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Mainstreaming Drought Risk Management: A Primer

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Type of Risk:
Natural disasters
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk reduction/mitigation
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The overall purpose of this Primer is to provide a basic roadmap for mainstreaming DRM into development planning and programming at different levels. It suggests and outlines a stepwise approach to define the drought risks within a given context. It also presents a methodology for translating the risk assessments and metrics into specific policy measures, planning instruments and measurable interventions.

Five basic steps are involved in the DRM mainstreaming process, starting out with broad-based stakeholder identification and engagement. Drought is a cross-cutting issue, whose impacts are manifested across spatial, temporal and sectoral boundaries. It is therefore paramount that, first, multi-sectoral stakeholders’ coordination mechanism be in place as a preliminary condition (Step 1) so as to ensure the successful implementation of all the following mainstreaming steps.

The second step (Step 2) consists of establishing the scientific basis for DRM, which includes the assessment of climate/hazard trends as well as underlying vulnerabilities determined by socioeconomic, policy, cultural and environmental conditions.

The third step (Step 3) is to identify and prioritize a broad range of possible DRM options at different levels, building on the drought risk information and data compiled in Step 2. The DRM options
would range from the most immediate relief operations to short-term preparedness measures, and further towards longer-term mitigation options that are designed to remove structural barriers.

The fourth step (Step 4) is to internalize the DRM concepts and measures described in the previous completed steps in the development policy and planning frameworks (entry points). This is to be achieved at national, sub-national and sectoral levels.

The fifth step (Step 5) entails the monitoring of the impacts of integrating the DRM concepts into mainstream development practices based upon a results-based roadmap. It incorporates a number of quantitative and qualitative indicators and mixed monitoring methods. This step, while presented as being the last stage of the DRM mainstreaming process, must be conducted as a continuous operation, rather than a one-off exercise.