The United Nations declared 2006 as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification. The UN General Assembly was deeply concerned about the exacerbation of desertification, particularly in Africa. This dossier provides lead articles by Dr Wellington Ekaya of the University of Nairobi, Kenya and Dr Mary Tiffen of the UK. The web links guide you to a range of resources within the ACP, EU and internationally from which lessons can be drawn to support further research and policy interventions. The information presented in this dossier complements the strategic partnership that CTA embarked on at the beginning of January 2007 with international, regional and national partners to implement an EU funded international cooperation project (INCO) project under the 6th EDF programme which aims to identify success stories on Agricultural Innovations in Dryland Africa (AIDA) to determine the drivers of success.