Logistics Assessments and Planning
Logistics Assessment

Logisticians should to try to plan ahead, having as much necessary information as possible before the full intervention scope is finalised.  This may include being able to explain the times and costs of an intervention, and propose operational solutions. The main objectives of logistics assessment are:

  • Gather, analyse and disseminate logistics related data and information in relation to the impact of a disaster
  • Use that information to facilitate informed operational decisions making regarding feasibility of activities and proposing efficient solutions - including costs and times - to enact them.

While a logistics assessment determines the extent of the impact, it is also used to plan logistical needs. 

A logistician may need to look for information on some of the following subjects.


Identify impacts and infrastructure functionality (facts):


Area of Assessment


Expected Outcome



Establish accurate and comprehensive information about the feasibility of air transport.



Establish accurate and comprehensive information about the seaports capacities.

Waterways and River 


Identify the different options on waterway transport, capacities and possible challenges.



Identify capacity of surface road movement options, the accesses actual status and possible secondary routes.



Establish accurate and comprehensive information about the rail route capacities.



Understand requirements and limitations for importation of emergency relief supplies. 


Clarify for operational purposes (needs):


Area of Assessment


Expected Outcome



Gather information about the possible storage options, and analyse their characteristics in support of programmatic objectives.



Gather information about the possible living and working facility options and analyse their characteristics to match organisational needs.



Gather and analyse information about the context where the procurement activities will take place and the details about the actors involved.



Gather and analyse information about fuel availability in the context of operation. 

Logistics Support to Project Cycle

A response can only be successful if programme and operational needs are fully understood and addressed. The key to a good project is an integrated collaborative planning process across functions.

Logistics personnel are frequently not adequately involved in all stages of a project. The contribution that logistics professionals can have in each stage is not only crucial to determine the feasibility of the project, but make significant contributions to the effectiveness and efficiency of the intervention.



The programming phase defines an organisation’s position in a country, its objectives and capabilities, its connections with other stakeholders and partners, and with the community it pretends to support.

Poor programming can severely limit the ability to implement a project and have a negative impact on the overall response to the affected populations.

Areas of Logistics Support:

  • Assess logistics capacities in the area or region: geography, population, urban / rural areas, roads, infrastructures, etc.

  • Collect information on context and safety, as well as maps of the area.

  • Initiate a market analysis.


The purpose of the identification phase is to analyse the problems faced by the project's target population and identify possible alternatives to address them. Each organisation has its own procedures and tools.

It is important to pay attention to infrastructure, safety and weather conditions throughout the year. Policies and procedures may be revised or adjusted to national laws, especially contracts with providers. The OECD has developed a Methodology for Assessing Procurement Systems (MAPS) that takes into account qualitative and quantitative indicators, along with gaps and findings to make recommendations regarding the specific market assessed. The Logistics Cluster also produces assessment information using the Logistics Capacity Assessment (LCA).














Areas of Logistics Support:

  • Identify and establish contact with competent authorities and possible collaborators in the intervention area, such as suppliers, carriers, customs agents, etc.

  • Provide logistical support to the evaluation teams, making available means of transport, communication and accommodation, among others.

  • Provide the necessary access information to the assessment teams: maps, security, geographic, etc. gathered in the previous phase.

  • Provide information on roads / landing strips and transportation for goods and personnel.

  • Support a possible supply chain strategy, including storage, order management, and identifying origin of materials.

  • Conduct market surveys, including local and regional.

  • Establish communications using existing and appropriate equipment or services already in the area.

  • Assess infrastructures, including what is available or what needs to be be built or rehabilitated

  • Assess capacity and availability of qualified labour.

  • Identify all associated costs.



The formulation phase is defined as the phase in which the action is planned, being a crucial moment in the supply chain. Logistics participation in the formulation phase of any project phase is crucial. Logistics informs and provides the safest and most efficient way to establish the project, assuring its feasibility and sustainability. A procurement plan and budget must be prepared based on planned project activities, including the costs and delivery times for the materials and services that may be required are established into it.

The most commonly used tool for project formulation is the logical framework matrix. The matrix establishes logical links between the necessary resources to carry out the planned activities that will allow the expected results drive to achieve the intervention objectives.

Areas of Logistics Support:

  • Understand the project aims and activities to achieve them and analyse its feasibility and costs or propose adjustments.

  • Define the logistics needs (at the level of storage, purchasing management, transport of goods and people, equipment) and estimate their costs.

  • Understand the donor rules correctly, adhere to the intervention to them or advance possible constraints or request changes where applicable.



The funding phase is when organisations obtain financial resources to run a project. Funding needs will be based on budgets, which must include all the expenses derived directly or indirectly from the execution of the project. The main categories reflected in them are generally, personnel, travel, equipment, supplies (programme inputs), support and indirect costs. A procurement plan will be the basis for calculating the costs of the products or services and the logistics cost of making the project operational.

Institutional donors usually require a project proposal, which includes a detailed budget. Donor agreements are usually governed by a contract, and donor funds cannot be used indiscriminately – they must be used in a controlled and optimised way, and in compliance specific rules regarding the management of both funds and the materials, goods, services and properties (bought or rented) financed with their funds.





Areas of Logistics Support:

  • The costs of the inputs and services necessary for the implementation of the project.

  • The costs of acquisition, operation and maintenance of communication equipment.

  • The costs of transporting personnel and goods.

  • The costs of hosting the equipment.

  • The costs derived from security management.

  • The estimated depreciation of fixed assets.



The implementation phase is when projects are actually carried out. The actual progress of the activities is monitored and contrasted with the initially planned progress.  Monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as the cost of maintenance or deliver timelines can help ensure adequate fulfilment of planned projects.  






Areas of Logistics Support:

  • Updating procurement plan and supply plan information. 

  • Managing procurement. 

  • Monitoring compliance with donor rules.

  • Budget and spending forecasts.

  • Track maintenance and transportation costs.



Internal evaluation of projects allows for measuring objectives and identifying problems. Ideally evaluations should be done at the time of closing to facilitate the design of future projects or programmes. Some donors also require a final report at the end of a project.


Areas of Logistics Support:

  • Documenting the procurement process.

  • Conducting market evaluation.

  • Conducting stock consumption analysis.

  • Supporting equipment management, including donation to third parties, assignment to other uses, or requests for exception.

  • conducting a lessons learned or after action review. 

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