Aid Agencies

1 minute read

An important part of the project involves my ability to do actual on-the-ground tests of the pproof of concept. This means working with partners in countries that border Syria — namely Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan (and Iraq, but that place is volatile enough as is).

Neighboring countries to Syria

The challenge then becomes figuring out a way of reaching agencies that would be interested in assisting. I haven’t tried this before, so we’ll need some sort of preliminary strategy. I read this Wikipedia entry on aid in Syria — it describes the organizations involved and the capacity of their involvement. That’ll be a good starting point.

Next, I’m considering the below:

  • reach out to organizations present in Turkey first (Lebanon, Jordan later). I’ll reach them directly via email
  • reach out to individuals affiliated with relevant aid organizations via LinkedIn
  • a friend also told me to consider applying to the SU/WFP program here (Applications close: March 13, 2017). This would plug me in directly to the UN WFP, which should make things easier from an implementation perspective.


The goal is to get the pilot flight done legally, and as quickly as possible. If I could just pop into Turkey, do the test flight and come back — that’d be ideal (for this initial stage of the project).

The basic strategy here is:

  • Reach out to Turkish Civil Aviation authority to understand requirements
  • If local partner required:
    • reach out to the UN (UNHCR & WFP to begin with) and seek introduction to local partners
      • If UN unresponsive/unwilling, reach active aid agencies directly

1. Create compelling value proposition

Since I’ll be starting off with the UN, I’d need to understand more about the problem, specifically:

  • What it costs them to do aid deliveries today
  • The number of areas that they are unable to reach that this project can directly impact

I’d also need to be very clear about what it is I’m asking from them.

Find active aid agencies


After some extensive searching, I came across this list of UNHCR implementing partners in Turkey. There’s another list here on Page 5.

To keep things sane, I fired up a Google sheet to track the status of the different interactions I’m following up on.