Since the arrival of the Sustainable Development Goals, the idea of partnerships — including previously unlikely ones — has been one the global development community is growing accustomed to. After all, the estimated additional $3 trillion needed to reach the SDG targets isn’t going to be sourced without involvement of new players in the realms of development cooperation, humanitarian aid, and climate change mitigation and preparedness.

Enter the space and satellite technology communities. Bringing with them their expertise in communications and imagery, many organizations are collaborating with in-country governments and private sector implementers in a bid to tackle some of the world’s most intractable problems.

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme, or IPP, is one such convening mechanism. Through this program, the U.K. satellite communications company Inmarsat is leading three projects that use satellite connectivity to benefit communities in developing and emerging economies. In Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines, it is working with local governments and regional organizations to tackle challenges in health care, sustainable fishing, and disaster response.

Ray Fielding, head of the IPP at the UK Space Agency, said such partnerships are already having an impact.

“In December, when a large typhoon storm hit the Philippines, infrastructure was wiped out and communications were especially hard hit,” he said. “The equipment we had deployed helped to make sure that aid workers and disaster recovery experts could communicate back to the base exactly what was needed, enabling a much more rapid and efficient response to emergencies than they would have been able to achieve otherwise.”

Read the full article about space and satellite technology's role in aid at Devex International Development.