Workshop: Humanitarian Logistics Preparedness for Nonprofits in Latin America & the Caribbean


For disaster response to be effective and bring relief to affected communities, all stakeholders must be prepared to respond quickly following an emergency, both at an individual and collective level. The necessary relationships, resources, processes, and technical capacity must be well-established in advance of the natural disaster or other humanitarian crisis so they can be mobilized at very short notice. With such a wide range of different stakeholders contributing to the response, including private sector actors, nonprofits, government agencies, effective coordination is key to collective success. Furthermore, given the specific challenges associated with operating in different parts of the globe, a regional approach is necessary to ensure the most relevant preparedness efforts.

Airlink’s Regional Response Framework comprises six regional response plans, designed to inform a timely response to humanitarian crises. Through consistent engagement during non-disaster periods, the regional response plans build a common understanding of the coordination and aid delivery resources available, fostering a more planned and predictable response that better serves communities in crisis.


In February 2019, Airlink convened an in-person logistics preparedness workshop in Mexico City, MX, bringing together nonprofit partners to collectively identify and address lessons learned from past responses in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. This represents the first in a series of regional workshops designed to proactively build organizational and collective preparedness among nonprofits by sharing good practice via tabletop exercises and other interactive sessions.

The learning outcomes for the two-day workshop were:

  • Awareness of key factors that enable a quick and effective logistical response following an emergency, including the transportation of both staff/volunteers and humanitarian supplies.
  • Understanding of how relationships, resources, processes and technical capacity can increase levels of preparedness in advance of an emergency.
  • Agreed next steps that nonprofits will take organizationally and collectively to increase levels of logistical preparedness.

The agenda for this workshop included:

  • Keynote speaker, offering insight into specific regional challenges in LAC region.
  • Interactive session exploring lessons learned from previous responses relating to logistics preparedness.
  • Overview of Airlink’s Air Logistics Preparedness Guidance Note, a ten-step guide that helps nonprofits prepare for sending humanitarian aid supplies in emergencies.
  • Tabletop exercise based on a scenario specific to the LAC region, exploring key activities on Day 1 -7 following an emergency, and Day 7 into the recovery phase.
  • Interactive session that captures good practice within logistics preparedness, based on nonprofit participants sharing their own experiences and insights.
  • Action planning to agree next steps for partnership and collaboration within the LAC region.

The workshop is intended to provide a safe space for nonprofits to share learning, and the Chatham House Rule applied to all conversations. A summary of the findings and next steps from this workshop can be found here.