Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.

Table of Contents

Common Terms

Primary Data

New data collected directly from the field, through direct observation, key informant interviews, community group discussions and/or other tools.

Secondary Data

Existing data that was gathered previously or provided by other sources.


A quantitative or qualitative variable that provides a simple and reliable basis for assessing achievement, change or performance.


The conditions determined by physical, social, economic, environmental and political factors or processes which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of shocks/hazards.


The resources of individuals, households, communities, institutions and nations to resist the impact of a hazard.

Coping Mechanism

The adapted/unusual strategies that people or communities develop as a way of living through difficult times.


The ability to reduce, prepare for, resist and recover from shocks/hazards.


The perceptions based on cultural background, experience, professional training and many other factors that people have and could disfigure a fact. Every organisation or person is susceptible to bias in some form.


The process of turning the data gathered during an assessment into useful information to guide appropriate decisions.


Initial Emergency Assessment



Access to information sources

Typical information sources

Importance of assumptions

Type of assessment team

First impact evaluation of the crisis magnitude.

Within the first 72 hours.

Very Limited:

Movements are usually restricted and communications not always functioning.

Relies on previous networking, coordination groups and official sources if any.

Very high:

Few things are confirmed, assumptions must make assumptions be made based on previous experience

Preferably a representative with experience in emergencies.


Rapid Assessment



Access to information sources

Typical information sources

Importance of assumptions

Type of assessment team

Immediate response / lifesaving activities.

Maximum two weeks after the crisis.


Security and/or safety can limit movement and access to people as well.

Secondary information, local services (health, water, etc.), NGOs, government, affected population/ household visits partners and close providers.


Insufficient time to triangulate verity all the information. Still a Situation is still volatile situation.

Experienced generalist, with previous exposure to this type of emergencyemergencies.

Adapted from IFRC, 2006 Guidelines for assessment in emergencies & IASC, Classification of emergency phase.


In-Depth Assessment



Access to information sources

Typical information sources

Importance of assumptions

Type of assessment team

Medium term operational plan.

Less than one month after the crisis and/or each time is considered needed.

Commonly Accessible:

Possibility to visit enough locations and interview a full range of informants.

Secondary information, and primary information gathered through a full range of informants.


Sufficient time to interview full range of informants. Coordination with partners is mandatory to avoid duplications duplication and ensure the reliability of the data collected.

Generalist, possibly supported by specialists.


Continual Assessment



Access to information sources

Typical information sources

Importance of assumptions

Type of assessment team

Evaluations, monitoring and research.

Information collected regularly throughout the operational period.

Full normal access.

Primary and secondary information gathered through selected informants, based on indicators, with a standardized standardised and planned exercise generally conducted by the organisation’s staff.


Assumptions based on indicators and informants, but these can be verified from other sources.

Organisation staff during the normal activities development.


The assessment cycle is a conceptual tool that helps to better define the different stages of an assessment and at the same time emphasizes emphasises the idea of a continual process. The final objective is to provide decision makers with reliable, accurate and valuable information to guide their decisions. The process is cyclical and responds to 5 phases.


  • Identifying end users of the assessment information (i.e., program staff, donors, etc.)  and their respective needs (i.e., budgets, programming, planning, etc.) 
  • Setting the objectives of the assessment.
  • Establishing terms of reference for the logistics assessment team.
  • Selecting team members.
  • Identifying and/or preparing the assessment tools and pilot testing them.
  • Mobilizing Mobilising resources to facilitate the assessment - staff, vehicles, computers, etc.
  • Agreeing on reporting format.


The assessment process should not compromise the protection and privacy needs of the affected population.  The Sphere for Assessment guide highlights two elements of the principle, based on the humanitarian core concept of do no harm:

  1. The form of humanitarian assistance and the environment in which it is provided do not further expose people to physical hazards, violence or other rights abuse.

  2. Humanitarian agencies manage sensitive information in a way that does not jeopardize the jeopardise the security of the informants or those who may be identifiable from the information.


Assessment implementation requires keeping objectives and deliverables clear while measuring the assessment progress continuously. While it is important to follow a plan, several modifications to the assessment plan may occur due to context or internal developments. The process should be standardizedstandardised, transparent and clearly documented process to recognize recognise possible flaws.

