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The National Drought Mitigation Center has had a strong international component since it was established, building on the earlier success of the International Drought Information Center.

The NDMC works across the United States and the world, as shown by shading on the map. Countries in darker blue are places we worked in 2017.

2017 Activities


  • NDMC director Mark Svoboda was a speaker at the International Tropical Agriculture Conference, TropAg 2017, held in November in Brisbane, Australia. The 2017 conference theme was “high impact science to nourish the world”. While in Australia Svoboda also consulted with livestock producers at the University of Southern Queensland.
  • In October NDMC and partners NASA, Addis Ababa University, and Ethiopia’s Meteorological Society and National Meteorological Agency presented a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia about Seasonal Prediction of Hydro-Climatic Extremes for the Greater Horn of Africa for agencies and organizations working on predicting and managing climate extremes in the region.
  • Mark Svoboda served on the advisory committee of the World Meteorological Organization’s Integrated Drought Management Program, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and run by the WMO and the Global Water Partnership.
  • Mark Svoboda gave the keynote presentation at the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Conference on Drought Management and Preparedness held in Santa Cruze de la Sierra, Bolivia in August. The conference was co-hosted by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Bolivian government.
  • NDMC climatologist and remote sensing expert Tsegaye Tadesse was the keynote speaker and a panelist at the International Agro-meteorology Conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July. The theme of the conference for researchers, policymakers, educators, NGOs, and others was “Climate Information for Climate Resilient Agriculture: Enhancing Agro-meteorological Services to Build Climate Resilient Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia.”
  • NDMC collaborated with researchers from Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom as part of DrIVER project to investigate connections between drought, vulnerability thresholds, and impacts. The Belmont Forum one of the project funders, also hosted a final meeting for the project in Freiburg, Germany.
  • NDMC and the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture conducted a Drought Vulnerability Assessments Training Workshop in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to train experts from many countries in the region as part of a project funding by USAID.
  • NDMC conducted drought planning writeshops in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Saint Lucia with the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology to improve regional drought resilience.

2016 Activities


  • Provided assistance to the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology to conduct "writeshops" on Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Kitt's and Nevis,  to help residents of those islands and other eastern Caribbean nations enhance drought resilience.
  • Led  workshops on drought planning and management in Jordan, Morocco and Tunesia for stakeholders participating in the Middle East and North Africa project.
  • Worked with the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai, UAE to help transfer a new, composite drought index to open-source programming, paving the way for countries to tailor it to their own needs.
  • Hosted drought impact and indicator workshops in North Carolina and Australia and contributed to a workshop in the United Kingdom to help prepare for drought and anticipate impacts using the Drought Impacts: Vulnerability thresholds in Monitoring and Early Warning Research (DrIVER) project.

2005-2015 Activities


  • Collaboration with the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, also based at UNL, the University of Maryland, College Park, and several Moroccan ministries on a World Bank-funded project that led to creation of the Morocco Composite Drought Index in 2015.
  • Consultation for United Nations agencies such as the World Meteorological Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, USAID, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and others. The NDMC's founding director, Dr. Donald Wilhite, was one of the organizers of the High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy, March 11-15, 2013.
  • Facilitation of a National Drought Policy Capacity Building Workshop for the Asia/Pacific region, held in Hanoi, May 6-9, 2013.  Similar capacity building workshops were given in August 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for East Africa, and another for West Africa.  A workshop for Central and Eastern Europe was held in July 2013, and another for Latin America and the Caribbean was held in Brazil in December 2013.
  • Serving on the World Meteorological Organization and Global Water Partnership's joint initiative, the Integrated Drought Management Programme. Mike Hayes, former NDMC director, is on its advisory committee, and Wilhite chaired the initiative’s advisory and management committees. Wilhite developed the National Drought Management Policy Guidelines: A Template for Action,  published by the IDMP. The IDMP maintains a list of drought strategies on its website, and is sponsoring regional pilot programs for Central and Eastern Europe, for the Horn of Africa, and for West Africa.
  • Participation in efforts to build the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), launched at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and by the Group of Eight.
  • Working with the European Commission on MEDROPLAN, to develop drought preparedness guidelines for the countries in the Mediterranean region.
  • Working with other regional and national drought centers. Don Wilhite, founding director of the NDMC, served as a consultant to help establish a Drought Management Center for Southeast Europe, hosted by Slovenia.
  • Welcoming visiting scientists and students from around the world. Past visitors have included Jaroslav Vido, a Ph.D. student from Slovakia, studying the impacts of drought on selected ecosystems; Jinsong Wang, from the Institute of Arid meteorology in Lanzhou, China, who was studying drought monitoring and impact issues; and Linda Botterill, an Australian drought policy expert.
  • Organizing and hosting a December 2009 workshop in Lincoln, Nebraska, for experts from around the world to select a single index as the global standard for monitoring meteorological drought. The NDMC participated in follow-up workshops on hydrological and agricultural drought indexes that were held, respectively, in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Murcia, Spain.
  • Collaborating with Canadian and Mexican authors to produce the North American Drought Monitor.
  • Collaborating with a group of scientists in the Czech Republic and Austria to enhance understanding of drought and soil climates, climate change and climate variabiilty.
  • Making presentations, consulting or and conducting workshops on drought monitoring and planning in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Jordan, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
  • Conducting training on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The NDMC has distributed the SPI to more than 150 scientists in 60 countries around the world.