What is an LCA?
The Logistics Capacity Assessment (LCA) is a source of information related to logistics infrastructure and services in a given country; a tool for organising that information in a standard way across multiple countries; and a means of sharing that information both within WFP and with the humanitarian community globally.
Why do an LCA?
LCAs should provide logisticians with fundamental, baseline logistics information.
They are operational in nature and concentrate on critical elements of the logistics links, such as port and airport capacities, road and rail networks, storage facilities, handling procedures, labor rates, local transportation resources and other key elements required for operational support.
Particular consideration is given to identifying any physical or material shortcomings, which may result in bottlenecks in the delivery pipeline to support operations planning and as a starting point for conducting additional assessments.
A well prepared and constructed LCA contributes to the overall emergency response strategy and execution.
It will ensure the following objectives can be met by humanitarian organizations:
- Support for Contingency Planning activities
- Preparation of Emergency Response Operational Plans
- Improving resource requirements assessments at planning stage of an emergency response
- Reducing overall response time and accessibility in the delivery of humanitarian aid
- Decrease cost of transportation at onset and over the course of the operation
- Facilitate the transition from Relief to Rehabilitation and Development
- Provide detailed briefing material for relief staff unfamiliar to the region
Which countries need an LCA?
LCAs focus on countries or regions which are deemed critical for supporting humanitarian operations and at-risk countries where there is a potential for a sudden onset emergency that will require international humanitarian intervention; for countries where WFP has regular operations; and for countries where humanitarian actors are present, but where there is a lack of consolidated information available concerning logistics infrastructure and services.
 The determination of whether or not a particular country is “at risk” is based on a risk assessment that takes into account: Hazard and Exposure, Vulnerability, and Coping Capacity (Both institutional and in terms of infrastructure). The risk assessment is taken from the “Inform” tool (http://inform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/) that has been developed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission - JRC, the IASC Sub-working Group on Preparedness, and the European Commission Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – ECHO (In partnership with: OCHA, DFID, UNICEF, UNHCR, FAO, WFP, UNISDR, IOM, WHO, UNEP).
 In some cases an LCA may be deemed not necessary for a specific country based on either the availability of information concerning logistics infrastructure and services is sufficient to meet operational needs; and/or the risk is sufficiently low so as to not require an LCA.
How are LCAs structured?
All LCAs are structured in a standardized format and published on set templates. Templates for completing the LCA sections can be downloaded in word format from the Generic Template section.
A standardized format facilitates the information transfer process and ensures the LCA stays focused on information of relevance to the humanitarian community.
- Country Profile
- Logistics Infrastructure
- Logistics Services
What is the content of an LCA?
LCAs are a source of information on the current logistical capacity of a country and identify any key constraints which exist. Commentary or analysis on the current political or social situation and information considered sensitive to organisations should not be included. The information included should be focused and describe relevant information requested for each of the particular sections. It should be collected and completed in the requested standardized format.
Typically, the LCAs are consolidated and published in English, however it may also be appropriate to include LCAs in French or Spanish.
A standard set of LCA maps are produced by the GIS unit in WFP HQ; Country Overview, Air, Ports, Waterways, Road and Railway. They display key logistics locations and can be revised as per ongoing findings; be it adding or removing locations, updating size of cities and towns, correction of administrative borders. For route evaluations, the GIS unit has a standard evaluation forms and a smartphone tool which can be utilized.