What we do

Working approach

Two children playing in the street with old tyres in the Philippines. Copyright: Manoocher Deghati, IRIN

The direct approach to the partner

When the Federal Republic provides a developing country with a soft loan, when German experts advise the government of a country on poverty alleviation or when a private German organisation promotes small farmers' cooperatives in an African country, these are all approaches involving direct development cooperation between Germany and its partners. This mutual – bilateral – form of cooperation with developing countries is direct and visible for everyone. It is more strongly registered by the general public than German involvement within the European Union, the United Nations and other international institutions. Bilateral cooperation is therefore the "face" of German development policy at home and abroad. more

The European approach

The European Union (EU) is the world's largest donor in international development cooperation, contributing a share of around 60 per cent. As the largest single market in the world it is also an important trading partner for many developing countries and has a major influence on world trade regimes. This combination of financial, economic and political influence makes the EU one of the most influential players in international development policy. more

The Global Community approach

Broad membership, political neutrality, capital and know-how – these are the things that make international organisations important players for development cooperation. They offer forums for discussing development policy principles or developing international standards for economic, social and environmental policies. Multilateral institutions play a leading role in the implementation and coordination of development cooperation in partner countries. They realise large-scale programmes in partner countries and, thanks to their special legitimacy, they frequently coordinate the inputs of various donors. more

Development information and education

Development policy is a task for society as a whole. In order to create a more peaceful and just world, we need as many citizens as possible to become actively involved in efforts to make the world a better place. Germany can only live up to its international commitments if there is broad support for development policy within German society. Therefore, civil society forces and networks are very important for development policy. In order to promote such civil society engagement, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports development information and education work in Germany. more

Aid evaluation: reviewing past performance, shaping future performance

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) regularly commissions independent experts to carry out evaluations of the measures being funded by the German government in order to monitor the progress and success of Germany’s development cooperation activities, and to detect undesirable developments in good time and learn from them. There is a division within the development ministry created especially to coordinate, plan and steer such evaluations. It also monitors whether the public funds that the BMZ gives to development organisations are being used economically, effectively and as intended. more

Transparency for greater effectiveness

Transparency is an im­por­tant aspect of Germany's de­vel­op­ment policy. The public and parliament are informed about the use of public funds through full and timely publication and explanation of the de­vel­op­ment contributions provided by the German gov­ern­ment. At the same time this helps to further enhance the effectiveness of German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion: If information on the use of funds is disclosed and if cash flows are predictable and traceable, de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion becomes more efficient. more

BMZ glossary

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