Logistics Cluster Induction Training

02 February 2010

From 20–21 January 2010 two members of the Global Logistics Cluster Support Cell (GLCSC) from Rome travelled to Dakar in Senegal to conduct a two day Logistics Cluster training session. More than 20 participants attended from Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Senegal with representation from UNICEF, UNHCR, IFRC, World Vision, CRS and WFP.

From 20–21 January 2010 two members of the Global Logistics Cluster Support Cell (GLCSC) from Rome travelled to Dakar in Senegal to conduct a two day Logistics Cluster training session. More than 20 participants attended from Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Senegal with representation from UNICEF, UNHCR, IFRC, World Vision, CRS and WFP.

Day 1 started with Manuela Gonzalez from OCHA Dakar giving an introduction to humanitarian reform, Elena Rovaris from the GLCSC followed this with an overview of the cluster approach, the Logistics Cluster and its mandate and tools. To complete the morning activities Alastair Cook, also from the GLCSC, presented on Logistics Cluster response planning in emergencies with a Concept of Operations (ConOps), its purpose, structure and content.

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Participants then divided into three groups to begin a simulation exercise, to develop a response plan for a large earthquake in the fictional country of ‘Turkastan’ where, according to the scenario, more than 800,000 people were homeless in a mountainous region at the beginning of winter. Each group was required to prepare a ConOps after the Logistics Cluster was activated to respond to this simulated disaster. During the afternoon the participants also conducted their first Logistics Cluster meeting, taking on the roles of the main humanitarian partners in the field, with the usual difficult cluster participant being very well acted by Elena!

Day 2 began with the completion of the ConOps followed by each group presenting their plan to the other teams.- it was soon apparent that the participants grasped the concept well and handled the challenge in a positive manner. Other presentations made during the course of the day covered emergency preparedness and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), which are essential components to effectively managing emergencies.

Many humanitarian organisations have increasing concerns about the stability of the region and any emergency would have a regional impact, requiring the activation of a cluster response. This training strengthened regional knowledge of how a Logistics Cluster works and built contacts among key organisations to prepare for a faster and more effective inter-agency response in any future emergency.