"Humanitarian organizations should engage in initiatives like the Humanitarian UAV Network." - United Nations (OCHA) Policy Brief
With over 3,500 members in 120+ countries, our mission is to promote the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs for data collection and cargo delivery in a wide range of humanitarian and development settings. We do this by developing and championing international guidelines for the responsible use of UAVs. We actively promote operational safety and document lessons learned and best practices. We never self-deploy. We only mobilize at the request of established aid and development partners. We actively promote community engagement & educate UAV operators. We convene Experts Meetings and facilitate information sharing, coordination and learning across all our efforts. Our pilot roster includes 600+ UAV pilots in 70+ countries.
Our objectives are thus five-fold: establish clear standards for the responsible use of UAVs and provide up-to-date regulatory information; document lessons learned and best practices; provide hands-on UAV training; inform UAV deployments during disasters; and catalyze research & information sharing.
To pursue these objectives, we co-organized the first ever Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting at the UN Secretariat in 2014 and held this meeting again in 2015 at MIT. We taught the first ever Humanitarian UAV training courses in Europe, the US and Asia for humanitarian and development professionals. In addition, we convened a high-level policy forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation to further develop our international code of conduct. We also joined the Drones in Humanitarian Action research program in 2015. In 2016, we launched WeRobotics to take over the operational responsibilities of UAViators and provide professional training and transfer drone technologies to local partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and beyond. In 2018, we launched a dedciated website for the Humanitarian UAV Code of Conduct: UAVcode.org. In 2019, we partnered with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative to revise and update UAVcode. In 2020, we launched the updated Code of Conduct along with new online trainings on the use of drones for disaster response and on community engagement.
To get started:
- Please sign up (the private site has member-only features).
- Complete your profile and Start Here to make the most of your membership.
- Use the Email-List if you're looking for direct input.
- Post announcements to the Forum.
- Read, improve and share our Code of Conduct and Best Practices Guide.
- If you're a pilot, please join the Pilot Roster here.
New! Founder Patrick Meier's new TEDx talk on Humanitarian UAVs. See also his book, Digital Humanitarians, which has been praised by experts at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, United Nations, Red Cross, Work Bank and more. The book features members of UAViators in action.