LEGS Scope and Content

LEGS is an independent initiative that aims to improve the quality and livelihoods impact of livestock-related projects in humanitarian situations.

LEGS Scope and Content

LEGS is underpinned by a livelihoods approach and is based on three livelihoods objectives:

  • Providing immediate benefits to crisis-affected communities
  • Protecting the livestock-related assets of crisis-affected communities
  • Assisting the re-building of key assets among crisis-affected communities

LEGS has a global scope and focuses on the process of identifying needs and analysing which interventions are most appropriate to support the livelihoods of the affected populations, at which times, and in which emergencies. LEGS recognizes that climate change is resulting in more complex and unpredictable types of disaster.

Hence guidance on options (‘decision-making trees’) forms the basis of the main sections, with references to where detailed technical guidelines and other materials may be obtained. The key technical areas covered within the three livelihoods objectives are: destocking, veterinary care; supplementary feeding; provision of water; livestock shelter and settlement; and provision of livestock or restocking.

Each chapter covers the implications of selecting a particular technical option or activity; cross-cutting issues such as environment, gender, HIV/AIDS, and security; indicators and issues for impact assessment; links with the Sphere Standards; case studies; and sources of further information, including existing guidelines, technical briefs and toolkits.

The LEGS Handbook was revised during 2013 and 2014, using a consultative process based on the LEGS website and Mailing List – click here for more details. The second edition of LEGS was published in early 2015.

Read more about how the LEGS Handbook was developed including the revision process for the 2nd edition.


LEGS, Sphere and the Humanitarian Standard Partnership

In May 2011, LEGS was formally recognised as a companion to The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum standards in Humanitarian ResponseCompanion standards share with Sphere a rights-based approach and complement each other, providing humanitarian professionals with a pool of harmonised quality standards.

In early 2016 LEGS joined four other companion standards and Sphere to form the Humanitarian Standards Partnership (HSP). The aim of the partnership is to improve the application of humanitarian standards through increased coherence and effectiveness of outreach, whilst each maintaining the independence of each standards initiative. The current partners are: the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) – Minimum Standards for Education: Preparedness, Response, Recovery; the SEEP Network’s Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS), the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action’s Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPMS) and the Cash Learning Partnership’s (CaLP) Minimum Standard for Market Analysis (MISMA), and the ADCAP programme’s Humanitarian Inclusions Standards for Older People and People with Disabilities (HIS).

HSP activities to-date include joint advocacy at global humanitarian events (including the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016), promoting the full set of standards to policy makers, practitioners and stakeholders, and developing country- and region-level strategies to promote the application of standards and working with large organisations to institutionalise them. Webinars, joint training materials, case studies and resources help to promote the full set of standards to actors globally. A  joint standards app for mobile phones and tablets has been developed, which presents all the HSP standards in an easily accessible format and is available for free download here.

For more information on the Humanitarian Standards Partnership, see the HSP website, download the HSP Brochure or watch the 3 minute HSP video:


LEGS Handbook

The LEGS Handbook

The LEGS Handbook provides standards and guidelines for appropriate and timely livestock-based livelihoods responses in emergencies, using a participatory and evidence-based approach. The Handbook was produced through a broad consultation process, drawing on good practice worldwide. The LEGS Handbook is a companion to The Sphere Handbook alongside other humanitarian standards which make up the Humanitarian Standards Partnership.

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