The more qualified and experienced an assessment team is, the more accurate and reliable the assessment findings will be. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be agreed upon with key stakeholders, and in accordance with the plan. SOPs describe the roles and responsibilities of team members, the team’s management lines and support functions, and clearly identify team leaders.


Logisticians should to try to plan ahead, having as much necessary information as possible before the full intervention scope is finalizedfinalised.  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:


Identify impacts and infrastructure functionality (facts)

Area of AssessmentTemplateExpected Outcome



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



Establish accurate and comprehensive information about the seaports capacities.

Water ways and river transportation


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.

CustomsDownloadUnderstand requirements and limitations for importation of emergency relief supplies. 

Clarify for operational purposes (needs)

Area of AssessmentTemplateExpected 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 the 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 itself , but make significant contributions to the effectivity effectiveness and efficiency of the intervention.Project Cycle Management


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


Area of Logistics Support

  • Assessment of Assess logistics capacities , in which logistics information about the area or region is collected: geography, population, urban / rural areas, roads, infrastructures, etc.
  • Collect information on context and safety, as well as maps of the area.
  • Initiate a first 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 to not forget any essential aspect. The Logistics Cluster also relies on the Logistics Capacity Assessment (LCA) to collect the information needed in this phase.



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).

Area 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.
  • Access (arriving, staying and working in the intervention area)
  • Security (global security context and possible risks or consequences for the team that will work in the area)
  • Roads / runways and transportation (for goods and personnel)
  • Possible supply chain strategy (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)
  • Market study (local, regional: what is already available)
  • Communications (.
  • Conduct market surveys, including local and regional.
  • Establish communications using existing and appropriate equipment or services for already in the area)Infrastructures (available or that need to be .
  • Assess infrastructures, including what is available or what needs to be be built or rehabilitated)
  • Energy (what is available and what equipment is needed)
  • Health centres (what is available)
  • Capacity
  • Assess capacity and availability of qualified labour.
  • All 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.


Area 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 for derogations 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 optimized 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.

Area 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.  Key   Monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as the cost of maintenance , transportation or the delivery times of supplies, it can be ensured the adequate fulfilment of the project as planned and ensure that the implementation and logistics management is optimal.  The project's purchasing plan must be also kept updated.or deliver timelines can help ensure adequate fulfilment of planned projects.  

Area of Logistics Support

  • Updating purchasing procurement plan and the supply plan Purchasing managementinformation. 
  • Managing procurement. 
  • Monitoring compliance with donor rules.
  • Treasury forecasting and budget monitoringBudget and spending forecasts.
  • Track maintenance and transportation costsTracking transportation costs.


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

Area of Logistics Support

  • The documentation that accredits all the purchasing processes
  • Market evaluation
  • Stock management and surplus analysis
  • Equipment management (Documenting the procurement process.
  • Conducting market evaluation.
  • Conducting stock consumption analysis.
  • Supporting equipment management, including donation to third parties, assignment to other uses, or request requests for exception).
  • Learned lessons

Primary Resources

Logistics Capacity Assessments

Digital Logistics Capacity Assessments (LCAs) exist for many countries, are regularly updated, and provide a useful tool to establish the logistics infrastructure before the disaster occurred.

Emergency Assessment

Rapid Logistics Assessment templates can be found on the Logistics Cluster website.

These templates, when used in conjunction with an LCA can be used to rapidly indicate the post-disaster logistics infrastructure, and establish possible logistics bottlenecks and areas of conflict.

VAM Resource Center from WFP


  • conducting a lessons learned or after action review. 

Templates and Tools

TEMPLATE - Airport Airstrip Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Customs Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Fuel Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Premises Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Procurement Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Rail Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Road Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Seaports Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Warehouse Assessment Tool

TEMPLATE - Water Transport Assessment Tool

Sites and Resources



Sites and Resources

Sphere Project, Handbook (2018)

The Logistics Cluster

CARE Emergency Toolkit: Logistics

IFRC Rapid Emergency Needs Assessment Guideline

IFRC Assessments Manuals

ACAPS Needs Assessment Guidance and Tools