DDG Alliance: When to use drones

Hans Peter Thamm, Mariska van Gaalen, Paola Zisman, Tendai Pasipanodya

Today, it is clear that drones can play a vital role in delivering critical healthcare products. However, it is less clear when drones should be used in preference to other available mobility options, such as motorbikes, trucks or boats, in terms of maximising impact, saving the most lives and ensuring value for money for governments, hospitals and end clients in low- and middle-income countries.

This project set out to understand in which cases and under what conditions it makes sense to deliver critical medical products with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a device commonly referred to as a drone. The DDG Alliance set out to answer this question by conducting a practical proof of concept based on field research in Ethiopia and Nigeria and test flights in Ethiopia.