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Opportunities and risks

As a federal enterprise, GIZ has the responsibility to identify risks at an early stage, not to lose sight of these risks, and to steer its course accordingly. To help us, we have a risk management system which systematically records risks and devises appropriate risk management measures. It is also important to identify potential opportunities, so that these can be harnessed in our business, and so that we can underpin and enhance our competitiveness and performance. The following three issues that we addressed in 2020 give you an example of how we deal with opportunities and risks.

COVID-19 pandemicSecurity situation in
our countries of assignment
Digitalisation and
IT security
  • New areas in which GIZ can provide more services
  • New impetus for international cooperation opportunities
  • Fine-tuning the culture of safety and security within the company
  • Lessons learned by staff bringing greater understanding and knowledge
  • Greater expertise in security and stabilisation
  • Fine-tuning the culture of safety and security within the company
  • Organisational, process-related and technological development through optimisation and certification of digital solutions
  • Greater efficiency, stability and competitiveness; enhanced ability to act and deliver
  • Skipping development steps in digital solutions
  • Greater flexibility in working hours and locations
  • Greater potential for escalation during crises
  • Threat to staff safety, for instance due to limited evacuation options
  • Weak health systems
  • Risk of spreading pandemic due to a lack of care in our work
  • Security risks for staff due to conflicts and rising crime
  • Destabilisation of society
  • Reduced enforceability of human rights
  • Cyber-attacks becoming more professional while IT security fails to keep pace
  • Risk of breaches of contracts or laws, financial loss, damage to reputation as a result of security vulnerabilities
  • Changing demands in terms of professional skills

We have addressed the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with our company-wide security risk and crisis management system. Decisions were taken swiftly and flexibly. Differentiated communication and advisory services kept all staff and managers worldwide aware of the latest developments: how to deal with the virus, mobile working, commercial risks and health promotion measures. We are drawing on lessons learned from the past year to strengthen our crisis resilience across the company.

In our countries of assignment we operate a structured security risk management system, which is managed and planned in conjunction with the Corporate Security Unit. Our duty of care for our staff is our top priority. We respond to circumstances on the ground with precautionary measures, regular security risk analyses and security training for staff and country directors. Full-time security advisors, who regularly monitor the security situation in the partner countries and provide support during emergencies or crises, are vital for GIZ’s security risk management.

We have put in place an information management system that defines rules and methods for a holistic business and IT security management system. It builds on security measures that are relevant in terms of process, organisation and technology, with a view to enhancing the level of security throughout the organisation and countering IT security risks in an appropriate manner. Data protection measures and training in digital security are part of this.

Information on the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be found on this page:

Graphic: GIZ: SDG1 No poverty
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 2 Zero hunger
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 3 Good health and well-being
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 4 Quality education
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 5 Gender equality
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 6 Clean water and sanitation
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 10 Reduced inequalities
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 13 Climate action
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 14 Life bellow water
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 15 Life on land
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 17 Partnerships for the goals

Information on the following sustainability standards can be found on this page:
GRI standard 102-15, 102-29; UNGC 1, 2; The Code 14