Second Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum

The Africa-Asia Drought Risk Management Peer Assistance Network’s (AADP) Second Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum was organized in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1-2 October 2012.

Full Report


The terms such as risk reduction, vulnerability reduction and resilience building are increasingly becoming the new 'hot topic' being highlighted at various drought discussion fora. However, in-depth assessment has revealed that the capacity to translate these concepts and principles into practical actions on the ground is still largely limited. The fact that many dryland communities in Africa and Asia are facing drought crisis every few years and that the situation continues to exacerbate proves that a durable solution has not yet been fully put in pace. There is thus an urgent need to learn from the past drought risk reduction (DRR) lessons and develop a common understanding of what works and what does not in different contexts.

The need for clear and common methods to define and measure good DRR practices was repeatedly stressed at the First Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum and agreed upon as one of the AADP’s main focus areas for inter-regional south-south cooperation (SSC). There have been various efforts to document proven DRR experiences so as to scale up and out the established approaches and techniques. On the flip side of these efforts is information overload and fatigue: interested stakeholders are often caught in a deluge of good practices and lessons learnt documents in the absence of shared understanding of "good", "best" and "success" and indicators/ comparable data to measure tangible long-term impacts of these interventions.  As a result, socio-economic and environmental losses buffered by islands of innovative small-scale DRR practices are insufficiently recognized both by decision-makers and practitioners, leading to duplicative efforts, reinvention of the wheel and knowledge loss.

The challenge of limited up-/out-scaling of DRR good practices is apparent in most drought affected countries and regions but more so in the Horn of Africa (HoA). The region has been affected by recurrent drought crisis every few years, most recently in 2011 to date, the worst drought in the past 60 years, after two consecutive seasons of inadequate rainfall. In response to this challenge, UNDP-DDC is currently implementing the Building Drought Resilient Dryland Communities in the Horn of Africa Project under the framework of the Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department of the European Commission’s (ECHO) 2012 Drought Risk Reduction Action Plan. The project intends to introduce the broadly applicable and comparable analytical tools through which to measure the socio-economic and environmental impacts of community-level DRR in short and long terms systematically in quantitative as well as qualitative values. A participatory exercise has been undertaken, combining various approaches such as informant interviews, structured survey, focus group meetings, online discussion forum, etc., to develop a draft conceptual framework and methodology for quantitative DRR impact assessment.


The overall objective of the Second Africa-Asia Drought Adaptation Forum is to provide DRR decision-makers, practitioners and experts with a platform to dialogue, share knowledge and expertise and network to develop a common vision and strengthened partnership towards sustainable drought-resilient development in the HoA specifically as well as at Africa and Asia levels more broadly.

Specific objectives of the forum are to:   

  • Review and identify gaps in ongoing studies and analytical efforts to define drought resilience and integrate resilience indicators into DRR impact assessment at different levels. 
  • Verify collectively the results and findings of the ongoing participatory quantitative DRR impact assessment exercise to date and refine the conceptual framework and methodology to fill in gaps and increase its practicality and applicability; and
  • Demonstrate compelling evidence of DRR for sustainable drought-resilient development by showcasing various innovative experiences from both Africa and Asia and identify the opportunities for continuous DRR learning and SSC at local, regional and inter-regional levels.



Session 1. Opening Session

  • Remark by Mr. Takaaki Takezawa, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Kenya
  • Remark Ms. Sylvie Montembault, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Co-ordinator, ECHO
  • Welcome Address and Opening by Mr. Aeneas Chuma, Resident Representative, UNDP Kenya

Session 2. Introductory Session

Session 3. Drought Resilience: Joint Reflection and Analysis for Common Vision Setting

  • Interactive Session: Resilience – Theory of Change

Session 4. Measuring Impact of DRR Efforts to Assess Resilience 

Plenary and Wrap-up of Day One


Review of Key Points from Day 1 by Mr. James Kiragu Kamanga, Facilitator

Session 5. Methodology for Measuring Resilience

Session 6. Improving Evidence Base on DRR for Sustainable Drought-Resilient Development –  Experiences from Africa and Asia

Way Forward and Closing by Ms. Sarah Anyoti, Programme Specialist, UNDP Drylands Development Centre