In November 2016, HLA took part in the Logistics Cluster general meeting in Brussels. The event gathered about fifty participants, among whom senior logisticians from different organisations, new arrivals to the sector and interested donors.

It was agreed that there is a need for a strategic advisory group with members from different aid agencies and d rotating Chair to support the Cluster’s management team at WFP’s HQ in Rome. This group would advise on management, direction, policy, preparedness projects, deployments and deactivations of the cluster to ensure neutrality in all these areas.

The new leadership is more open to making governance changes, due to much change within WFP as well. There is a willingness to run the LogsCluster more independently from WFP and an openness to a strategic group that would enable agencies to have a stronger voice within it.

After a decade building the profile of logistics, this meeting revealed the desire to focus more on disaster preparedness, a topic which dominated much of the discussion. As a sector, we learned from the WHS paper ‘Delivering aid in a moving world’ and from various initiatives on localisation that both professional logisticians and informal actors need access to knowledge and training in humanitarian logistics, especially as international responses become less frequent and more restricted. Hence this renewed effort to build local capacity, to improve preparedness and to find new ways meet ad hoc needs.

As always, we remain committed to compliment the Cluster’s activity, by connecting logisticians and those interested in developing the sector, including to academia and research institutions.

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