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Technical cooperation


Two oculists by a practice in front of a microscope. Copyright: IRINGerman Technical Cooperation has the task of developing the capacities of individuals, organisations and societies in partner countries (capacity development). They are to be enabled to improve their own living conditions and to realise their own objectives by making efficient and sustainable use of resources.

Through Technical Cooperation, Germany transfers technical, economic and organisational knowledge and skills. It takes into particular account the need to involve civil society and to empower women in partner countries.

Technical Cooperation is provided free of charge to Germany's partner countries. It consists mainly of advisory services and the supply of materials and equipment.

In 2009, the German government contributed 780 million euros from the national budget to Technical Cooperation in the narrow sense; 319 million euros was made available to Technical Cooperation in the wider sense.

Technical Cooperation in the narrow sense

Country woman on the field. Copyright: Photothek.netThe substance and volume of intergovernmental Technical Cooperation (Technical Cooperation in the strict sense of the term) are laid down between the German government and the government of the individual partner country within the framework of government negotiations and are enshrined in an official agreement. The government-owned Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is then generally contracted by the German government to implement projects pertaining to these cooperation measures agreed at government level. In individual instances, the inputs can also be provided directly by the German government or its specialist agencies, such as the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) or the National Metrology Institute (PTB).

Technical Cooperation embraces the following inputs, although the list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Advisory services provided by experts in the relevant field

  • Financial contributions to qualified local executing agencies
    to enable them to implement development measures independently

  • Technical Cooperation services provided within the framework of programmes organised jointly by the donor community,
    for example financing advisory services in a partner country from contributions which were previously paid into a fund set up by
    several donors specifically for that purpose

  • Institution building and capacity development
    for project executing organisations

  • Provision of equipment and materials
    to fit out facilities receiving assistance

  • Inputs in the form of studies and specialised reports.

Projects and programmes focus on those fields and those regions that have been identified as priority areas of bilateral development cooperation with the partner country in question. They are planned and implemented in close consultation with Financial Cooperation measures and the other instruments of German development cooperation.

German inputs are a contribution to the projects and programmes of the partner. They are provided for existing or planned programmes in the partner country. Technical Cooperation supplements the independent efforts of these facilities or institutions, but it cannot replace them. It must be ensured that the inputs to be provided by the partner - such as financing running costs or paying the salaries of staff - can continue to be paid after the completion of the German promotion.

Technical Cooperation in the broad sense

In addition to Official Development Assistance (ODA), the German government also promotes measures implemented by private-sector bodies, such as non-governmental organisations, political foundations or church organisations, on their own responsibility. These are termed "Technical Cooperation in the broad sense". These measures are not covered by government negotiations.

Study and Expert Funds

Small-scale measures which in particular serve to prepare and support Technical Cooperation projects can be financed through Technical Cooperation Study and Expert Funds on which agreement is reached with the partner countries. Measures of this sort include preparatory work for Technical Cooperation projects and programmes, studies, reports, small-scale deliveries of materials and work services. Funds from Study and Expert Funds can also be used to provide targeted support to the private sector in partner countries.

Small-scale Technical Cooperation measures

German consulates and embassies in developing countries can be contracted to handle micro-development measures in country (generally not exceeding funding requirements of 8,000 euros). These measures are intended above all to help meet the basic needs of the poor and poorest sections of the population by providing rapid, effective help towards self-help.

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