Drones for Health

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have significant potential to improve the availability of health products and services at the last mile. VillageReach is working to understand the use of drones for product delivery in low-resource environments, collaborating with stakeholders including governments, donors, NGO partners, UAS manufacturers, and local universities and technologists. We have developed costing studies, and provided guidance and program management based on our expertise in strengthening the health system at the last mile.

VillageReach believes that a more robust and coordinated evidence base is required to understand the regulatory requirements, costs and benefits associated with UAS use cases in humanitarian settings. Only then will the potential for the use of UAS at the last mile shift to a reality.

UAV Working Group

A collaborative effort from the beginning, VillageReach and partners developed the UAV for Payload Delivery Working Group (UPDWG) to serve as an informal knowledge and resource-sharing mechanism for those involved in the development, advancement, and application of UAS for public health and supply chain improvement. VillageReach coordinates all the group, donating staff time to organize calls, webinars, resources, and member outreach. Over the past year, UPDWG membership has grown to more than 80 individuals from dozens of organizations and countries. Quarterly webinars have covered topics including transportation cost modeling analysis and community and government perceptions of UAV use in sub-Saharan Africa. Future topics may include navigating the regulatory environment for country buy-in, shared frameworks for evaluating the impact of UAS, and sustainable business models for UAV system interventions.

Email the moderator to be added to the working group distribution list:

Join the Working Group

Last webinar:

Wednesday, August 22nd at 10:00 AM ET time (GMT -4)

Barry Koperberg from Wings for Aid will present their experience following their recent, successful round of UAV payload testing in the Dominican Republic. He will be sharing the process Wings for Aid underwent for these UAV tests on the following topics, including any challenges they faced, and lessons learned.

  • clearances for equipment (import/export), government permissions, etc
  • stakeholder management (government, partners, community, etc)
  • UAV testing environment preparation and setup

The Wings for Aid foundation aims to help humanitarian aid organisations to bridge ‘the last mile’ by the use of UAV/drone technology. At the heart of the service concept, there are fixed wing drones in combination with carton delivery boxes of 20kg. Currently, various sub-systems are undergoing testing in the field for future world-wide implementation. Wings for Aid has won an iF public value award in 2016, was amongst the top-10 innovators of USAID in 2017 and was granted a Sprint Project with the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator in 2018.

Barry Koperberg (MBA) is a Dutch consultant specialised in cooperative innovation. He is founder and General Manager of the Wings for Aid foundation.

To join future meetings, or to be added to the list for future notifications:

Email the Moderator


drone landing
VillageReach, UNICEF and Matternet test UAV prototypes for HIV test transport in Malawi


Past webinars


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