Space and Global Health

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United Nations - Vienna International Centre - 48°14′05″N 16°25′01″E / 48.23472°N 16.41694°E - OpenStreetMap

SDG3: Good Health and Well-being - Learning Resouce supports the SDG-Tagging - [1]

Health was addressed in the context of space technology in different organisational forms (see official UN documents on Space and Global Health[2]:

  • Action Team 6 (AT6): Improve Health by Application of Space Technology (UNISPACE III Recommendation 6), Chair: Canada
  • Action Team 6 Follow-Up Initiative (AT6FUI): As member state activity with side events at annual COPUOS meeting in February, Chair: Canada
  • Expert Focus Group for Space and Global Health (EFG-SGH): Topic organized as expert focus group in UNOOSA, Chair: Canada, Switzerland
  • Working Group for Space and Global Health (WG-SGH): Expert Focus Group became working group status Chair: Switzerland

"An important aspect of global health is the transnational impact that globalization exerts on the social, economic and cultural factors that determine good or bad health (known as health determinants) and health problems, something that is beyond the control of individual States. Global health emergencies, epidemics and early warning events can become threats to the stability of the international community. Issues related to environmental and climate change, such as air pollution and water quality, which are essential for human health and well -being, are also intrinsically transboundary. Space technology, supported by in situ observations, can provide important data for environmental, epidemiological and molecular models for disease risk forecasting and the formulation of policies to monitor environment, prevent outbreaks or contain epidemics. It is therefore important to promote enhanced cooperation and the exchange of information in this area." [3]

Working Group for Space and Global Health consists of two organisational structure:

  • (Political/Organisational Level at UNOOSA) the Expert Focus Group with official meetings at the UN COPUOS[4] is the organisational Network Hub between Space and Health domain, i.e. WHO, UNOOSA, ESA, national Public Health Agency...).[5][6]
  • (Implementation Level in a Community of Practice) Community of Practice can be regarded as sensor network in communities, that perform risk mitigation strategies, research and development in the context of Space and Global Health. For the Expert Focus Group/Working Group it can be helpful to identify key requirements and constraints for policy making that improve Risk Mitigation and support evidence based implementation and application of space technology in the Global Health domain.

The Open Community Approach allows user-driven innovation that can be institutionalized in a Living Lab. Capacity Building and learning is a key element for global health risk management. Derived from the results of AT6FUI as a member state activity, the feedback from Community of Practice to the political level

  • shows obstacles for implementation of risk mitigations strategies that might have relevance for the policy level
and vice-versa
  • could identify recommendations from the policy level to the community of practice, that could be addressed in scientific projects or humanitarian or global health related interventions and help to leverage the potential of space technology in the health domain.

Licencing and Mandate: Please read Licencing and Mandate because an open collaborative format doe not have an official mandate of all member states of United Nations. If you want to read about official publications of member states please go to UNOOSA website. Working Group Members of the working group for Global Health are encouraged to change, reorganised and add content. An even beyond researcher, developers or NGOs using space technology in the health domain are welcome to add case studies, so that the community is able to connect.


Examples for Link between Space and Global Health[edit]


Open Data[edit]

Requirements, Constraints for Space and Global Health[edit]

  • Create a Questionnaire in 6 official languages and translation is required for different member states. Which is appropriate approach for gathering information
  • Feedback Loops and Requirements and Constraints Analysis

Open Capacity Building[edit]

Learning Task[edit]

This learning tasks are about Capacity Building and Learning itself and should support the institutional collaborative innovation for Risk Management approaches.

