12 episodes

In this 5-part series, we’re going to delve deeper into what the future of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, can look like; how they can be used for positive impact, what we need to do to integrate them in existing systems, and how we can get the global rules on drone technology right. This series was commissioned by UKAid and undertaken by the Frontier Technologies Hub. Hosted by Sarah Pannell, Policy adviser in FCDO’s Technology and Innovation Unit and drones for development lead at the FCDO.This is the second season of The Frontier Podcast series. Our first series tackled the role of data in international development, hosted by Valentine J Gandhi and produced by the Frontier Technologies Hub and Niras Digital Futures Hub, and funded by UKAid. Listen below and learn more at https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources

The Drone Frontier Frontier Technologies Hub

    • Technology

In this 5-part series, we’re going to delve deeper into what the future of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, can look like; how they can be used for positive impact, what we need to do to integrate them in existing systems, and how we can get the global rules on drone technology right. This series was commissioned by UKAid and undertaken by the Frontier Technologies Hub. Hosted by Sarah Pannell, Policy adviser in FCDO’s Technology and Innovation Unit and drones for development lead at the FCDO.This is the second season of The Frontier Podcast series. Our first series tackled the role of data in international development, hosted by Valentine J Gandhi and produced by the Frontier Technologies Hub and Niras Digital Futures Hub, and funded by UKAid. Listen below and learn more at https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources

    Testing beyond the tech

    Testing beyond the tech

    We first speak to Ruth McPake from the Frontier Technologies Hub. Ruth is a Senior Consultant at IMC Worldwide, one of the partner organisations that make up the Hub.

    The Hub has explored the use of drones predominantly through its Livestreaming programme, which since 2016 has partnered FCDO staff with technologists and other actors to test an idea for impact within a pilot project. Ruth talks about what we’ve learned from testing drone technology in a wide variety of use cases. 

    Next, we hear from Kush Gadhia, Senior Business Development Manager at Astral Aerial Solutions, a drone company and affiliate of Astral Aviation, an all-cargo airline based in Kenya.

    Kush has been working on one of the pilots supported by the programme, which has looked specifically at whether drones can be used as a complementary solution to tackle the desert locust problem in East Africa.  We discuss Kush’s experience of leading a small, local team, and what the next steps are when it comes to testing drones in this nascent use case.

    Links:
    Village Reach Evidence Generation Guide - https://www.updwg.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/UAS-Evidence-Generation-Toolkit-V2-Nov-2019.pdf
    UNICEF sustainability toolkit - https://unicef.github.io/drone-4sdgtoolkit/

    FTL UAV Portfolio Review - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources/uav-portfolio-review
    Frontier Technology Hub Website - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/

    • 36 min
    People, products and procedures

    People, products and procedures

    In this episode we are joined by Nigel Breyley, drones expert and independent technical advisor on all seven drone projects conducted with the Frontier Technologies Hub to date.

    We also speak to Anne Nderitu, who is co-founder and Chief Operations Officer at Swift Lab in Kenya. Anne is an aerospace engineer and a drone pilot who is developing her drone cargo delivery business in the country.

    With Nigel and Anne we discuss regulation, both from a global and local perspective. We also look at how implementers can empower local stakeholders and design for sustainability, as well as exploring the knowledge necessary to operate drones in different countries.

    Links
    JARUS (Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems) - http://jarus-rpas.org/
    ICAO (The International Civil Aviation Organization ) - https://www.icao.int/
    UPDWG - UAV for Payload Delivery Working Group - ​​https://www.updwg.org/

    FTL UAV Portfolio Review - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources/uav-portfolio-review
    Frontier Technology Hub Website - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/

    • 40 min
    Plugging into existing systems

    Plugging into existing systems

    We speak to Tautvydas Juskauskas, Drones Specialist at UNICEF Supply Division and member of the Interagency Supply Chain Group, about how to best implement drone solutions within existing programmes and share global learning. 
    We then talk with Olivier Defawe and Luciana Maxim of VillageReach, who have been at the forefront of testing UAVs for healthcare delivery. We discuss what they have learnt from their FTL pilot in Mozambique, as well as what they recommend to others who wish to integrate drones in existing systems.
    Both guests frame discussion around their experience of drones for supply chain delivery, where  in some developing country contexts, rural locations and poor roads often mean that drones can leapfrog existing processes. The key question being: how do you make sure that these activities are sustained and manage to slot into existing systems?
    Links:
    UPDWG - UAV for Payload Delivery Working Group - ​​https://www.updwg.org/
    World Bank, Unlocking the Lower Skies: The Costs and Benefits of Deploying Drones across Use Cases in East Africa - https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/35593
    FTL UAV Portfolio Review - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources/uav-portfolio-review
    Frontier Technology Hub Website - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/

    • 47 min
    Bright spots and ripple effects

    Bright spots and ripple effects

    We speak to Tendai Pasipanodya and Hans-Peter Thamm from the Drones Doing Good Alliance.

    Tendai is a systems change expert with 17 years of experience in identifying, developing, supporting and co-creating innovative solutions to tackling development challenges. Hans-Peter is a drone manufacturer who developed one of the first ever VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) drones in the world.

    Both guests discuss the importance of localisation and the value of local manufacturing of drones. They also discuss what it might mean to encourage more local solutions in order to grow drone ecosystems in the future.

    Links:
    Drones Doing Good Alliance - https://www.ddgalliance.org/
    Wakanda Beyond - https://endeva.org/blog/making-africa-the-safest-place-to-fly-drones-wakanda-beyond

    FTL UAV Portfolio Review - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources/uav-portfolio-review
    Frontier Technology Hub Website - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/

    • 26 min
    The Future of Drones for Good

    The Future of Drones for Good

    We speak to Jonty Slater, Managing Director of The Blue Globe, who has worked with international development innovation programmes for the last eight years, and with drones for the last four years.

    Jonty speaks to us about which drone use cases are showing the most potential in the sector, as well as how infrastructure and local ownership should continue to form key considerations when it comes to building projects in the future.

    Links:
    FTL UAV Portfolio Review - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/resources/uav-portfolio-review
    Frontier Technology Hub Website - https://www.frontiertechhub.org/

    • 28 min
    Governing Data: Unlocking new and existing data sources for public decision making

    Governing Data: Unlocking new and existing data sources for public decision making

    We talk to Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory (The GovLab) at New York University (NYU), about his extensive work and insights on improving the sharing of new frontier data sources (including business-to-government sharing). 
    We hear from Stefaan about his latest work on the Data4Covid19 call for action, which helps organisations use innovative data sources to address Covid-19 and future threats in a responsible, systematic and sustainable way. We also talk to him about what AI governance is, why it matters for international development work, and what practitioners can do to strengthen AI governance for local good. 
    Please take a look at the links below to the initiatives and projects that Stefaan speaks about in the podcast:
    Data Collaboratives: https://datacollaboratives.org/Data Stewards Network: http://datastewards.net/Data4Covid19 : http://data4covid19.org/Mobility Data for Covid19: https://mobility.data4covid19.org/The new intelligence paradigm: https://www.afd.fr/en/ressources/emerging-uses-technology-development-new-intelligence-paradigmMore on Stefaan: https://www.thegovlab.org/stefaan-verhulst.html 

    • 27 min