This article presents achievements, impacts, lessons and insights from the Netherlands-funded Drylands Development Programme (DryDev) in facilitating land restoration in the Sahel and Horn of Africa, with a focus on Ethiopia and Kenya. DryDev, which ended in 2019, was a multi-sectoral, multi-partner and multi-country initiative implemented in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Niger, targeting semi-arid areas with mean annual rainfall of 400–800 mm. The six-year initiative supported smallholder farmers to pursue contextually appropriate options to make the transition from emergency aid and subsistence farming to sustainable livelihoods.
This article was submitted for inclusion in the forthcoming edition of ETFRN News 60 - Restoring African drylands, due for release in December 2020, containing 25 articles plus interviews and boxes describing farmer-led, NGO, private sector, government and international initiatives. These highlight the roles of varied policies and stakeholder interests, and identify opportunities to encourage smallholder and community participation in scaling out successes and meeting national, regional and global commitments.