Working paper

Framework for the assessment of benefits of action/cost of inaction (BACI) for drought preparedness

Risk Climate risk Disasters Cost-benefit analysis Cost effectiveness

The Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) and the World Bank have joined with several partners to launch a work stream on the benefits of action and costs of inaction (BACI) for drought preparedness and mitigation. Under the work stream, a number of workshops and papers on the theme have been supported by the IDMP, drawing on knowledge and best practices from a range of relevant stakeholders: researchers, technicians, authorities, operators, and institutions in charge of drought management. An expert workshop organized at the World Bank in April 2017—Drought Mitigation & Preparedness: Benefits of Action & Costs of Inaction—concluded that a systematic framework should be developed.

The objective of this working paper is to set out a framework to assess the BACI for drought mitigation and preparedness. It brings together the work accomplished to date under the IDMP and World Bank BACI work stream while also drawing on best practices from other agencies and related work streams. The paper’s audience is development practitioners, including World Bank task team leaders, who are engaged with country governments and are often the ones advocating for more proactive drought preparedness measures without a more structured approach for embarking on analysis to provide this economics- and impacts-based argument.

This paper is organized as follows:

  • Chapter 2 explains some of the reasons why most responses on drought have concentrated on reactive crisis management and have neglected forward-looking risk management strategies.
  • Chapter 3 analyzes the phenomenon of drought and its impacts and summarizes some of the current tools and approaches to drought risk management.
  • Chapter 4 makes the case for assessing the benefits of proactive drought risk management—and the costs of inaction. Some of the key issues for developing a framework for such an assessment are summarized, based on the work done in the IDMP and BACI work stream and on the discussions in the April 2017 workshop.
  • Chapter 5 sets out a working framework for the BACI assessment with the intention of it being tested in real-life country situations and subsequently refined. The framework is set out within the model for the overall process of developing a national drought management policy, which was codified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) in their 2014 National Drought Management Policy Guidelines (see box 1.1 for glossary of drought-related terms used in this paper).
  • Chapter 6 proposes next steps for further development of the framework.
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Washington, DC