What We Do


Photo: UNDP

UNDP recognizes that rural development and poverty alleviation in the drylands requires action on several fronts: legislation, capacity strengthening, water management, gender issues, health provision, education and many others. There is a real challenge to ensure that policy and legislation favour people in the drylands and help to end their social and economic exclusion. At the same time, action is needed on the ground to help farmers and pastoralists increase their production of crops and livestock and begin to climb out of poverty.

The UNDP Drylands Development Centre (DDC) adopts the Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) to help to meet these challenges in a holistic and strategic manner. The IDDP addresses three interlinked issues of importance to poverty alleviation in the drylands into one integrated programme:

  • Drylands issues, climate change adaptation and mitigation mainstreamed into national policies, planning and development frameworks and contributing to the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD);
  • Vulnerability of drylands communities to environmental, economic and sociocultural 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.

The IDDP places emphasis on the productive potential of drylands and on ensuring that this is reflected in policy making processes in the programme countries. The Programme is implemented through UNDP Country Offices as components of national country programmes, particularly through United Nations "Delivering as One" initiatives. The Programme provides the following services to its partner countries:

  • Policy advice to support the integration of drylands development issues into national planning and budgeting frameworks;
  • Technical support towards the design and implementation of integrated drylands development programmes/projects;
  • Advocacy to raise the profile of the drylands in the international and regional development agendas;
  • Knowledge management to build the knowledge base for drylands development and share it among Programme partners; and
  • Catalytic funding to mobilize partners and resources - national and international - for drylands development.

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

For more information on IDDP, please click here.

IDDP Support in the Implementation of UNCCD

UNDP has been supporting the implementation of the UNCCD since its adaptation in 1994. The partnership is founded on the mandate of the Secretariat of the UNCCD to forge a global partnership to address desertification, land degradation and drought, and the commitment of UNDP to promote international cooperation to reverse trends of land degradation and desertification in the context of the 10 year Strategic Programme of the UNCCD.

Under this mandate, the UNDP-DDC became a strong advocate and implementation supporter for the UNCCD. The IDDP is assisting countries in translating their National Action Programmes into action and ensuring that the development of drylands becomes a central development issue in each country where the programme is being implemented.

For more information on the partnership between the UNDP and the UNCCD Secretariat, please click here.