Satellite technology in Humanitarian Decision Making and Risk Assessment:
Understanding the challenges from the ‘user’ perspective

About Caribou Space

Caribou Space supports organisations to bridge the space and development sectors by working with governments, space agencies, development agencies and private sector space companies. We are particularly interested in whether and how satellite technologies can be used to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes in low- and middle-income countries, and whether more c an be done to accelerate the uptake and usage of satellite-enabled tools for decision-making.

About the Project
Caribou Space is currently working on a project with the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH) and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to conduct a series of consultative workshops to understand what new initiatives could be designed and developed to advance the use of satellite-enabled data and information for decision-makers and responders during humanitarian events.

About the Interviews
Our consultation process starts with understanding three barriers that we believe to be delaying or preventing the uptake of satellite-enabled data and technologies for humanitarian purposes. These barriers are as follows:

  • Low awareness of potential use cases for satellite technology in humanitarian crises, or resistance to or mistrust of these tools
  • Low technical expertise, restricting the use of satellite technology
  • Concerns relating to the ethics of using satellite data and privacy and security implications of its use and storage. We are looking to conduct interviews with humanitarian practitioners in late August and early September to discuss the barriers above. Our interviewees may include:
  • Members of the humanitarian community such as donor organisations, humanitarian organisations, first responders and government officials.
  • Individuals working in any of humanitarian-related thematic areas including food insecurity and hunger, conflict and resolution, disaster resilience and population displacement.

Interview Topics
Our interviews will consider the following topics:

  • Understanding your roles, your objectives and the decisions you need to take to do your job
  • Understanding your current awareness of and familiarity with satellite technology and its potential use cases in the humanitarian sector.
  • Identifying the resources that you are aware of that could support you to use satellite technology in your work
  • Hearing about any concerns you may have or questions relating to the use of satellite technologies?
  • Understanding whether there is anything that might make you more (or less) likely to use satellite technologies in your work.