As a federal enterprise working in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work, GIZ is strongly influenced by external factors and political developments. We continuously monitor our business environment and international trends to ensure that we act strategically. This involves addressing six key questions that significantly influenced our Corporate Strategy 2020–2022:
How is our client base changing?
Our international cooperation work used to be dominated by standard bilateral business from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Today, by contrast, GIZ supports a wide range of different forms of commission, some from other German federal ministries. More and more of our commissions come from the EU. We also implement projects on behalf of non-governmental actors such as companies and foundations. Looking ahead, we anticipate further diversification in the international client landscape.
For GIZ, this means that our business will become more volatile and more diverse. In order to meet their requirements, we have to cater to our various commissioning parties more flexibly and more innovatively, using a variety of approaches.
How is the competition for new business changing?
The number of organisations providing international cooperation services has increased several times over and will continue to rise. Accordingly, in future GIZ will face greater competition for the best solutions, results and ideas from elsewhere: for instance from think tanks, non-governmental organisations, consulting firms and start-ups.
For GIZ, this means that it has to take on the competition through expertise, intelligent forms of cooperation, strong bonds with partners and efficient and effective work on the ground.
How are our partner countries changing?
Many countries are embracing new approaches in order to make progress. The resulting plethora of strategies and actors also creates greater competition. In response, new partnerships and alliances are emerging – for example with the private sector and the research community – to complement traditional forms of bilateral development cooperation. Finally, new state actors such as China and Brazil are assuming a more prominent role with offers of alternative development models.
For GIZ, this means that it has to adapt to suit countries’ changed interests and more varied demand, and that it has to dovetail its activities with those of other partners.
What thematic shifts are emerging in the field of international cooperation?
In the past, the focus of cooperation has been on individual sectoral priorities. Future projects will be dominated instead by systemic challenges. Addressing major issues such as climate breakdown, growing inequality, demographic change and the protection of global public goods is at the heart of sustainable development. Another key factor is the advent of digitalisation and new technology. GIZ can harness these to achieve greater impact.
For GIZ, this means that to an increasing extent it must view problems holistically and across different policy areas, and make more use of new technologies and digital tools.
How are implementation requirements changing?
Commissioning parties are adopting new approaches, setting the bar even higher in terms of expected results, accountability and compliance. Increasingly, the tasks we are asked to perform involve working in unstable or ‘fragile’ locations.
For GIZ, this means that it has to respond quickly and flexibly to new situations, while at the same time dealing with complex challenges competently in increasingly insecure regions.
How is the legal context changing?
When implementing commissions, GIZ has to comply with new legislation that imposes stricter obligations governing safety and security, tax and employment law, and accountability towards our clients and the public.
For GIZ, this means that it must ensure that its business operations remain on a firm foundation, even with the flexibility and speed of action that it aims to achieve.