Transitional development assistance
Enhancing resilience – building connectedness
Over the past 30 years, many countries have managed to make considerable progress in development. And yet, in some of Germany's partner countries the complexity of the crises, disasters and violent conflicts that occur has increased significantly.
In countries that are marked by fragile statehood and threatened by natural hazards such as earthquakes or by the consequences of climate change, the population is often not sufficiently prepared and is thus unable to react appropriately. The government, too, often lacks the will or the capacity to protect the people and cushion negative impacts.
Chronic burdens such as structural poverty and recurring droughts, as well as shocks such as extreme natural events and violent conflicts, diminish the development prospects of many countries. Social structures are destroyed, rendering people more vulnerable.
This vulnerability is precisely where transitional development assistance comes in. Through its new strategy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) aims to help enhance the resilience of people and institutions.
Resilience is the ability of people and institutions – be they individuals, households, communities or nations – to deal with acute shocks or chronic burdens (stress) caused by fragility, crises, violent conflicts and extreme natural events, adapting and recovering quickly without jeopardising their medium- and long-term future.
Enhancing resilience can mean adapting living conditions and farming methods to natural risks, for instance by improving the quality of seeds. Social structures can be strengthened, too, so as to facilitate peaceful conflict resolution and lessen the risks of escalation and violence and the possible negative consequences.
But transitional development assistance is also aimed at building connectedness, i. e. achieving closer dovetailing of humanitarian aid and development cooperation. Transitional development assistance takes a dynamic position between humanitarian aid, a portfolio under the remit of the Federal Foreign Office and focused on services that are essential for survival, and the BMZ's medium- to long-term development cooperation. The dovetailing of measures is meant to ensure that, when short-term assistance is provided, thought is already given to long-term goals. Short-term schemes are to be linked wherever possible to subsequent long-term development cooperation measures or to local processes and programmes, so that they can lay the ground for sustainable development. This is in line with the international approach of Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD). For more information on the Federal Foreign Office's portfolio of humanitarian aid please click here.
In November 2011, the Federal Foreign Office and the BMZ concluded an inter-ministerial agreement, redefining the responsibilicties for humanitarian assistance within the German government. The Federal Foreign Office is now in charge of the government's entire portfolio of humanitarian aid; the BMZ is responsible for transitional development assistance. For more information on the division of responsibilities between the Federal Foreign Office and the BMZ please click here (PDF 64 KB).
The instruments developed for transitional development assistance specifically target transition contexts, seeking to close the existing gap and effectively contribute to enhancing resilience and connectedness. In order to achieve the above-mentioned goals successfully, the BMZ is supporting, under its transitional development assistance, projects in the following areas:
Reconstruction of basic social and productive infrastructure
Disaster risk reduction
(Re-)integration of refugees
(Re-)establishing a minimum of social, economic and other infrastructure is meant to enhance the effectiveness of (state-run) service structures and stabilise and improve livelihoods. The key concept behind all reconstruction measures is Building Back Better, i. e. projects adhere to earthquake-, storm- or flood-resistant design principles, and guidelines for making buildings accessible and eco-friendly.
Transitional development assistance is based on a comprehensive approach to disaster risk reduction, in order to meet the various challenges linked with natural hazards. It encompasses all areas of mitigation, prevention and preparedness as well as resilient post-disaster reconstruction.
All activities are based on a thorough up-front risk assessment, where natural hazards and people's vulnerability are weighed up so as to assess potential harm and identify specific preparedness measures. Disaster risk reduction also takes into account the negative effects of climate change and develops adaptation measures.
For more information on disaster risk management please click here.
Transitional development assistance fosters the (re-)integration of refugees and displaced persons into host or home communities and includes supportive measures for local communities in areas that are affected by refugee flows. The focus here is on the social and economic integration of refugees and on creating income opportunities, in order to enhance social cohesion in the long term. Another objective is building capacities for peaceful conflict resolution.
Within the framework of transitional development assistance, measures to achieve food security are designed to improve access to food and its utilisation, and to increase the availability of food in the short to medium term, so as to overcome precarious food security situations. At the same time, first steps are undertaken to achieve a lasting and sustainable stabilisation and improvement of livelihoods, thus addressing the structural causes of hunger and food insecurity. Measures to improve food security within the framework of transitional development assistance therefore revolve around three core elements: using temporary social transfers, in order to improve access to sufficient and adequate food; specific programmes to reduce and prevent under- and malnutrition in pregnant women and small children; and measures to (re-)launch agricultural production, thereby helping to make food more readily available.
All of the measures under transitional development assistance are planned, implemented and evaluated in compliance with internationally recognised standards and principles of development cooperation (in particular those of the OECD/DAC). This involves ensuring that approaches are appropriate and relevant by conducting in-depth needs assessments and routinely assessing effectiveness. Moreover, measures are gender-sensitive (i. e. take into account the divergent needs of women and men), ensure participation (by involving the people who are directly affected) and are consistently monitored to ensure that they "do no harm".
- Helping when disaster has struck – Division of labour within the German government with regard to aid
- Disaster risk management – an integral part of German development policy
- Issues: Food
- Issues: Rural development
Strategy on Transitional Development Assistance
BMZ Strategy Paper 6|2013enew window, PDF 2.5 MB, accessible 04/2013 | pdf | 2.5 MB | 16 P. | accessible
Disaster Risk Management
Approach and Contributions of German Development Cooperationnew window, PDF 4 MB, accessible 06/2015 | pdf | 4 MB | 40 P. | accessible
Disaster Risk Management for All
The inclusion of children, elderly people and persons with disabilities new window, PDF 3.4 MB, accessible 05/2013 | pdf | 3.4 MB | 24 P. | accessible
- Development for Peace and Security: Development Policy in the Context of Conflict, Fragility and Violence new window, PDF 987 KB 04/2014 | pdf | 987 KB | 36 P.
Rural development and its contribution to food security
BMZ Strategy Paper new window, PDF 253 KB, accessible 03/2011 | pdf | 253 KB | 19 P. | accessible