The southern African kingdoms of Eswatini and Lesotho experience recurrent drought-induced disasters. Policies have been enacted, but no attempt has been made to synthesise the effects on disaster resilience. This review analyses the characteristics, quality, and comprehensiveness of drought-resilience policies in Eswatini and Lesotho. We have systematically reviewed public policies that shape responses to disaster resilience published between 1 January 1980 and 30 June 2019. A combination of keywords was used to search electronic bibliographic databases, multidisciplinary databases, key organisational websites, and the first 20 pages of Google for policies that addressed disaster and/or drought resilience. Identified documents were downloaded into an EndNote database and screened for eligibility using predetermined criteria. The logic of events framework was used for quality assessment, and a metaethnographic approach was applied for data synthesis. Three broad categories of characteristics, thematic outcomes and quality, and comprehensiveness of policy documents emerged and are presented. Policy responses contributing to disaster resilience were found in n = 32 out of 13,700 documents. Three (n = 3/32) policies were statutory, and the rest were nonstatutory. Eleven (n = 11/32) were assessed to be of high quality. Policy responses relating to drought resilience focused on reducing vulnerability to recurrent disasters; promoting drought and climate change adaptation; improving agriculture and food security; safeguarding cultural heritage; and preventing gender inequality and gender-based violence as well as improving disaster governance. However, the construct of drought resilience was not strongly articulated as a major policy goal across policy documents. There is an urgent need to promote better understanding of drought resilience in order to motivate policymakers to steer away from reactive interventions and position resilience as a major national policy goal in both countries to expedite inclusive growth and safeguard development gains and the health and wellbeing of the majority of their populations who are rural-based populations.
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