Goal and Rationale
The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) have been developed as a set of international standards and guidelines for the assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation of livestock interventions to assist people affected by humanitarian crises. The overall goal of LEGS is to improve the quality of livestock-related programming in humanitarian crises and to have an impact on the livelihoods of people affected by such crises.
The LEGS process responds to the recognition that livestock are a crucial livelihoods asset for people throughout the world, and livestock interventions are often a feature of relief responses. Yet to date, there are no widely-available guidelines to assist donors, program managers, or technical experts in the design or implementation of livestock interventions in disasters.
First published in April 2009, LEGS is available for purchase from Practical Action Publishing. It is also available as a free download at the LEGS website.
The activities described below are for LEGS post-publication and awareness-raising activities between 2009 and 2011. These activities focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America and are designed to ensure wide uptake of LEGS and correct use.
The LEGS process was initiated by Tufts/FIC in early 2006 but soon developed into a collaborative effort overseen by a Steering Group comprising VSF (Vétérinaires Sans Frontières) Belgium (a member of VSF Europa), Tufts/FIC, the African Union/Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Committee for the Red Cross, and a LEGS coordinator. The role of the Steering Group is to coordinate the production process, provide quality control, facilitate consultation processes with a wide range of stakeholders, and foster the establishment of a network.
LEGS has followed the process for developing the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (The Sphere Project). The process is based on multi-agency contributions and broad reviews and collation of practitioner experience. LEGS liaises closely with the Sphere Project and intends to become one of the first Sphere ‘Companion Modules.’ LEGS also recognizes the value of livelihoods thinking and the need to harmonize relief and development approaches. This means promoting more long-term thinking and response in emergencies. This approach is particularly important as climatic trends are causing more frequent and varied humanitarian crises, particularly affecting communities such as pastoral ones that rely heavily on livestock.
As a global initiative involving multiple actors, the LEGS process requires strong coordination and clear modes of communication. In keeping with the Sphere process, LEGS seeks inputs from a wide range of actors involved in humanitarian response generally, or specifically related to livestock programming. LEGS maintains an email network of approximately 1600 individuals and organizations globally. This project prioritizes continued support to the LEGS coordination and core functions: the LEGS website; organization and facilitation of LEGS Steering Group meetings; awareness-raising; technical and administrative support to the LEGS training program; management of LEGS service partners; fund-raising and donor liaison; technical backstopping; and monitoring and impact assessments. It also focuses on promoting correct and wide application of LEGS through translation and online publication of LEGS in other languages, and through the LEGS training program.
Between 2009 and 2011 the expected outputs of the LEGS process are to maintain the core functions of the LEGS process, including management and coordination, technical oversight, general awareness-raising and information dissemination, and fund-raising, and to monitor the use of LEGS to assist updating the standards in four years. The correct and wide use of LEGS by humanitarian actors globally will be promoted by: translation and publication in three languages and enabling free on-line access to these versions; conducting of post-publication training in 12 developing regions or country groupings; and providing of real-time technical support to humanitarian agencies in the areas of emergency livestock project design and impact assessment.
The first LEGS TOT course for the Horn of Africa trained 21 participants from Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, North Sudan, and Uganda. The Southeast Asia course had 16 participants from Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. Evaluations of these events are available on the LEGS website. Participants were drawn from international NGOs, governments, international agencies, and aid donors.
In 2009-10, the Center secured funding from DFID to support LEGS post-publication awareness-raising and training activities, to be organized regionally in Africa and Asia during the year.
LEGS aims to improve the quality and impact of livestock-related interventions in humanitarian crisis globally, but with an emphasis on developing regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It uses a livelihoods-based approach to identifying and designing livestock programs, with a focus on protecting key livestock assets and encouraging post-disaster recovery. The two main audiences for LEGS are humanitarian generalists who may not know much about livestock, and livestock specialists who are not familiar with emergency contexts or programming. Both audiences are present in a range of organizations, from international donors and UN agencies to local NGOs. A secondary level of impact is the use of LEGS to assist evaluation of livestock interventions, by providing standards and guidelines against which programs can be assessed.