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A strategy will be based on market and context analysis results, knowledge from where we organization's can build the best approaches to manage the acquisitions. Knowing what and where supplies are needed, agencies can better choose the supply strategy, paying attention to the total cost of ownership (e.g., initial purchase, shipping, operation, maintenance and disposal costs), the special field conditions and the real possibilities to acquire (or ship) the materials and services needed.


A strategy has to be flexible and ready to be revised each time a new condition arises, either in the requirements or in the context surround the organization. For this reason, each intervention must to have a procurement plan, as the tool that reflects the minimum information on the anticipated needs, allowing:

  • improve Improve sourcing and thereby increase competition;.
  • mitigate Mitigate the risk of redundancy, reducing transaction costs and prices through the consolidation of procurement actions;.
  • increase Increase the efficient use of resources by avoiding last minute actions;.
  • prevent Prevent non-compliance with regulations, rules and procedures due to oversight or time constraints.

Procurement plans are the base and precondition to launch any procurement process. They must be prepared before the start of any action, program or project, and must be based on analysis of budget, beneficiary numbers and activities. The exercise is a common effort among all the participants, including the who identify the needs, who will procure and that will control the budget to concretize the details of:

  • description Description of goods/services to be procured;.
  • estimated Estimated costs and quantities of the needed goods and services;.
  • categories Categories of goods and services;.
  • solicitation methods;.
  • target Target delivery dates (timeline/schedule).


It is key to clearly define the requirements for every needed good or service at the planning phase, . This enables persons enacting procurement to better understand the function, performance and technical specifications that will be required to cover the requester needs, and how to determine the best solution to fit them, and how to stablish the evaluation criteria to assure the quality standards.


Common Documents in Procurement


Procurement Process Step


Document´s Name




Bill Of Quantities

A document used in tendering in the construction industry in which materials, parts, and labor (and their costs) are itemized.


request for Expression Of Interest

A formal notification aimed at determining the capacity, interest, and availability of potential suppliers in the market to deliver the goods and services required.


Request For Information

Is used to supplement the writing of the technical annexes to the solicitation documents and ensure those are accurate and have a comprehensive set of requirements.



Purchase Request

The standard and official form to request a purchase.


Scope of Work

Is used in all types of civil, mechanical, electrical or other engineering/installation services for works, as well as the supply of construction materials and equipment included therein. It provides all information required to allow the contractor to undertake the works.


Terms of Reference

A description of the work to be performed, the level of quality and effort, the timeline and the deliverables, used to define the performance requirements for services that cannot easily quantified.


Technical Specifications

A document drawn up by the Contracting Authority contracting authority setting out its requirements and/or objectives in respect of the provision of supplies, specifying, where relevant, the methods and resources to be used and/or results to be achieved.



Request For Quotation

A written request made to suppliers for the purchase of goods or services, up to a maximum value stablished by the organization.


Invitation To Bid

A letter sent to selected candidates in a restricted procedure or competitive negotiated procedure inviting them to submit a bid. This term is use interchangeably with “RFQ” in this guide.


Request For Proposal

A written request made to suppliers for complex purchase exceeding the maximum value stablished by the organization. This term is use interchangeably with “Tender Dossier” in this guide.


Tender Dossier

The dossier compiled by the Contracting Authority and containing all the documents needed to prepare and submit a tender.



Evaluation Table

Tool aimed to compare the different bids received and present them in a Comparative Table.


Tender Report

Document where present every detail about a tender process, including a comparative table and a reasoned proposition to award the contract

Ordering and Contracting


Purchase Order

A financial commitment that confirms the purchase details (Units, quantity, price, delivery time and Location, etc), officialising officializing the Order


Terms and Conditions

The applicable rules governing the purchase of a product, service or works.



Legally binding agreement between the organization and the supplier. It defines the Terms and Conditions for the good and services provision, as well as the signatories related rights and obligations. (see Contracts).


