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In the Sahel region, drought is of serious concern due to its consequences on the livelihoods of the populations. In this paper, opportunities for proactive drought policies are analyzed with qualitative techniques using a series of semi-structured qualitative interviews with key experts from the public, private, and other relevant societal sectors. The results show that adaptation options such as sustainable agricultural practices, migration, diversification of income sources, and social networks are most frequently mentioend as a drought response by rural households in the region. To build resilience to drought in the Sahel, there is a need to disseminate climate-friendly agricultural practices accompanied by strong monitoring and evaluation system. It is also important to provide information on early drought warning and preparedness and mobilize more financial resources in implementing policies for building drought resilience. Finally, a drought policy should be participatory and results-based, and be based on long-term forecasting to ensure sustainability and resilience.

Published in Journal of Arid Environments, 218.