The article provides an overview of the development of national drought management policies (NDMP). It explores collaborative efforts that were started at the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy – whose declaration provides the backdrop to this article – and are implemented through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)/Global Water Partnership (GWP) Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) and related initiatives. Early outputs, e.g., the National Drought Management Policy Guidelines – A template for action and the Handbook on Drought Indices and Indicators, provide an indication of how expert-reviewed guidance is brought together and applied by drought practitioners for developing NDMP and applying drought indices/indicators. Regional examples from Central and Eastern Europe and the Horn of Africa, including a brief country example from Kenya, highlight how these guidelines and collaborative efforts and outputs are applied. The role of IDMP is to provide a framework and commensurate technical support to countries but the actual development and implementation of national drought plans and policies still needs to be done by governmental ministries and national stakeholders. The article emphasizes how information from different sources is used to support countries to shift from only reacting to droughts when they occur to adopt proactive national drought policies that focus on improved collaboration and the mitigation of drought impacts.

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