The Logistics Capacity Assessment (LCA) is a source of information related to logistics infrastructure and services in a given country; a tool for organizing 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.
LCAs should provide logisticians with fundamental, baseline logistics information.
They are operational in nature and concentrate on critical elements of the supply chain 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:
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.
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 LCA Templates section.
A standardized format facilitates the information transfer process and ensures the LCA stays focused on information of relevance to the humanitarian community.
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 standard evaluation forms and a smartphone tool which can be utilized.
A Rapid Logistics Capacity Assessment, RLCA, is a comprehensive tool that the Logistics Cluster has developed for logistics assessments in emergency situations. They are intended to provide guidance to logisticians from NGOs, UN agencies, and other organisations working on the ground during an emergency response situation and particularly during:
Airports, Ports, Railways, Waterways, Road Networks, Warehousing, Local Supply, Fuel, etc.
Each RLCA is divided into parts/chapters in order to answer the “who, what, where and how” of each topic.