Long-Term or Framework Agreement

A contract concluded between a Contracting Authority and an economic operator for the purpose of laying down the essential terms governing a series of specific contracts to be awarded during a given period, in particular as regards the duration, subject, prices, conditions of performance and the quantities envisaged. ( see LTAs)



Delivery note

Documentary proof that the supplier commitments have been fulfilled.


Reception note

Documentary evidence of the transfer of responsibility of a cargo.


Commercial Invoice

A document that state the parties involved in the transaction, describe the goods purchased and indicate their value.


Each specific purchase will need to be analyzed from the perspective of the organization's own procurement procedures, as well as from that of the funding agency's requirements. Every procurement process must be justified and scrupulously thoroughly documented, having its own dossier containing all the documents related to a procedure, whether simple or complex. In this way, we will call the Procurement Dossier to A procurement dossier can be defined as a set of documents that justifies the steps taken in a particular procedure. Not all dossiers will be the same in volume and complexity. (see Most Common Procurement Procedures). At the same time, those Dossiers dossiers have to be preserved for later use (see Documentation managementManagement, Files).

A filing system can be defined as the procedures and means necessary to ensure that the records are properly maintained during a fixed period of time for internal and external use. 


A proper filing system has no value if the documents are not duly completed and signed. Therefore, only employees to whom such responsibility has been formally assigned are authorized to sign documents. Those employees must understand the meaning of their signature in terms of their responsibilities and consequences for the Organization. Files must be kept for long years (between 10 and 15 months or years, depending on which donor )requirements or internal audit guidelines. 

Standardization Tools


Most of the forms handled by logistics personnel have or should have specific codes (references) that allow them to be connected and subsequently tracked. Typically, a form includes its "own" reference for easy identification, as well as one or more references to link it to the other documents. The forms are filed according to their references. Therefore, the proper use of references has a direct impact on the archive. When someone (internal or external) needs information about the history of our operations, the correct use references (encoding) facilitate access.

These codes might include information about the country, the office and the department requesting the purchase plus a running number.In the case of not competitive process, the PO is the first official document for the specific procedure, therefore the dossier is going to be “named” as the PO number. If the procedure has implied any kind of quotations, the PO should contain the solicitation document code. Irrespective of the contracting format, the invoices and/or any other formal communication about a specific procedure shall contain the code applicable to it, matching always with the one in the PO.


An emergency response produces a quite important number of documents and each procurement documentation can occupy a large volume, which can make it difficult to find a specific document when it is needed. Hence the importance of Labeling labeling each Folder folder and/or box in the most harmonized way possible, thinking of those who will come after the initial response phase. The common archiving approach allows documents to be tracked more easily, while also allowing sensitive files to be identified faster in an emergency.

All related folders must be clearly labeled. A color, number, or pattern should be set to help determine what to do with those files based on the security level. This measure should also be applied by the other departments, especially Finance finance and Human Resourceshuman resources.

Procurement Process

The procurement Procurement is common - almost everyone does it automatically every day. However, for a procurement officer, procurement is a challenge in itself. Humanitarian logisticians purchase using funds provided by external donors to buy items /and services defined by other colleagues with the aim to cover beneficiary needs. In order to align all those interests becomes essential to have some norms and tools.

In volatile context, with all the external and internal challenges and taking in consideration the capacity to impact the local market that the humanitarian aid has, is critical to have and implement standards over the whole process that could guide and ensure each of the Procurement Principles above.procurement principles are followed. Every coherent procurement process, regardless its aim or dimension, will have always six basic steps.

Sourcing and Identifying Vendors  


These formal requests should be based on templates that will allow to build a more accurate opinion about the product or service that we pretend to acquire and its availability in the context we are working.

Product/Service Requisition


Any procurement for goods or services should be built upon needs. Once the needs are identified measured and planned, by a team or individual within an agency, should be formally communicated to the organization´s procurement team, usually through a formally defined a Purchase Request specifying: