The development of Standards has followed the methodology of “open standards”.
As such they are developed, approved and maintained via a collaborative and consensus driven process, building on the experience and knowledge collected from key actors across the humanitarian logistics sector.
The project is intended to augment previous initiatives, such as the PARCEL project, that aimed to improve the performance of logistics interventions, and help to better align this function to the localization agenda and commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit under the Grand Bargain. Standards will be aligned with existing humanitarian quality and accountability standards such as the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Protection Principles.
The inception phase confirmed interest in the development of updated guidance and recommendations within the main aspects of Supply Chain and Logistics (Procurement, Warehousing, Transport, Distribution, etc.). Other specific area considered were the humanitarian identity (principles and protection) and new trends (environment, cash-based interventions and gender). Moreover, the ULS incorporates the lessons being learned on humanitarian logistics from the COVID-19 crisis.
Based on a thorough review of existing standards, guidelines and best practices, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), made up of more than twenty experts from different parts of the world, defined the format and scope of the Standards.
The first draft of the ULS was launched in May 2020 and reviewed in a consultation process involving 190 participants from five regions along a total of 17 sessions in 3 languages. This process allowed to incorporate more and more best practices. It also helped to confirm and strengthen key features of the Standards.
Thanks to the recognition of important logistics actors, the project team is already working on the pilot phase of ULS to verify, at field level, the usefulness and benefits of Standards. The Pilot version of the ULS is a live document. It will be revised based on the piloting experiences as well as further feedback and recommendations.