International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is one of the 21 Regional Support Offices of the UN-SPIDER. The workshop and training programme is proposed jointly by UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER and IWMI.

It is recognised that the drought risk can be reduced by reducing vulnerability or taking preventive measures at the local level. It is the responsibility of the local agencies to draw drought preparedness and risk mitigation plans. The local authorities design their preparedness plans based on the present drought situation and the forecast, based on the socio-economic impact of the creeping drought calculated through the well-established warning systems based on various drought indices.

The main objective of the regional workshop to stimulate an innovative debate on drought management trends and practices, by promoting proactive, integrated actions and engaging actors within and beyond the drought community. To this purpose the morning plenary session as well as the technical sessions will emphasize the importance of a paradigm shifting from drought immediate response to medium- and long-term preparedness. The seminar will highlight existing best practices drawn from different contexts, the sharing of knowledge and fostered the implementation of integrated, holistic drought interventions.

Addressing water scarcity in the agricultural sector contributes directly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sendai Framework for Disaster Risks Reduction as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The 2030 Agenda aims to address multiple development priorities to make sure no one is left behind.

GISTDA, IWMI and other regional/national initiatives have developed improved drought monitoring systems (DMS) including early warning, now casting and drought contingency plans with the principles and objectives of national drought policies and a drought planning process that has been effective in the preparation of drought mitigation plans. management plans to mitigate drought risks and

The workshop is jointly organised by GISTDA, ARTSA, IWMI, UNOOSA/UNSPIDER and CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE).

About 20 participants of the workshop (mainly from ASEAN region) will participate in the hands-on training session on “Earth observation based tools for drought monitoring”.


The overall objective of the workshop is to explore the possibility to learn and make use of various drought initiatives including South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS) at the country level in facilitating drought monitoring information available in near real time and can be used by the member countries for monitoring the situation, undertaking the assessment of drought risks and finally to use them in drought mitigation measures.

  • To explore the current state of SADMS and its capability in drought monitoring
  • How to link the DMS to current drought management plans at country level and how the knowledge products can be explored on its usability in various thematic applications
  • Drought preparedness from SADMS and climate change resilience in South Asia: applying an integrated approach to design, monitor and evaluate institutional change.
  • How to integrate drought monitoring information into management aspects including contingency plans and emergency management;

Opening session

Keynote Speech

Current and future challenges in addressing agriculture drought by Alok Sikka, IWMI

Session I: Drought monitoring and assessment

Presenters of session I 

Panelists of session I

Chair: Kelly Hyden, UNESCAP

Panelists : Giriraj Amarnath, IWMI / Peeranan T., ADPC / Gigih Giarrastowo, LAPAN, Indonesia


Session II: Drought forecasting and early warning

Presenters of session II 

Panelists of session II

Chair: Giriraj Amarnath, IWMI

  • Nilar Htun, Relief and Resettlement Department, Myanmar
  • Alina Shrestha, TU, Nepal
  • Roshan Herath, DoM, Sri Lanka
  • Sitthisak M., GISTDA, Thailand
  • Nguyen Ba Thanh, Disaster Management Policy and Technical Center, Vietnam

Session III: Drought management and mainstreaming drought resilience into national plan and programmes

Presenters of session III

Panelist of session III

Chair: Li Suju, NDRCC, China

  • Alok Sikka, IWMI
  • Suraj Lamichhane, Nepal
  • Syams Nashrrullah, AIT
  • Sath Sitak, National Council for Sustainable Development, Cambodia
  • Simonkhoun Vaviyo, Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture, Lao PDR

Concluding session and way forward