Integrated Drylands Development Programme

The Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) is the framework through which the support of the UNDP Drylands Development Centre (DDC) is delivered to programme countries. It takes a people-centered approach, whose development objective is to contribute to rural poverty reduction and increased food security for the communities living in the rural drylands in the affected countries. The immediate objective is to catalyze and energize the implementation of the MDGs in the affected countries by 2015. It is expected that this will result in improved livelihoods and social-economic well-being of drylands communities. This will be achieved through:

  1. Effective mainstreaming of drylands issues into development frameworks leading to budgetary allocation for implementing livelihoods options on the ground; advocacy, awareness creation and policy dialogue at national and sub-national levels.
  2. Improve living standards for rural communities living in the drylands through strengthening the rural economy and creating and implementing livelihood opportunities; lessons learnt from these will inform policy processes.
  3. Increase resilience and sustainability of the rural livelihoods system through improved capacity of local communities for governance and sustainable management of local resources.


The IDDP Phase II was launched in 2010 and is currently operational in 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States. Efforts will be made to secure funds to permit its further expansion both within and outside these regions.

The IDDP II has three interlinked outcomes to achieve the overarching goals of poverty reduction and improvement of livelihoods in drylands:

  • Drylands issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation mainstreamed into national policies, planning and development frameworks and contributing to the effective implementation of the UNCCD;
  • Vulnerability of drylands communities to environmental, economic and socio-cultural challenges (such as climate risks, drought, land degradation, poor markets, migration) reduced and adaptation/mitigation capacity built; and
  • Drylands communities benefit from improved local governance, management and utilization of natural resources.

All the IDDP support has been and is channeled through UNDP country offices to ensure alignment and harmonization with UNDP Country Programmes.

IDDP implementation support is largely divided into five priority programme areas:

Latest lessons learnt on "Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods, Reducing Vulnerability and Building Resilience in the Drylands", published in September 2013, are available here.

IDDP Phase I

To meet the challenges posed by global initiatives to develop drylands, UNDP-DDC together with relevant stakeholders at national and international levels designed the first phase of the IDDP in 2001 which was launched in 2002. The IDDP I addressed three interlinked issues that are important to poverty alleviation in the drylands:

  • Mainstreaming of drylands development issues into national policy and planning frameworks;
  • Reducing vulnerability of poor populations to climatic shocks, especially drought; and
  • Improving local governance of natural resources.

The programme was implemented in 19 countries: 14 in Sub-Saharan Africa and 5 in the Arab States and West Asia. Each country developed and executed a national integrated drylands programme, which addresses some or all of the three IDDP thematic areas. The country matrix outlines the scope and extent of strategic supports provided by the IDDP I to the pilot programme countries.

In 2008, the IDDP I was reviewed as part of UNDP's results based management agenda. The achievements of the IDDP include:

  1. Built national capacity in view of technical and financial aspects critical to dryland programme development and implementation within the framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  2. Raised awareness and built advocacy at global, regional and national levels with respect to challenges in developing drylands.
  3. Undertaken a critical review of policies on dryland issues such as land reform, water governance and market access that has significantly broadened the knowledge base on drylands issues.
  4. Built partnerships and mobilized resources that are supporting the UNCCD implementation at global and country level in the following priority areas: mainstreaming into national development frameworks; land and water governance; dryland livelihoods; and drought resilience.
  5. Buttressed nineteen UNDP country offices to integrate drylands development and UNCCD-related activities into their country programmes.
  6. Disseminated information on drylands development issues through technical publications, reports and other resource materials at workshops, international conferences, Conference of Parties (COP) and Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) to the UNCCD.

The review team recommended the development of a second phase of IDDP, building on the significant achievements made in all the three outcome areas, drawing on lessons learnt best practices shared and gaps identified from the 7 year cycle of IDDP I, and taking into account the emerging challenges and opportunities.