Thursday, April 15, 2010

Getting a project organized

I have been working a lot since Monday to get the Ministry of Education infrastructure project organized.

Infrastructure is one of the buzz words running around our world these days. It really means the back end of a computing center. You access infrastructure when you go to Google to look up something; when you sign on to a bank; when you use email or SMS texting. The work is actually done on banks of servers. That is the infrastructure. I have made a living for 31 years building the stuff. It's not very interesting work but it is a good living.

The Haitian government had IT infrastructure before the earthquake. When the Ministry of Education's building collapsed it crushed all of the servers. The desktop computers, laptops and printers as well. When Andree and I met with the Director General of the Ministry he identified the creation of a new ministry infrastructure as the most critical function that was yet to be restored.

Restoring schools to function is a high priority of the Haitian government as well as with many of the NGOs operating in the nation. Without access to student academic records the school system is hamstrung.

I have presented the technical requirements for the infrastructure to IBM for provision of the equipment. I have not had a response yet I hope to get that in the next days. I have also reached out to some additional suppliers if that source of equipment does not work out. I will get this done.

I have located one of the very important pieces of equipment: a brand new 10 KVA UPS system. That is an expensive proposition and all I have to do is get it shipped. This is probably the most expensive individual piece of equipment. Total cost on this project is going to be in the neighborhood of $ 200,000.00.

I have volutneers in line to do the technical engineering. Our analysis of the requirements (the tech design is about complete) is that it will be about 12 days of work.

I am working on acquiring some cash dollars to cover the volunteers' expenses. All of the volunteers are willing to cover their expenses but based on last week's trip I want to try to cover those costs. A week in Port-au-Prince is costly these days when one considers air travel, driver and car, hotel, food and all of the costs that go along with travel.

So I will let everyone know how things go. It is an exciting project with high value to the people of Haiti. My target is project initiation by the first of May with completion by the end of the month.


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I welcome comments, questions or anything anyone wishes to post on the situation in Haiti.