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

Triangular cooperation

Countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa, which are part of the group referred to as emerging economies, are increasingly getting involved in development cooperation. They are now in a position to support other developing countries by offering expertise, funding and staff. Their increased aid activities are facilitating a new form of development cooperation: triangular cooperation. In most cases, an industrialised country – a traditional donor and member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – joins forces with an emerging economy (Southern donor) and a third country (recipient country) with a view to carrying out joint activities. 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

BMZ glossary

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