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Invitation to: a workshop on professionalizing the role of Logistics and Fleet Management in aid & development organisations – followed by HLA Annual Dinner

 11 November 2014 - Brussels


The Humanitarian Logistics Association and Fleet Forum wish to invite you to a one-day workshop to discuss the professionalization of humanitarian logistics and fleet management.

Transportation and logistics is a corner stone of humanitarian programme delivery and is the second largest cost to humanitarian organisations. Skills needed by the next generation of humanitarian logisticians include not only the means to manage complex supply chains, but also the capability to manage pre and post crisis market assessments and methodologies to generate comparative KPIs that guide programmes towards the achievement of qualitative and cost efficient assistance. Logisticians and fleet managers have an integral role to play in programming to ensure that what beneficiaries actually need is delivered. 

If logistics and transport operations are not managed in a professional way there are negative implications for programmes such as unnecessarily high costs for aged or oversized fleets, lack of economies of scale, operational disruption due to lack of serviceable vehicles or shortages of supplies, resulting in reputational risk. 

Since the 2004 south Asia tsunami, progress has been made to better recognise the important role of humanitarian logistics and fleet operations in the effective delivery of aid programmes.  Examples of this recognition are evident through the growing interest in Fleet Forum and HLA conferences and the number of organisations that support the Certification in Humanitarian Logistics programme (CHL) and Fleet Excellence Training. We now must build on this momentum and create mechanisms to professionalise the roles of logistics and fleet management personnel. 

Hosted by AidEx, the workshop will serve as a platform for participants to engage in plans to develop a career pathway for humanitarian logisticians and fleet managers. The deliverables are to:

·         Develop an up to date profile for humanitarian logisticians and fleet managers

·         Identify the skill set and knowledge level needed for both profiles.


The workshop will be the starting point of a larger project that aims to facilitate personal development through identified learning experiences, enhancing the professionalization of the sector and defining competencies that course providers should aim towards.

The event is aimed at senior managers from aid and development organisations that see the need for professional humanitarian logistics and fleet management in the sector and who wish to contribute their expertise to the objective.

Following the workshop, the HLA will host its annual dinner in central Brussels.

The workshop will take place at Brussels Expo, Belgium on 11 November 2014, prior to AidEx. If you are interested to participate in the workshop and / or attend the HLA annual dinner, please send an email to Rose van Steijn at Rose.van.Steijn@fleetforum.org


EVENT REPORT SUMMARY – HLA General Assembly 2014

NB: This is a summary of the main report, which is available to members logged in to the website on the HLA 2014 Members Page. Click here or in the submenu on the left after logging in.


The Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA) held its Annual General Assembly 2014 in Paris, France on April 3rd 2014 on the sidelines of the popular European logistics exhibition (SITL). This year’s GA was well attended by an eclectic mix of senior practitioners yielding an excellent representation of viewpoints from a cross section of the diverse blend of stakeholders that influence our sector (for the participants list please login & access the full event report as detailed above)

The deliberations were frank and stimulating addressing some of the most pressing issues and sweeping winds of change affecting humanitarian logistics. For a full agenda of the conference please login & access the full event report as detailed above.  Individual session presentations, where available, can be found on the HLA 2014 Members Page. The theme was aptly titled “What next for Humanitarian Logistics?”

The main thematic areas of discussion were the following (for a detailed report on each of these topics, please login & access the full event report as detailed above)


The increasing prevalence and preference for cash programming in humanitarian & development work is leading to a fundamental rethink in the normal ways of working for agencies.



The event benefited from senior representation by some of the leading organizations working in this area – the Logistics Learning Alliance, Bioforce, PSA, the HLA itself and the agencies.



Benefitting from an excellent representation of active humanitarian logistics research practitioners the presentations and discussions in the breakout group threw light on several of the important current trends.



HLA Trustee Maggie Heraty provided an update on the activities and growth of the HLA over the past year. In the afternoon session, ideas for the future development of the HLA were discussed & debated.



From deliberations at the General Assembly there is clear recognition that times have hardly been more challenging for humanitarian logisticians: there are increased expectations from stakeholders; a growing trend towards the specialisation of roles; expectations for greater levels of professional training on the one hand yet there are constraints on funding, a changing humanitarian landscape, a lack of understanding of the strategic importance of the supply chain and logistics domains and not enough investment in capacity building on the other hand. Along with this come opportunities for humanitarian logisticians to professionalise and earn their seat at the proverbial “top table” of management.


