African Drought Risk and Development Network


The African Drought Risk and Development Network (ADDN) is a region-wise mechanism for advocacy, capacity building and peer learning, cosponsored by the Drylands Development Centre, UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

In the past decades, a number of initiatives pioneered partnerships among like-minded practitioners and institutions across the continent to strengthen their capacity for drought prevention, preparedness and recovery. However, there has been an increasing recognition of the challenges facing the applied networking landscape in Africa: notably the tendencies of (a) sub-regionalism; (b) division by language; (c) one-sided information flow; (d) limited linkages among the networks; and (e) defining drought simply as a hydro-meteorological phenomenon, as opposed to a dynamic cross-cutting development issue.

The UN Ad Hoc Inter-Agency Working Group on Drought met in Geneva in 2003 to reflect on these challenges. The meeting underscored the importance of adopting a multidisciplinary and region-wide approach to drought-triggered disasters in Africa. ADDN was established in 2005, based on the recommendations of the meeting, with the aim to support the decision-makers and practitioners engaged in drought management in their efforts to mitigate and prepare for the increasing risk of drought and climate change in Africa.

A range of communication and networking building tools and modalities have been developed within the ADDN framework, which include:

African Drought Adaptation Forum (ADAF)
ADAF brings together a dynamic and diverse set of participants, spanning policymakers, NGO/CSO practitioners, researchers, development partners and the media, from both Anglophone and Francophone Africa. Each forum addresses specific themes and stimulate applied discussion on the key issues linking drought risk and development in Africa.

Monthly ADDN Newsletter
The ADDN Secretariat at the DDC publishes on behalf of Network participants a monthly e-Newsletter for the interested governmental and nongovernmental parties/individuals both within and outside Africa, to keep them up-to-date on the ADDN activities. The newsletters are also utilized by over 1,500 subscribers as a communication tool to exchange a range of drought-related information (e.g. projects, publications, workshop/training events and employment opportunities) at local, national subregional and region-wide levels.

View ADDN newsletter archives

Knowledge Products
Case studies, lessons learned, good practices, thematic information, and community scale knowledge gathered through the ADDN activities have been documented and widely distributed in both hard and soft format to promote policy dialogue and up-scaling of successful pilot practices.

View resources in Sustainable Land Management Library

Online Discussion Forum
The e-discussion forum was established on a pilot basis in 2009 in collaboration with the USAID-supported FRAMEweb. It intends to respond to the increasing demand for an opportunity for sustained interaction, dialogue and reflection, as a complement to the other ADDN communication modalities.