  • (Open Educational Resources) Explain why an Open Platform for Open Educational Resources is important for user-driven innovation! Apply this setting on link between Space and Global Health.
  • Describe the international benefits for members states, if a successful case-study for the application of risk mitigation strategies in Wikiversity can be transfered to other member states!
  • (Capacity Building WHO) Explore the capacity building and learning resource Clean Care Safer Care[8]. Explore the key elements of this learning resource, especially
    • where do you find the scientific evidence for the risk mitigation approach,
    • How do staff members and administration in health care facility are supported to implement a cleaner and safer care?
    • Health care facilities have differently equipped with human, technical and medical resources. Furthermore staff members in health care facilities speak only a local language. Explore how the concept of inner-organisational quality assurance at WHO and user-driven adaption of learning resource to local and regional requirements and constraints refer to the concept of Public-Private-Versioning of learning resources in Wikiversity?
    • Assume WHO analyses the user-driven development of learning and capacity building resources Wikiversity. How could this analysis contributed to next release of the inner-organisational quality assured releases of learning resouces like Clean Care Safer Care?
    • Explain in general how case-studies in Wikiversity can be a learning resource?
  • (Use-Cases Space and Global Health) If many use-cases in Wikiversity are available as capacity building and learning environment in Wikiversity, generic principle and general problems can be identified. The analysis of the problems could lead to conclusions that e.g. public safety and desertification are the key problem for the successful sustainable development in the Global Health domain. Identify UN bodies/entities that are responsible for the scope "public safety" and "desertification".
    • analyze the mandate of the selected bodies and how they could contribute to problem solving,
    • describe, how are NGOs would be affected in their work if public safety cannot be guaranteed,
    • "we learn for errors not from sucess"[9][10]. Explain how failure analysis of privious approaches and self-assessment lead to improvements and innovation in the community of practice and in an interagency collaboration. In an Open Community Approach the self-assessment framework could be supported by questionnaires implemented within Wikiversity by the Community of Practice. Analyze the content management infrastructure in Wikiversity to create a questionnaire and use the following Wikiversity page as a sandbox to define a simple self-assessment.

Technical Learning Task[edit]

  • Technical Approach: Explore the technical side of Satellite technology to learn about the opportunities and limitations!
  • Technical Processing of Satellite Images: Explore the availability of satellite images and match satellite resources to areas of application!
  • Identify those application of satellite technology that is accesible developing for user directly or indirectly as service! Can you describe the obstacles of application? (e.g. financial resource to access a benefit, awarness about benefits, complexity of application in (public) health environment)

Learning Task for Capacity Building and Teachers[edit]

  • Is it necessary that an expert needs to dive into technical details of band-width and orbits provided by learning resources about satellite technology. Explore and design a learning path that helps people working in the domain of epidemiology to use space technology as "one tool among others" to approach
    • vector control for mosquitos and spatial patterns of application for risk mitigation activities
  • Learning Environments for the sharing developmental idea of Real-World Lab at a small river for learning chemical, biological, physical or geographical topics. Learner interact with the environment and learn curricular topics in school related to environment (see Augmented Reality).

Policy Level[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. UN-Guidelines for Use of SDG logo and the 17 SDG icons (2016/10) -
  2. United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs UNOOSA - official documents on Space and Global Health (1995-2019) URL: - (accessed 2019/06/11)
  3. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (2018): Thematic priority 5: Strengthened space cooperation for global health. United Nations. A/AC.105/1172.
  4. UN COPUOS - Committee Of Peaceful Use of Outer Space - (accessed 2017/08/16) -
  7. Global Health at the Human-Animal-Ecosystem Interface, Environment Coursera, (2017), created by University of Geneva, André Ravel, Antoine Flahault, Arnaud Fontanet, Isabelle Bolon, Rafael Ruiz De Castaneda,, accessed 2019/02/14
  8. Pittet, D., & Donaldson, L. (2005). Clean Care is Safer Care: a worldwide priority. Lancet, 366(9493), 1246-1247.
  9. Schein, E. H. (1993). SMR forum: How can organizations learn faster? The challenge of entering the green room. Sloan management review, 34(2), 85.
  10. Joung, W., Hesketh, B., & Neal, A. (2006). Using “war stories” to train for adaptive performance: Is it better to learn from error or success?. Applied psychology, 55(2), 282-302.