Some of the clear actions that need to be taken and advocated for, that were identified are:

-          The need to include logisticians in programme design, budgeting & planning as a norm

-          Raise the profile of humanitarian logistics as being impactful beyond the traditional operational areas of responsibility to being able to significantly impact at the tactical and strategic levels through the ability to increase the efficiency, reliability, performance and thus impact of humanitarian work

-          Support research in, and the development of, strategies and tools to identify and support career pathways/planning for humanitarian logisticians

-          Invest in developing and providing structured, standardized training and qualifications to build the pool of trained logisticians and encourage career mobility

-          Build awareness of and increase the attractiveness of humanitarian logistics as a career choice

-          The need for increased collaboration in an open spirit of partnership and mutual benefit, to avoid wasteful duplication of efforts & sub optimization of the quality of outputs



The day concluded with further bilateral discussions over cocktails in the evening amidst widespread acknowledgement that participants had been updated with several of the latest and most important developments in the sector, and that meaningful new relationships had been established. 


 NB: This is a summary of the main report, which is available to members logged in to the website on the HLA 2014 Members Page. Click here or in the submenu on the left after logging in.

The HLA organized a Humanitarian Logistics Summit on the 4th April 2014 at the SITL logistics exposition. The theme of the event was “progress through partnership” and sought to increase the understanding of and collaboration between the commercial and humanitarian logistics sectors with a special emphasis on the francophone subsector. The event was held in a conference format with panel presentations followed by moderated discussions on thematic topics. Attendance over the course of the day was in the several hundreds with interested visitors to the main exhibition joining the core group of delegates for specific sessions.

Outlined below is the agenda of the day; the presentations, where available, can be found on the HLA 2014 Members Page


Participant welcome at the Agora Lounge

10:00 – 10:15

Opening session:

The Need for Synergy Between Commercial and Humanitarian Logistics

-       Introduction: George Fenton, HLA Chairman

-       Gabriel Schumacher, Executive Board of the French Logistics Association (ASLOG), Head of Logistics France of BSH Home Appliance- Bosch and Siemens

-       Emmanuel Zervudacki, President of the Crisis and Aid Commission of ASLOG

10:15 – 11:00

What’s New for Humanitarian Logistics?

Rethinking Traditional Aid – Cash Transfers, Working with Market Systems


-       Adrian van der Knaap, Deputy Head of Logistics Division, UN World Food Programme: Enable Supply – Enable Trade (Transformational Logistics)

-       Prof. Bernd Hellingrath, Information Systems & SCM, University of Münster: Retail Supply Chain Visibility – How to support Markets in Crisis

-       Shari Temple, Aidmatrix, Senior Principal, Global Supply Chain Management

Moderator: George Fenton, HLA

11:00 – 11:25


11:30 – 12:30

Humanitarian Logistics Operations: Delivering aid in contexts of conflict


-       Mark Kelly, CivMil Officer, UN World Food Programme (Logistics Cluster)

-       Ms. Jules L Frost, Snr. Advisor, Civil-Military Relations, World Vision International:

Civil-Military Coordination – The NGO perspective.

-       Sanjeev S Gadhia, CEO Astral Aviation: Commercial perspective from E. Africa

Moderator: Maggie Heraty, HLA

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch Break

14:00 – 14:50

Reflections from the Philippines: The impact of aid interventions during the typhoon Haiyan emergency (Presentations in French)


-       Isabelle de Muyser-Boucher Chief, Emergency Logistics Coordination Unit, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

-       Erland Egiziano, General Director, Médecins Sans Frontières Logistique, Bordeaux

-       Benoît Miribel, Director of Fondation Mérieux, Honorary President of Action Contre la Faim

Moderator: Jean-Christophe Crespel, the European Guild

15:00 – 15:45

Building Capacity for Humanitarian Logistics: The role and need for vocational training of national personnel


-       Rory Downham, Director of Training, Bioforce Institute

-       Peter Jones, Logistics Learning Alliance

-       Andrea Masini, Associate Professor of Operations Management & Information Technology, HEC Paris

15:50 – 16:00

Closing session




The HLA would like to take this opportunity to once again thank our event sponsors – Reed Exhibitions & the Merieux Foundation for enabling this important gathering to be held in an excellent setting. We would also like to specially thank one of our founder members & representative in France – Jean Cristophe Crespel for his unstinting efforts to make these events a great success. And finally, all the HLA board members, volunteers and members for their invaluable contributions to the event.


Event Report prepared by Neil Rodrigues, HLA Volunteer Administrator for & on behalf of the HLA

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