Several research efforts have focused primarily on policy implementation and improving innovative actions to address disaster risks. Discussions are ongoing on how to measure the effectiveness of policy implementation at the local level. But there is no definitive theory of effective policy implementation, and very few frameworks have been found acceptable as the basis of an analysis of the effectiveness of policy implementation, especially on droughts. Based on the 2009–2010 extreme drought in Yunnan, China, this article presents a modified framework to assess the effectiveness of policy implementation by defining policy, practice, and performance, as well as a feedback loop by which to share the lessons learned. Water conservancy projects in Luliang County and the agricultural diversity program in Longyang County in Yunnan Province were analyzed from a farmers’ perspective. It was found that farmers are highly dependent on government policies and projects, and the effectiveness of policies is measured by short-term, immediate, and tangible benefits rather than long-term adaptation strategies. The results highlight the urgent need to reduce risks by developing better awareness about climate change and drought and its impacts, increased understanding of drought hazards, and implementation of appropriate measures for long-term adaptation.