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Call for participation: Drone policy research

Call for Participation
Sentinel Project Begins Research On Drone Policy For Development and Humanitarianism

The Sentinel Project has launched a new research project focused on the use of drones for development and humanitarianism in the Global South. We’re looking for people and organizations working with this technology around the world to participate in interviews about your ideas and experiences.

Followers of the Sentinel Project’s work will know that we are strong advocates of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) for improving human security and peacebuilding in conflict areas. We see the potential for UAVs to perform roles such as local area surveillance and reconnaissance to warn civilian populations about incoming threats, verifying information to combat misinformation, and documenting atrocities if they do happen. This technology can also bring added benefits to humanitarian and development efforts by playing such roles as search and rescue, land use mapping, and cargo delivery. That’s why we have now launched a project with the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to look at how UAVs are being used to improve lives throughout the Global South and how government policies affect these innovations.

The role of drones in global assistance

The research aims to understand this emerging landscape by asking several core questions:

  • What applications of UAVs (both current and potential) are most relevant to development in the Global South?

  • What policy and regulatory challenges present obstacles to UAV deployment for development and humanitarian applications in Global South countries?

  • What factors (security, public perception, etc.) most influence policy makers in Global South countries when forming UAV policy?

  • What practical and theoretical concerns exist regarding UAS and how do they impact policy and regulation?

How you can help

In order to answer these questions, we want to talk with as many people as possible who are working on UAV issues related to the Global South. That means NGOs, technologists, researchers, entrepreneurs, government officials (especially aviation regulators), and anyone else with a connection to this topic. Participation in our research will generally involve taking part in an interview and your contributions can be either anonymous or attributed as you wish. You can help us contribute to better informed, wisely regulated, and more responsible UAV deployments in development and humanitarian contexts around the world.

If you’re interested, please write to Christopher Tuckwood ( or Drew Boyd ( to schedule an interview, share information, or refer other participants.


(c) 2017 The Senitel Project

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