Satellite Technology for Humanitarian Decision Making

What is the innovation?

Satellite technologies have the potential to fill significant data and information gaps, and could be invaluable for anticipating and responding to humanitarian emergencies. The project provides a consolidated view on the use of satellite applications in humanitarian settings, raising awareness of gaps in the use of satellites and barriers to the uptake of satellite applications; and exploring opportunities to expand access to and adoption of satellite technology in humanitarian responses. 

Why we need to innovate

Satellites have the potential to inform and enhance humanitarian decision making by providing a unique data source about people and their environment. However, there is limited guidance on and understanding of where satellite technology can be used most cost-effectively and with the best outcomes for people affected by crises.

What is the opportunity? 

By addressing barriers to uptake and improving our understanding of how to use satellite technology most cost-effectively, public and private stakeholders have an opportunity to increase the use and impact of satellite applications in humanitarian crises. 


Related reports and resources to this investment:

Beyond Borders: Satellite Applications for Humanitarian EmergenciesThe report provides a consolidated view on the current use of satellite applications in humanitarian settings, including the identification of key barriers to the adoption of satellite applications and potential interventions from the development community to overcome them.


Investment Summary


Guilia Costella, David Hodgson, Nicki McGoh, Rhiannan Price, David Taverner; Fellows: Stella Chelangat Mutai, David Garcia, Dr Catherine Lilian Nakalembe

Project Length

14 months




Caribou Space,

Satellite Applications Catapult,

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)