Ongoing Evaluation

An ongoing or operational evaluation keeps track of how societal changes such as new technology, new research, new laws, and changes in political leadership may affect drought risk and the operational aspects of the drought policy and supporting preparedness plans. The risk associated with drought in various sectors (economic, social, and environmental) should be evaluated frequently while the overall drought policy and preparedness plans may be evaluated less often. An evaluation under simulated drought conditions (i.e., computer-based drought exercise) is recommended before the drought policy and state-level plans are implemented and periodically thereafter. It is important to remember that the drought policy and preparedness planning process is dynamic, not a discrete event.

Another important aspect of the evaluation process and the concept of drought exercises is linked to changes in government personnel, which, in most settings, occurs frequently. If the goals and elements of the national drought policy are not reviewed periodically and the responsibilities of all agencies revisited, whether at the national or state level, governmental authorities will not be fully aware of their roles and responsibilities when drought recurs. Developing and maintaining institutional memory is an important aspect of the drought policy and preparedness process.

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