Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics (VASAT)

Tom Miles

Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics (VASAT)


VASAT is a strategic coalition for information, communication and capacity building, operating in South Asia (SA), and West and Central Africa (WCA) in partnership with the Desert Margins Program (DMP). VASAT links and mobilizes stakeholders for drought mitigation in the semi-arid tropics (SAT). It is an innovative and cost effective medium to educate and support a critical mass of rural women and men spread across vast geographical areas by informing them about good agricultural practices to drought and desertification. It is a response to the need of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to implement a communication strategy for combating drought and desertification.

* Link rural farm communities with researchers, credible intermediaries and markets through an interface of information and communication technology (ICT) and open and distance learning methods.

* Host a virtual team of experts through web-based learning content management system and link them with various stakeholders.

* Empower vulnerable rural communities to collectively identify problems, articulate their needs and take up informed action in relation to coping with drought.


The VASAT emphasizes creating demand-driven content that can be easily accessed, understood and applied by rural stakeholders. Need-based content thus developed with partners (national and international) is uploaded here. Relevant contents are then accessed and adapted by local partners, intermediaries and rural farm communities.

Training community animators in partner organizations and multi-disciplinary professionals act as field experts. The scientific knowledge provided by VASAT could help to implement a practical solutions to help mitigate the effects of drought and desertification.

VASAT Pilot Hubs

VASAT-South Asia

VASAT-West and Central Africa

VASAT Partners

Visit our Anchors & Partners

Download our brochure here (PDF)