Quality and security matters
weltwärts both supports young people looking to take action for the good of our One World and strengthens international partnerships.
weltwärts is regularly assessed to monitor its attainment of the programme’s ambitious objectives, both in Germany and in our partner countries. The assessment takes the form of standardised volunteer surveys and independent evaluations and certification of the participating organisations.
weltwärts is effective
The objectives of the weltwärts volunteer service and the exchange projects are based on Agenda 2030.
By taking part in weltwärts, the intention is that young people from Germany and our partner countries will develop enhanced global awareness and take action in line with the principle of solidarity and with the SDGs. weltwärts returnees act as “multipliers”, passing on the sustainable development message to those around them, and often continue to participate in civic engagement activities over the long term. In addition, weltwärts reinforces the international partnerships between civil society stakeholders in the programme. It is a programme that produces learning effects for everyone involved.
Information on the intended impacts of voluntary service
Objectives in the funding guideline for weltwärts Exchange Projects
Intended outcomes for the weltwärts Exchange Projects funding line
weltwärts’ impact is measured based on various factors
weltwärts volunteers and their civic engagement in Germany
In 2017, DEval (German Institute for Development Evaluation) published a comprehensive study entitled “weltwärts volunteers and their civic engagement in Germany”. Almost ten years after the launch of the programme, the study took a detailed look at the North-South component of weltwärts, analysing its effects on volunteers and their civic engagement in Germany. The findings provide a particularly informative insight into volunteers’ personal development and how they affect society in Germany after their return from assignment. Some of the DEval recommendations have already been implemented. They include giving new definition to the profile of the volunteer service, adding information on aims and impacts in programme documents and establishing a monitoring and evaluation system.
To the study
The weltwärts South-North component
“The South-North component of weltwärts” was the simple title of a study conducted by Syspons GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and published in 2017. Its subject was the South-North component, introduced three years earlier, which enables young people from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Oceania to come to Germany to do voluntary service. According to the study, the component is adequately designed and the partners in all countries are equally involved. At the same time, it points out that differences in the way it is implemented make impact measurement difficult. The recommendations drawn up by the evaluation team were addressed in a thorough follow-up process, in which the programme objectives were defined more clearly and compared with the North-South component.
To the study
Evaluation of weltwärts Exchange Projects
Now that the three-year pilot phase for weltwärts Exchange projects in the context of Agenda 2030 has come to an end, Syspons GmbH is conducting a comprehensive evaluation on behalf of the BMZ. The data-gathering process includes a survey among representatives of all stakeholders in the programme and a survey of all participants. The final report is expected in mid-2020.
Quality of partnerships
Surveys are conducted as part of the international conferences held several times per year for the participating volunteer service organisations. The aim is to obtain information about the development of the partnerships between the organisations. Another point of interest is the extent to which weltwärts plays a role in each organisation’s development. The data is presented to the Programme Steering Committee.
Participant survey for the volunteer service (North-South component)
Roughly three months after their weltwärts assignments, all returnees are asked to rate the programme and how it has affected them. Aspects assessed include how their own behaviour and perceptions have changed as a result of weltwärts. For example, the findings regularly show that 90 percent of returnees feel more motivated to play an active role in society due to weltwärts.
The survey is carried out externally by uzbonn – Gesellschaft für empirische Sozialforschung und Evaluation and each year’s findings are published on the weltwärts website.
Longitudinal study of German volunteers
In order to detect longer-term changes in attitude brought about by participation in the weltwärts programme, a multi-year study is being conducted among former weltwärts participants, in which they are periodically invited to answer a set of questions. The results are compared with those of a control group that did not participate in weltwärts to identify trends in areas such as career, consumption and civic engagement.
This analysis is being performed by DEval, the German Institute for Development Evaluation, and the final report is scheduled for publication in mid-2022.
Our partners in quality and security matters
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office
The BMZ and the Federal Foreign Office consult closely on visa and security issues and the latter’s security and travel warnings must be complied with by all weltwärts stakeholders. German participants register in the Federal Foreign Office’s crisis preparedness list (ELEFAND) during their international assignment so that they can be contacted by German diplomatic missions in the event of a crisis or other extraordinary circumstances.
weltwärts contact points for visa and security matters
weltwärts has its own contact points for visa and security matters in Argentina, Bolivia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Colombia, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The contact points provide a communication link to German authorities and those of our partner countries and to German diplomatic missions.
Quality management by Engagement Global’s weltwärts Coordination Unit
As part of its quality-management activities, Engagement Global’s weltwärts Coordination Unit analyses survey, evaluation and study findings, advises the BMZ and the Programme Steering Committee with regard to any necessary modifications and coordinates their implementation.
Quality associations in German civil society
The weltwärts quality associations were set up as a way of enhancing quality-development support and advice for voluntary service organisations. Membership of one of the five associations is compulsory for all of the approximately 160 implementing organisations.
The quality associations provide training, information, networking opportunities and advice on all key weltwärts topics. In their role as representatives of implementing organisations, they also communicate and liaise with the BMZ and the weltwärts Coordination Unit.
To the quality associations
weltwärts Exchange Projects reference group
The BMZ and the weltwärts Coordination Unit also consult with civil society representatives with regard to the continuing development of weltwärts Exchange Projects. A reference group monitored the introduction of this weltwärts component and regularly draws up suggestions for ways to align the funding programme better with the target-group needs.
Ombudsperson at Engagement Global
Confidential matters can be addressed in writing to the ombudsperson at Engagement Global. The ombudsperson is an independent and neutral resource to whom individuals and organisations can turn for help. He or she is required to maintain confidentiality and acts as an advisor and mediator in conflict situations.
To the ombudsperson (only available in German)