Here are some of the questions we get asked the most. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you still did not find your answer.

  • ESUPS and its work

    Questions about ESUPS work, goals, approach.

  • What does ESUPS stand for?

    Emergency Supply Pre-positioning Strategy.

  • What does ESUPS do?

    We carry out activities on three operational pillars (listed here):

    • We analyse data through a mathematical model developed by Penn State University, in order to provide recommendations on items to pre-position, quantities and locations based on a collective approach.
    • We are developing a stock mapping platform called STOCKHOLM (Stock of Humanitarian Organisations Logistics Mapping) where users will have a visual overview of currently pre-positioned stock as well as reports, in order to make informed decisions on their pre-positioning strategies.
    • We promote research and advocacy on collaborative practices that can help to change mindsets among humanitarian actors, saving time and money in emergency response operations.

    We do not:

    • Implement pre-positioning strategies
    • Elaborate recommendations for single agencies or organisations

  • What are ESUPS main objectives?

    • Provide recommendations for the definition a collective, coherent and coordinated pre-positioning strategy
    • Reduce gaps and overlaps in emergency supplies pre-positioning.
    • Promote the collaborative practices of loan-borrowing, joint procurement, data sharing and branding postponement.
    • Support a logistics localisation agenda, by providing tools and information to local and national decision-making authorities.
    • Increase the overall speed of a response by ensuring that relevant relief items are available in the most appropriate locations.
    • Ensure that donors funds are used more efficiently by improving stock-related preparedness measures.

    More information here.

  • How to move forward the results from the stockpile analysis in one country?

    ESUPS aligns the selection of countries where it works with the Global Logistics Cluster Preparedness unit to ensure that the set of recommendations provided can be discussed and implemented by a country-led logistics coordination structure (either a cluster, a working group, etc.). ESUPS does not have neither the mandate, nor the authority to take part in this implementation, even if we remain available for any additional information on the recommendations provided.

  • Which entity might support the national governmental agencies to translate recommendations into actions?

    Ideally, the countries where recommendations on a collective pre-positioning strategy have been provided will already be equipped with a logistics coordination structure which should encompass the National Disaster Management Agency together with in-country partners involved in logistics activities and pre-positioning questions. As such, the decisions to be made to trigger the implementation of the recommendations should be made by this coordination entity.

  • Is there any concrete example of one country doing that?

    Yes, after the publication of the Nepal recommendations report in November 2020, the national Logistics Cluster, led by the government, is launching a working group on a national pre-positioning strategy, considering the ESUPS recommendations among other information they have.

  • What tangible results have you tested and where can I find the reports?

    Since the Nepal report was the first one published by ESUPS, we have not had any of our recommendations implemented yet; therefore it was not possible to monitor their impact. In addition to implementing the recommendations, it will also be necessary to see how those perform during the next disaster(s).

  • How does ESUPS differ from other preparedness models and initiatives?

    ESUPS addresses a very specific issue around stock pre-positioning. Therefore the question might not be “how we differ” but rather how we complement other preparedness initiatives. In that regards, ESUPS works in collaboration with other preparedness initiatives somehow related to pre-positioning, such as initiatives around maximising coordination, fostering localisation, standardisation, etc.

  • What is ESUPS long-term approach? Is there an exit strategy?

    For the moment, ESUPS is funded until July 2022. For after 2022 we are working on 2 options:

    1. Continue to manage the project and platform if we access more funding, or 2. Hand over the platform to a neutral party (with whom we are already in discussion) to ensure the continuation of access.

  • Where can we find information about ESUPS?
  • ESUPS members, partners, network

    Questions about who is part of ESUPS, who are ESUPS partners and the actors we interact with.

  • Does your model include the private sector?

    The question has been discussed with the Steering Group members as well as during previous HNPW sessions. For the moment no, the model does not include the private sector.

    However, we are having discussion to see if and how we could consider the private sector capacities on the STOCKHOLM platform without drowning the humanitarian capacities.
    Also we are looking at strengthening the mathematical model to include the replenishment capacities as an extra variable including from suppliers, either national or international.

  • Does ESUPS coordinate with the Logistics Cluster?

    Mainly with the Logistics Cluster Preparedness Unit. The countries where ESUPS is to start its engagement process are chosen in line with the Preparedness Project Country Candidates identified by the Logistics Cluster. This helps to ensure that a coordination mechanism is in place, in order to support ESUPS data collection process.

  • Does ESUPS collaborate with UNHRD? What are the differences between ESUPS and UNHRD?

    UNHRD is an active member of the ESUPS Steering Group and was one of the partners triggering the ESUPS initiative.

    ESUPS does not handle stock as such but rather look at providing recommendations for a collaborative and coherent strategy, mostly at country level, with a subsequent definition of a larger regional one to help actors such as UNHRD or the IFRC to get a better idea as to what items and in which quantities they should pre-position at regional level.
    UNHRD offers a free of charge warehouse solution with the support of their hosting governments (Panama, UAE, Malaysia, etc.) for INGOs to hold stocks. However, while they offer these capacities they are also in need to define what stock should be kept and in which quantity to enhance their strategy.

