Closure / After Distribution 

Distributing organisations are also responsible for the proper closure and clean-up of a distribution site. Generally, this includes clearing the site of any refuse, resolving any outstanding issues, compensating casual labourers, and putting a plan in place to report on and monitor the results of the distribution.


After the distribution, warehouse and distribution teams should reconcile and agree upon the correct number of items dispatched and distributed, spotting problems such as: excess distribution and mistakes on waybills, registration problems and thefts, or other discrepancies. The shorter the time between activity and reconciliation the easier it will be to find mistakes. The distribution team will need to submit an activity report which requires the use of warehouse data and the reconciliation is a mandatory part of the process.

All the below figures should account for: 

  • Amounts dispatched from the source and received at the distribution point.
  • Amount distributed.
  • Balance left after distribution/showing as a return from distribution.
  • Balance recorded at source following reception of returns.
  • Any registered losses.


After a distribution, it is essential that a distributing organisation report internally and externally on the intervention and its results, allowing all stakeholders to know results, including shortfalls or gaps in numbers of population served. In general, every report should include information on which commodities were distributed, in what quantities, to which populations, in which areas, and in what time period. If all of the needs of the community were not met during the exercise, it is suggested that the distributing organisation include the percentage of total needs met. Any problems that occurred during the distribution should be noted, particularly if they may impact the ability of partners to operate in the area moving forward. Photos with captions should be attached to the report, where possible.

In order to consolidate the different reports is a good practice to agree and use the same template every time. The Shelter Cluster designed one that contains the following information based on UNHCR templates:



Distributing Organisation

Fill in the name of the organisation that organised the distribution.

Site(s) and Location

Fill in the name of the distribution site (e.g. Name of a School) and its location (governorate, district, village/neighbourhood).

Date(s) of Distribution

Give the exact dates of the distribution, inclusive (e.g. January 4-7, 2017).

No of Beneficiaries

Give the total number of beneficiaries served through the intervention, dis-aggregated by gender and age.


Specify what each household was meant to receive, including whether different packages were delivered to different sized families (e.g. 3 blankets/family of 6, 1 bar of soap/person).

Initial Stock Count

Give the number of items delivered at the outset of the distribution, listed by item (e.g. 1,000 blankets, 1,000 mattresses, etc.).

Stock Distributed

Give the total number of items distributed, listed by item (e.g. 850 blankets, 850 mattresses, etc.).

Remaining Stock Count

Give the number of remaining items, if any, listed by item (e.g. 150 blankets, 150 mattresses, etc.). Ideally, this number will equal the initial stock count minus the stock distributed.

Percentage of Needs Covered

Give an estimation of the needs covered. If there was a shortage of stock, then this number will be below 100%. Similarly, if there are new arrivals, the team might note that the needs as per the assessment have been covered but that new needs have arisen.

Distribution Approach

Detail how the distribution was set up and managed.

Problems Encountered During the Distribution

List any problems encountered during the distribution such as fraud, issues of access, claims of exclusion, etc.

Plan for Follow-up

List any actions that the organisation plans to undertake in the aftermath, e.g. a PDM or a follow-up distribution to account for new arrivals.


Following the full closure of a distribution, distributing organisations may want to start thinking about conducting a post-distribution monitoring (PDM) exercise in order to assess the effectiveness, appropriateness and coverage of the intervention, and overall satisfaction with the assistance provided. Ideally, PDMs should evaluate a single response about a month after the intervention occurs. This allows time for beneficiaries to use the items provided and give useful feedback on quality, and account for the possibility that the recipients of aid might have moved.

In parallel, agencies may wish to perform a market survey where the price of commodities on the local markets is collected regularly. The market tends to be distorted in emergency or conflict contexts, and there can be large fluctuations in price provoked by the timing of distributions making very difficult to interpret quantitative data. Market surveys may reveal impacts of distributions on local vendors, if items are being resold, or even if cheaper or more appropriate items are available locally for procurement or cash vouchering.  

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