Departmental Development Policy Research

"Good policies must be based on ongoing interaction with the latest findings of science and research": although almost 50 years have passed since Walter Scheel gave expression to this premise, it con­tinues to guide the actions of the Federal Ministry for Economic Co­op­e­ra­tion and Development (BMZ) to this day. Besides meeting its own needs for research-based policy advice, the BMZ also pro­vides im­por­tant im­petus for strength­ening the development-oriented re­search land­scape in Ger­many and its global net­work­ing with partner institutions in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Another of Walter Scheel's com­ments also re­mains rele­vant in this context: "Over the long term, the de­vel­op­ment problems faced by the global South cannot be resolved primarily through the transfer of scientific knowledge from the global North."

Departmental development policy research consists of application-oriented research that is commissioned by the BMZ to support the fulfilment of its development agenda. Its primary purpose is there­fore to prepare scienti­fically sound development policy strategies and decisions. Departmental research thus makes a key con­tri­bu­tion to ensuring that the substantial public funding provided by Ger­many for de­vel­op­ment co­op­e­ra­tion pro­duces maximum impact in terms of addressing the causes of global poverty and solving the glo­bal problems which will face human­kind as a whole in future.

The BMZ's key partners from the German research and scientific community – alongside the German Development Institute (DIE), which was founded in 1964 at Walter Scheel's initiative and has its headquarters in Bonn – are the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg, the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, and various other research institutions based in or outside the universities in Germany and elsewhere.

Key topics of departmental development policy research during the 17th electoral term include the promotion of good governance and the mobilisation of own resources by the partner countries of de­vel­op­ment co­op­e­ra­tion, stimulating private sector and civil society en­gage­ment in the de­vel­op­ment process, the future of European de­vel­op­ment policy, better link­age between bi­lateral and multi­lateral de­vel­op­ment policy, adaptation to climate change, carbon-neutral pathways towards growth, and strength­ening corporate re­spon­si­bi­lity for effective human rights protection.

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