The ISG Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Global Health coordinating body is composed of eleven major donor and international organizations and leverages capabilities of partners and external stakeholders with diverse expertise, including:
We convene stakeholders in the UAS and global health space to align on and coordinate UAS investments for payload delivery in low- and middle-income countries. Through our coordination, we aim to better understand the potential of UAS in global health, where to focus our investments in the near- and long-term, and how to better leverage each other’s work to continue this knowledge base and ensure our investments are cost-effective and sustainable.
Through our coordinating mechanism, we aim to support Governments that wish to integrate unmanned aerial system solutions into low infrastructure environments, in order to address public health challenges.
The UAS Coordination group members have ongoing investments across many countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
The ISG UAS coordinating body supports Governments, country stakeholders, donors, technology and implementing partners to make more informed decisions about integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in supply chain systems to improve global health outcomes. This is achieved by aligning supply-chain strengthening and/or system redesign efforts as a means of better leveraging investments, in the face of future growing demands, and guiding outcomes towards a meaningful impact in country systems.
The ISG UAS coordinating body formed in June 2018 as a result of multiple UAS stakeholder discussions that took place since 2016, highlighting the need for stronger coordination between UAS investments for payload delivery in public health supply chain programs.
Conventional health system strengthening approaches to enhance coverage of quality health care, such as capacity strengthening, increased availability of commodities, improved infrastructure and adequate health financing, develop gradually and will, in the short- to medium-term, have a limited effect on the health outcomes of hard-to-reach populations in remote areas.
There appears to be a large potential for emerging markets to consider UAS as a complementary tool for improving health systems, particularly in the last-mile. Known advantages of using aerial delivery platforms such as cargo aircraft or UAS as a transport system include: reduce delivery times, reduce product wastage of temperature sensitive commodities, and increase the reach to remote populations currently underserved, or not served at all.
Our group is exploring ways to leverage the potential of UAS for realizing these advantages, while acknowledging that these technologies must be adequately integrated following a long-term sustainability plan, in order to minimize negative effects to the communities they are meant to serve.
This investment roadmap, from UAVs in Global Health: Defining a Collective Path Forward, proposes high-level guidance on how donors can coordinate their investments strategically to shape and accelerate UAVs in global health.
Stages of the Investment Roadmap:
After following stage 1 and forming the coordinating body, our group is now in stage 2 exploring and pursuing foundational analyses to further our understanding of how to best effectively invest in UAVs.