Geospatial data

What’s the innovation?

Geospatial information is critical during humanitarian crises to inform timely and evidence-based decision-making,  and can help ensure effective coordination, prioritise areas of intervention, and allocate resources.

Last year, Caribou Space, together with the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH) published the Beyond Borders Report, which provided a state of play for the use of satellite technologies, such as geospatial information, in humanitarian decision-making. The report highlighted a large number of ongoing initiatives but also heard from the community that a number of operational, technical and knowledge related barriers exist.

What is the opportunity?

To follow on from this report, Caribou Space is working to build upon the barrier identification work from the Phase 1 community engagement workshops, and to identify and then prioritise actions that could be taken to address these barriers.

As part of this, a series of interviews will take place with decision-makers in the humanitarian community to understand three challenges in more depth:

  • 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.

What is the process?

The project is applying an ‘Open Innovation’ process, which starts with researching the challenge in detail and understanding any past and existing attempts to address the challenge, before inviting fresh thinking and creativity in order to design (and then refine) new ideas that could be explored.

Using the outputs of the initial interviews with decision-makers and potential users of geospatial information and our research into existing initiatives, a set of Design Briefs will be created, which will form the basis for further ideation to identify priority actions that could encourage and accelerate further uptake of satellite technologies in the humanitarian sector.

Convening opportunities

Our ideation session will convene a group of humanitarians, technical advisors and ecosystem thinkers, bringing together diverse but complementary expertise to exchange ideas, challenge each other and co-create new possible initiatives using a systems-thinking approach, inspired by Wasifiri’s Systemcraft.


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