept * About Us * Stay Tuned



60-80% of humanitarian aid budget is spent on logistics. Still, people wait months to years to receive what they need. Today’s advances in knowledge and technology can be leveraged to meet this gap.


The MakerNet consortium came together in 2016 to experiment with new approaches to support local manufacturing for humanitarian and development sectors. Its vision is a fundamentally different manufacturing ecosystem based on local supply and, through this project, we are exploring humanitarian applications of this vision. This second phase is led by Field Ready, a non-profit (501c3) dedicated to addressing humanitarian need by transforming logistics through technology, innovative design and engaging people locally & globally. Field Ready’s approach combines digital and physical tools that we believe will enable aid to be delivered more effectively and efficiently worldwide.


Field Ready’s main activity takes the form of in-country programs, designing and manufacturing humanitarian supply items which are appropriate and delivered more quickly and more cheaply than the alternatives. We have demonstrated that this is possible in a few countries so far, using various manufacturing techniques and by making a range of item types identified by local practitioners.

Through this project, we are seeking to scale our activities, firstly to solve additional problems through design, and secondly to extend the evidence base that this approach is viable in additional humanitarian contexts. To support effective replication of this work at scale, we use digital technologies to share knowledge (open source item designs and manufacturing techniques) so that others can make quality humanitarian supplies where they are needed around the world. We also seek to drive innovation and uptake of this approach in the large agencies and NGOs so that better, faster and cheaper production of humanitarian essentials can rapidly grow (benefiting from the scale and expertise of these organizations) to serve many more beneficiaries.

This project will refine key elements of our digital approach, enabling us to establish sustainable partnerships and open communities around two concepts supporting both supply side (manufacturing and design) and demand side (aid supply procurement) needs for more effective and efficient aid delivery.


Design Sharing Concept

The concept’s vision is a collaborative platform(s) for sharing (and finding) designs of useful items, enabling people anywhere to make them. This includes sharing digital design files, instructions, and all the other information that might be needed to reproduce an item, as well as the ability to adapt and improve designs (version control), and for some authorized groups to tag or certify certain items (for instance, that they meet specific requirements or standards, which is important for safety). We have referred to this concept as “Makepedia”.

In the first phase earlier this year, we sought community input on what platform features are desirable as well as analyzed existing know-how and file sharing platforms. We also did a field trial with Buruburu Clinic, Maria Maternity Clinic & Nursing Home and St Patrick’s Healthcare Centre (Kayole) in Nairobi, Kenya to make items locally and solve design/repair problems.

In this second phase, we seek to enable the community to engage by commenting on our open design instructions and/or by making the prototypes and providing feedback on outcomes. These efforts will bring the designs closer to reliable replication by those seeking to use them in humanitarian contexts, where reliability is essential. If you are involved in any of these areas or know anyone who is, please let us know! Schedule a time here to talk or email


Aid Sourcing Concept

The concept vision is to enable NGOs, governments, and other organisations that buy products for humanitarian relief and human development needs to find, assess, and contract with local manufacturers who have the capacity to assist in manufacturing certain types of items. This may be achieved by the combination of several different tools, systems, and interopability standards.

In the first phase, we started to explore some of the issues and constraints that these potential customers have in engaging with local manufacturers. In this second phase, we will be testing out potential solutions. We want to do this with contacts from a range of functions in humanitarian organisations (including procurement, supply, logistics, finance, IT, and innovation). If you are involved in any of these areas or know anyone who is, please let us know! Email


About Us

Field Ready is a US-based 501(c)(3) non-governmental, nonprofit organization that is pioneering ways to provide humanitarian relief and meet need by transforming logistics and ultimately how aid is provided. Our vision is to meet humanitarian need by transforming logistics through technology, innovative design and engaging people in new ways. Field Ready brings manufacturing to challenging places. We train others to solve problems locally in areas such as health, water and sanitation. We use difference technologies (traditional, appropriate and exponential) to achieve our goals. We work worldwide in places such as Haiti, Nepal and Syria. We are scaling our approach wherever there is need.

As well as Field Ready, the MakerNet consortium includes Civic, CoStruct, Gearbox, and Kumasi Hive. The MakerNet concept is an ecosystem innovation that needs contributions from many different individuals and organisations to bring it into being and new collaborators are welcome. Going forwards, a new organization will be incorporated to run experiments and co-ordinate with contributors.

A networked, grassroots community actively enhancing hardware solutions to persistent and pressing human needs. We are exploring how our community brings humanitarian hardware prototypes to a level of excellence via distributed testing.

Platform Providers:

MakerBot's Thingiverse is a thriving design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things. As the world's largest 3D printing community, we believe that everyone should be encouraged to create and remix 3D things, no matter their technical expertise or previous experience. In the spirit of maintaining an open platform, all designs are encouraged to be licensed under a Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone can use or alter any design.

Wevolver enables decentralized collaboration on hardware projects for both private teams and open communities. Our features enable to work securely and effectively so developers can focus on creating the best hardware they can. A large collection of publicly accessible projects and our community of open hardware developers provide resources and knowledge, empowering people to make, improve, and collaborate on technology.

We are a team of academics around Tobias Wenzel and Johan Henriksson at the University of Cambridge, as well as David Bebb. Our mission is to provide infrastructure for a sustainable development of Open Science Hardware. We believe this is essential for Open Science and will: Increase the reproducibility of scientific results, make knowledge and knowledge production more accessible for everyone, save time and resources to scientists, increase researcher collaboration which in turn will make knowledge production more efficient and increase the quality of outcomes, contribute to a more holistic research metric that considers a wide range of uses and benefits to society of research and research tools.


The Cisco Foundation was founded to "accelerate global problem solving through our technology and expertise to positively impact people, society, and the planet." The Cisco Foundation supports Field Ready's digital programs.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ or "German Corporation for International Cooperation") is a company that specializes in international development and administers funds from BMZ. GIZ supports Field Ready in the establishment of the MakerNet.

IBM is one of the largest and best known technology companies in the world. The company is supporting Field Ready in its humanitarian efforts and in our MakerNet initiative.

Stay Tuned

Follow any Humanitarian Makers social media channel (G+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) to receive notifications about opportunities to help make humanitarian prototypes more reliable for use “in the field”. To be sure not to miss any opportunities, however, we encourage you to sign-up here for a direct notification.


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