Information and education work

Cooperation with federal states (Länder), and local authorities in the field of education

Teilnehmer des Schulaustauschprogramms ENSA in Sansibar präsentieren ihre Erlebnisse. Urheberrecht: Birgit Mitawi

The German federal states (laender) and local authorities are im­por­tant actors in the field of de­vel­op­ment information and education. They also see de­vel­op­ment-policy issues as an im­por­tant part of school education and offer relevant concepts and materials, as well as in-service training for teachers. In order to mainstream the whole philosophy of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, and to get across to students the importance of the Millennium De­vel­op­ment Goals, the BMZ and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany together drew up guidelines for the subject area of global de­vel­op­ment in 2007. Over and above this, some federal states support local and regional networks of non-governmental organisations active in de­vel­op­ment education. The state agencies for political education too provide information and organise de­vel­op­ment-related events.

Local authorities, which are closest to the people, are par­tic­u­lar­ly good at raising the awareness of citizens of the need for sus­tain­able, en­viron­mentally sound de­vel­op­ment. More than 780 German municipalities have become involved in development policy through BMZ-financed programmes through projects on the ground, in partnerships with cities from developing countries or in international networks. These direct contacts with the representatives of local communities, social facilities and civil society are used not only to pass on the expertise of local authorities. The direct contacts make the problems of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries much more tangible for the people in Germany, raising their acceptance of de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion.

The central institute responsible for supporting municipal level de­vel­op­ment work is the Service Agency Communities in One World, a division of En­gage­ment Global. The Service Agency offers communities information, advice, networking and training, for instance on North-South town twinning schemes, fair procurement and municipal de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion.

BMZ glossary

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