Development information and education work
Development policy is the duty of society as a whole. If we are to create a more peaceful and more equitable world, where all people can live in liberty, and take charge of their own lives without suffering material want, we must get as many of our citizens as possible actively involved. Germany will only be able to achieve its development objectives and meet its international commitments if it has the broad-based support of German society.
In order to foster the active involvement of German civil society, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports development information and education work, which aims to
- communicate the vision of sustainable development around the world, a vision that combines economic performance with social justice, ecological viability and good governance
- arouse interest in developing countries, explain global contexts, and demonstrate how they influence the individual
- motivate people to become actively involved and become part of a socially responsible society within a globalised world
- support development activities inside Germany.
Children and young people are a particularly important target group of development education work, although it also targets organisations, the media and individuals who are able to reach a large number of citizens. These include non-governmental organisations, associations, private initiatives, church bodies, trade unions, local authorities, teachers and journalists. The BMZ is also developing new ways of communicating information, with a view to addressing private businesses and business associations, migrants' organisations and sports clubs, for instance.
A division of labour for greater effectiveness
The way development information and education work is organised reflects the pluralism that exists in German development cooperation. State and non-governmental actors share the work and complement one another. The ministry devises and steers dialogue and cooperation processes, and bankrolls a wide variety of activities. The BMZ supports campaigns and effective PR events, issues audio-visual media, lends films, produces publications on the entire spectrum of development cooperation issues, and provides extensive information on its own website.
The key institute involved in the BMZ’s development information and education work is Engagement Global – Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen. Engagement Global is a non-profit body that implements state development education programmes, delivers advisory services on BMZ's promotion programmes and realises these. It also offers upgrading and networking services for individuals already active in the field of development and those who are interested in the field. The other implementing organisations GIZ and KfW Entwicklungsbank as well as the German Development Institute (GDI) also do their bit, holding special events and issuing special publications to keep the general public informed.
To ensure the consistent quality of development information and education, the work in this field is subject to regular monitoring, like all German development cooperation projects and programmes.
The international framework – the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005 – 2014)
Sustainable development is only possible if people around the globe have certain knowledge and skills at their disposal. They must understand the interdependence of the economy, the environment and society. They must be able to foresee global problems and they must be able to tackle and resolve these problems. That is why the General Assembly of the United Nations declared the decade from 2005 to 2014 the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: around the globe, the fundamental principles of education for sustainable development are to be firmly anchored in both school-based and out-of-school education.
The development education projects and programmes financed by the BMZ help implement the UN Decade inside Germany. Many measures have already been designated "official decade projects". In bilateral cooperation with developing countries in the education sector too, the BMZ incorporates the fundamental principles of education for sustainable development.
Over and above this, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development networks at European level with other initiatives, including the Global Education Network Europe (GENE).