Drought portal - Knowledge resources on integrated drought management

Support the implementation of national drought plans: integrating national drought plans into National Action Plans (NAPs) - Türkiye

17/05/2023 - 19/05/2023

Outcome of the workshop

The first regional workshop “Support the implementation of National Drought Plans: Integrating National Drought Plans (NDPs) into National Action Plans (NAPs)” was held in Istanbul, Turkiye, 17-19 May 2023. At its core, the regional workshop aimed at building capacity on planning and implementation of Integrated Drought Management (IDM). To do so, the workshop covered a number of thematic areas from the review of existing drought plans and their status of implementation, to institutional arrangement, policy alignment and drought finance.
From the outside, it may seem there was a lot on the plate, and so indeed, there was not a moment left unused. Yet, the distinct subjects were targeted towards the same objective: to facilitate the process of turning policies into actions. And this starts with recognition of the importance of drought policies and plans at all levels.
The varying features of countries carry grossly different challenges, but some common messages surfaced:

  • Although IDM is well recognized, the concept is not sufficiently mainstreamed in national policies and action plans. Notwithstanding the protracted policy processes, drought measures have been widely implemented in different sectors. Progress on the implementation is evidenced by the reported case studies about, for example, water harvesting technologies in the Philippines, innovative financial incentives for soil conservation in Moldova, or the revival of ancient irrigation systems in Sri Lanka. Rebalancing the processes of on-field actions and policy updates could be an option to array what has been done so far and plan for future activities.
  • Technical ingenuity is apparent, but financial sustainability is like the troubled water under the still surface. The majority of the discussed interventions are financed through projects, instead of programmatic approaches. This makes development erratic and, perhaps, isolated. Moreover, project designs do not open markets or business opportunities to leverage results. Innovations that can profitably continue require technical support at post-project phase, so to pave the way for long-term impact. A glaring example of a socio-technical innovation is the community-based reporting on drought situation in Montenegro. Framing such innovation into business context could ensure financial sustainability of this pioneer of monitoring and early warning. In sum, the technical aspect alone is not sufficient but enabling environment is fundamental. Enabling environment must be incorporated into the design phase of projects or programmes, otherwise even the finest idea can fall prey to the unsustainability.
  • Institutional framework is complex in all cases, and the development of the best set-up is a fluid and dynamic process. The head of mandated institution might be an independent body or integrated into a larger institutional umbrella. For example, the Drought Task Force is led by the representative of the head of the state or prime minister office in Serbia, thus indicating the involvement of the highest-level authority. On the other hand, responsible institutions are included in the lately reconstituted National El Nino Team by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the Philippines. There is no mysterious formula for establishing an institutional framework for drought management, but there are methodologies and valuable experiences that can guide the process. Institutional frameworks should be on the frontline of the review process of drought plans and polices because, ultimately, the efficient implementation depends on well-functioning institutions.

The workshop did not endeavour to obtain final answers and solutions but initiated a joint and peer-to-peer work that will eventually lead to an enabling environment for turning policies into actions. To this end, FAO is keen to strengthen the continued association and expand the network of drought community.


Upon the request of the Conference of Parties (COP) at its thirteenth Meeting (COP13), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and partner institutions established the Drought Initiative. The Drought Initiative focused on three actions: working together at the regional level to reduce drought vulnerability and risk; providing a toolbox that stakeholders can use to boost the drought resilience of both people and ecosystems; setting up drought preparedness system, particularly national drought plans. Following up on the decision, UNCCD has been supporting the development of comprehensive national drought plans.

A project “Enabling Activities for Implementing UNCCD COP Drought Decisions” funded by the Global Environment Facility, jointly implemented by FAO and the UNCCD, is currently running to support the operationalization of national drought plans according to the principles of integrated drought management. Within the framework of this project, FAO, UNCCD, IDMP, WMO, and GWP are organizing a regional workshop for Asia and Europe with the aim to strengthen national and institutional frameworks and to build capacities for the implementation of the national drought plans.


The objectives of the workshop are to build capacities on effective planning of drought management and the implementation of drought plans, including the integration of plans with the national action plans to the UNCCD. Furthermore, the workshop will facilitate the peer-to-peer learning and development of the community-of-practice in drought management. Towards these objectives, the workshop will involve five sessions:

  1. A global overview of national drought plans – planning towards integrated drought management: the session will present a global-level overview and the results of a multi-criteria assessment of the Drought Initiative submission, including the demonstration of comprehensive tools to support the planning and implementation.
  2. Progress on the activities towards the implementation of national drought plans – turning policy into actions to improve resilience: the session will provide an insight into advances in support of the implementation of national drought plans, including a results framework to monitor the implementation.
  3. Institutional set-up and coordination of integrated drought management – reviewing institutional responsibilities and roles to manage drought risk: the session will provide best practices and methodologies for enhanced institutional functions and coordination, including a stocktaking of country experiences.
  4. Policy alignment and National Action Plans for the UNCCD – mainstreaming drought management into national frameworks: the session will line up new approaches and best practices to align national drought plans to policy frameworks, including a stocktaking of country experiences.
  5. Drought finance – financing for integrated drought management: the session will introduce new pathways, approaches, instruments, and tools to increase understanding of drought finance and support the intensification of finance flows.
Full agenda



Session 1 – A global overview of national drought plans – Planning towards integrated drought management
Moderated by Mr Robert Stefanski, WMO 

Session 2 – Progress on the activities towards the implementation of national drought plans – Turning policy into actions to improve resilience
Moderated by Mr Daniel Tsegai, UNCCD


Session 3 – Institutional set-up and coordination of integrated drought management – Reviewing institutional responsibilities and roles to manage drought risk
Moderated by Mr Valentin Aich, GWP

Session 4 – Policy alignment and National Action Plans for the UNCCD – Mainstreaming drought management into national frameworks
Moderated by Ms Eva Pek, FAO

FRIDAY 19 MAY 2023

Session5 – Drought finance – Financing for integrated drought management
Moderated by Mr Valentin Aich, GWP