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Transitional development assistance

Enhancing resilience – building connectedness


India: Participative risk analysis in a Dalit community.

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.

Aceh, Indonesia: The local population is taking part in reconstruction planning after the tsunami. Copyright: Silke IrmscherBut 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

  • Food security

Reconstruction of basic social and productive infrastructure

Moba, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Several groups of farmers are exchanging ideas as part of a programme for transitional development assistance. Copyright: Louis Kibeta, GIZ(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.

Disaster risk reduction

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.

(Re-)integration of refugees

South Sudan: GIZ supports the reintegration of returnees from the north. Copyright: Michael TsegayeTransitional 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.

Food security

Pweto, Democratic Republic of the Congo: A GIZ programme for transitional development assistance supports the cultivation of vegetables in order to diversify food production. Copyright: Louis Kibeta, GIZWithin 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".

BMZ glossary

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