Document / Publication
This review of available literature on the benefits of action and costs of inaction of drought mitigation and preparedness shows that significant progress has been made over the past decade in improving understanding of droughts and their impacts. However, significant gaps in research, policy and practice remain, particularly regarding the merits of risk management compared with traditional crisis management approaches.
The findings highlight the need for mutually compatible methodologies as a means of comprehensively assessing drought costs and impacts. Presently, many available estimates of drought costs are partial and difficult to compare. The problem is compounded by the lack of data on droughts and their impacts. Moreover, relatively little knowledge is available on the costs of indirect and longer-term drought impacts.
The costs of action against droughts are classified into three categories: preparedness costs, drought risk mitigation costs and drought relief costs. This paper reviews several methodologies for making economic drought impact assessments and describes the main obstacles and opportunities facing the transition from crisis management to risk management. It identifies drivers of ex ante and ex post action against drought and highlights actions that are associated with co-benefits beyond drought risk management.