The Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP), which is co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and some 30 other partners, has released a Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices.
Based on available literature and drawing findings from relevant works wherever possible, the handbook addresses the needs of practitioners and policymakers, and is not an academic paper. The handbook aims to present some of the most commonly used drought indicators and indices that are being applied across drought-prone regions.
The goal is to advance monitoring, early-warning and information-delivery systems in support of risk-based drought management policies and preparedness plans. These concepts and indicators and indices are outlined in the Handbook, which will evolve and integrate new indicators and indices as they come to light and are applied in the future.
The handbook is aimed at those who want to generate indicators and indices themselves, as well as for those who simply want to obtain and use products that are generated elsewhere. It is intended for use by general drought practitioners such as meteorological and hydrological services and ministries, resource managers and other decision-makers.
The handbook has been designed with drought risk management processes in mind. The choice of indicators and indices is based on the specific characteristics of droughts most closely associated with the impacts of concern to the stakeholders.
The Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) was launched at the High Level Meeting on National Drought Policies in March 2013. IDMP provides its partners with policy and management guidance through globally coordinated generation of scientific information and sharing best practices and knowledge for integrated drought management.
IDMP contributes to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), especially regarding the GFCS priority areas of disaster risk reduction, water, agriculture and food security, energy and health. It seeks to support regions and countries in developing more proactive drought policies and better predictive mechanisms.