Malawi: Addressing global challenges to achieve economic, environmental, and social sustainability requires a combination of approaches including technology driven ones. Technological advancements are progressing at a lightning speed while our ability to harness the power and potential of such technologies lag behind due to short supply of trained workforce around the globe.
In many parts of Africa, drones are being used to provide innovative solutions to challenges in a wide array of sectors from wildlife management, agriculture, humanitarian response and health. Drones have become smaller, smarter, and less expensive making it possible for a widespread adoption in developed as well as underdeveloped countries.
In Malawi, drones are increasingly being deployed for humanitarian and development purposes. UNICEF has led these efforts, including integrating drones into HIV and health supply chain management, responding to flood emergencies, launching a drone testing corridor, mapping and monitoring infrastructure, supporting development of the national regulatory framework and a cadre of drone pilots, and integrating drones into the national disaster preparedness and response framework. UNICEF Malawi already combines drone acquired images with Artificial Intelligence to create “vulnerability maps” in order to support responders in the fight against the current cholera outbreak. Additionally, UNICEF Malawi plans to develop a data strategy for aerial and satellite imagery, and other types of Big Data (e.g. geospatial data, social media, crowdsourced data, sensor data) integration and analysis.
These and other proof-of-concept projects have demonstrated that drones can play an important role in achieving development and humanitarian objectives. a. To meet the rising need for use of drones, UNICEF Malawi wishes to identify a number of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) providers to provide services for humanitarian response and mapping for programming, including monitoring, change detection, and risk-informed assessments to support the Government of Malawi and UNICEF Malawi. These products could be used in disaster risk reduction, early warning activities or emergency response, such as floods and drought monitoring among others.
The use of UAVs will be utilized to produce geo-referenced orthomosaics and/or 3D models of topography and key infrastructures (e.g. health facilities, water points, latrines, schools, informal settlements, etc.),