  • Does ESUPS collaborate with the International Humanitarian City (IHC)?

    While we have had a few discussions in various forums, this relationship is yet to be further defined.

  • Who is part of ESUPS?

    ESUPS is led by a Steering Group – members and the organisations or agencies they represent are listed here. The project is run within Welthungerhilfe’s Humanitarian Directorate, with a dedicated project team.

    ESUPS is also part of a wider network of initiatives in the field of humanitarian logistics and preparedness – check them out.

  • Who are your main partners?

    The main partners of ESUPS are the national authorities in charge of disaster management since they are the one ultimately deciding the strategy in their country as well as the members of its Steering Group. Overall, we work with INGOs, UN Agencies, Red Cross/Crescent movements, academic institutions and are always open to accepting new members – please get in touch.

  • STOCKHOLM platform

    Questions on the development and features of STOCKHOLM platform. Please note that the platform is currently being developed; to receive an email update when it is ready to launch, fill in this form.

  • Is the STOCKHOLM platform interconnected with other platforms of humanitarian interest?

    STOCKHOLM final phase of development is ongoing. Among the functionality discussed is an interface capability with other relevant platforms. Including the logistics cluster preparedness LOG.i.e. Discussions are also ongoing with other initiatives such as Frontline Humanitarian Logistics and we are also looking at how to crate interfaces with existing Warehouse management Systems to limit the double handling of data by the users.

  • How often do I have to update the platform?

    It was an important driver in the design of STOCKHOLM not to impose anything on the users, and so, once you have your access, the platform is entirely yours to manage as you see fit. If you decide to update it after each stock movement, you can. If you only need to update it pre and post-monsoon season for example, you can also chose that option. This can also be a collective decision made by all actors involved in the strategy: twice a year, every quarter, every month etc.

  • Is there a cost to use and access the platform?

    No, the platform is free of charge. Access is open but a registration process is required.

  • Who manages the platform?

    For the time being, ESUPS project is managing the platform until July 2022 (end of project funding). Depending on the funding situation after this date the platform may be handed over to a neutral organisation.

  • How will you ensure that the ESUPS tools (STOCKHOLM platform) will remain available once ESUPS funding stops?

    We are working on two options:

    1. Continue to manage the platform if we access more funding after July 2022.

    2. Hand over the platform to a neutral party (with whom we are already in discussion) to ensure the continuation of access.

  • Data

    Questions on how ESUPS handles data.

  • How do you collect the stock data information?

    ESUPS will help each new country of engagement by collecting the first set of data through an existing Excel template allowing us to perform the first and heavier data entry for you (note that if you prefer doing that yourself it s of course absolutely possible). Once the data are entered and you have your own access, any future data update will be done by you based on what you think is relevant.

  • How do you ensure data protection?

    We comply with European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, in short GDPR, which is considered “the toughest privacy and security law in the world” (source). This automatically means that compliance with other less strict regulations is ensured.

  • There might be different reasons for national actors who would like to participate in the stockpile mapping to not share publicly their stock information. Is there any way around to still get the best picture of the national response system, but keeping anonymous the ownership of the stocks?

    Yes, one the functionality built will be for stock owners to have the capacity to hide their name and/or location while leaving the stock information visible. That will allow accurate stock report to remain available while removing security issues some partners may have.

  • Other

    Other relevant questions on ESUPS.

  • How accurate is your model?

    One of the most famous statistician of all times, George Box, decalred: “All models are wrong, but some are useful“, explaining that by definition a model is based on a set of assumptions and that all local context and variables cannot be considered. On that basis, we believe our model is useful to provide indications on improving the average response time and costs 😊 while recognising also that like any other model it will never be 100% accurate.

  • Do you consider the cash response in your model?

    Not yet. While cash programmes are growing, they are still facing limitations to be really effective and making a large difference in the first 10 days of a response, leaving the Non Food items their relevance. However, as for the private sector capacities, we are discussing how this could be included in our model.

  • Do you include access constraints?

    Not at the moment, the reason being that other platforms will already offer this information such as LOG.i.e. By making the STOCKHOLKM platform connected to LOG.i.e, the users should be able to apply access constraints to their response plan. It is complex to include access constraints in the preparedness model before a disaster occurs. However, we have engaged discussions with researchers specifically working on that question to explore how access could be also added as an extra variable in our model.

  • How does ESUPS account for the lack of proper item standardisation?

    ESUPS created a functionality called Item Group. When a user wishes to register a new item, he/she can call it as wished and include as many information and details as necessary. However before saving the said item will have to be registered under an existing and agreed Item Group.
    For instance, you want to register a jerrycan, 15l flexible: you can call it just like that but you will need to register it under the Item group “Water Containers”.

    While those Item groups were initially defined by the Pacific regional technical cluster coordinators, recent discussion with the Global Cluster leads have been engaged to standardise the nomenclature of those Item Groups.

    This functionality allows the aggregation of data to be filtered at different level of details required.