Institutions and organisations in the field of development
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
The BMZ is a supreme federal authority and responsible for the development cooperation activities of the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition to technical and financial cooperation, the BMZ provides financial support for civil-society engagement in development issues, e.g. through weltwärts.
Engagement Global offers information and advice on engaging in development activities in Germany and around the world. The organisation provides funding for development projects and is also home to, for example, the weltwärts Coordination Unit.
German Development Institute (GDI)
The German Development Institute is one of the leading research institutes on questions concerning global development and international cooperation. It also runs a prestigious post-graduate programme for those seeking a direct track to a career in global development cooperation.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
GIZ is a federal enterprise that operates globally, offering services in the field of international cooperation to promote sustainable development and international education work. GIZ’s main commissioning party is the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Centre for Rural Development (SLE)
The Centre for Rural Development (SLE) is based at the Albrecht Daniel Thaer Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. Among its programmes is the one-year “International Cooperation for Sustainable Development” vocational programme for postgraduate students.
National Network for Civil Society (BBE)
The BBE is a network of players from the realms of civil society, government and industry. Its main goal is to strengthen civil society and active citizenship in all areas of social and political life.
weltwärts bodies and initiatives run by and for returnees
Political representation group for volunteers in international volunteering services (PFIF)
As well as helping to develop weltwärts further and make it fit for the long term, PFIF organises educational and networking meetings to hear what returnees have to say and to represent their interests in dealings with the BMZ and the sending/host organisations.
People for Inclusion
People for Inclusion is a group of returnees who have different disabilities or impairments and campaign for equal participation in voluntary service and in many areas of society. Its goal is to empower future volunteers who have disabilities or impairments and to encourage implementing organisations to take an inclusive approach.
weltwärts in Color
weltwärts in Color is a group of returnees whose own experience of racial discrimination has led them to call themselves “people of colour” and who campaign for more awareness of issues such as racism and critical whiteness. Their primary goals are to make people of colour a firm part of the weltwärts programme, to empower them and to provide a safe environment in which they can ask questions and share information.
grenzenlos is a forum that enables returnees to share their experiences and team up with other returnee associations, organisations and representative groups to campaign at the political level for international volunteers’ rights. Key grenzenlos projects include the “Wandelfibel” guide to change, the annual “undjetzt?!” conferences and its involvement in PFIF.
Getting involved, networking and jobs
The “undjetzt?!” (“andnow?!”) conferences are designed for people looking for new possibilities for civic engagement, sharing ideas and decent and sustainable forms of work. The conferences are a grenzenlos project, organised by returnees. andnow? – take part or help to organise a conference yourself!
The “Fairwandler” award (a play on the German word “verwandeln” – “to change”) is intended as a form of public recognition of returnee engagement and a way of lending visibility to their work. It encourages, motivates and brings together young change agents.
“Junges Engagement” component of “Bildung trifft Entwicklung”
The “Junges Engagement” (Young Engagement) component of the “Bildung trifft Entwicklung” (Education meets Development) programme supports the global education activities of returnees from development volunteer services by providing them with advice, networking opportunities, training and funding.
“Ideenwerkstatt von morgen”
“Ideenwerkstatt von morgen” is a network for workshops and activities to promote sustainable development. The aim is to illustrate the links between global and economic factors in interactive workshops at schools and with youth groups and to raise public awareness of those links through arts projects.
“Ideen³” (Ideas³) designs spaces for development, where people can meet, see ideas in action and shape the future. Through a range of initiatives and projects, “Ideen³” provides a framework for people to see how social, ecological and economic ideas for a future worth living in can work in practice.
If you know of other great initiatives, sources of inspiration or projects that should definitely be in this list, please let us know!
weltwärts Coordination Unit at Engagement Global