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Working approach

Development information and education work


Sechs junge Menschen bilden mit ihren Köpfen einen Kreis und blicken gemeinsam nach unten in die Kamera. Urheberrecht: Kadri Aavik und Tobias Simon / ASA-Programm

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.

Students of the German International School in Indonesia. Copyright: BPA, BienertChildren 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)

Logo of the World Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005 to 2014Sustainable 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).

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