Since 2016, VillageReach has collaborated with governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations to pioneer the integration of drone delivery into public health supply chains, increasing equitable access to lifesaving medicines and vaccines. We have developed expertise that is unique to the sector based on our proven experience in using drones for routine, on-demand and emergency deliveries. Through partnerships with five different drone service providers, we have been able to identify the criteria needed to succeed in multi-sectoral partnerships. In addition, our technical oversight of sustained drone transport operations in Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led us to develop a body of case studies and research that supports the growth of the sector.

As a result of this extensive experience implementing drones for health delivery programs, VillageReach developed a set of four principles needed to initiate the mindset shift to achieve the full benefit of an integrated health product transport system. By applying these principles, we believe countries can harness drone transport to implement the demand-driven and resilient public health supply chains necessary to reach all communities in support of universal health coverage (UHC).

This technical note focuses on integrated drone transport system in the heath sector. However, logistic drones can operate across a variety of sectors, and cross-sectoral applications offer additional opportunities for reaching operational efficiencies and cost savings.