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Fulfilling our responsibility towards the people at GIZ

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Developing skills

The aim of HR development at GIZ is to foster the skills of all members of the workforce, develop these competencies and enhance the employability of our staff. The training courses offered by GIZ are reviewed and, if necessary, adapted annually in a company-wide process. All the courses are listed in the catalogue produced by GIZ’s own Academy for International Cooperation. In addition, staff can also request to take part in training offered by external providers.

The Digital Literacy Action Plan (2019–2022) aims to enhance the digital skills of the company’s staff. With the digital transformation in full swing, self-directed learning on the job is becoming increasingly important; the Academy for International Cooperation has incorporated support for self-directed learning processes into its vision. GIZ therefore continued to expand the digital learning opportunities it offers in 2021. In addition, GIZ’s first company-wide Digital Literacy Festival was held for staff in 2021, focusing on the topics of networking and the transfer of digital skills.

The staff assessment and development talks are the foundation for company-based training. All staff are entitled to receive feedback from their managers once a year on their performance and skills. During this session, managers not only provide this feedback but also look ahead to future tasks and developments and, depending on the country-specific rules, agree on goals with their staff. The extent to which these goals are reached forms part of the assessment of each staff member’s overall performance. A performance assessment is also made as the basis for performance-related remuneration.

In the staff assessment and development talk between the employee and their manager, specific measures to maintain and promote the staff member’s employability are also discussed and agreed on. In particular, this can include HR development measures to acquire necessary skills for current and future tasks and measures aimed at maintaining performance. These could be agreements on dealing with learning areas, on promoting potential, on assuming new or modified tasks or on training or other development measures. Corporate health management measures and opportunities to enhance digital literacy are also available.

Staff are entitled to study periods of between five and 25 days (depending on their position) per year to acquire and hone their digital skills. A self-assessment tool provides recommendations on areas to focus on and study time. If a staff member already has considerable expertise, they have the option of working in a network as a digital pioneer to support their colleagues.

To adopt an even more strategic approach to staff development and the planning of future assignments for individual staff members, GIZ established the Focus Project on Tailored Expertise as part of its Corporate Strategy 2020–2022. Flexible, forward-looking HR management ensures that the appropriate expertise is available for key positions. Skill profiles have been developed for selected positions and are now being set out in detail as part of efforts to refine guidance systems for HR development.

Instruments to safeguard employability are firmly integrated

GIZ’s policy on employability means that every staff member has a duty to ensure that they maintain their own employability on a lasting basis and requires managers to support them in doing so. The annual staff assessment and development talk provides the opportunity to agree on measures to increase skills and experience.

For Germany-based staff and field staff, the structure of this talk is specified in the Employer/Staff Council Agreement on Staff Assessment and Development Talks; for national staff, employment handbooks set out the duty of managers to discuss measures concerning long-term employability.

The Mission Statement for National Staff addresses the increasing need to crisis-proof project work in partner countries, enable remote management, tailor projects precisely to suit the local context and keep the intervention in the partner country to a minimum. In this way, it also counters the risk of GIZ’s reduced ability to deliver due to the demographic developments in Germany and Europe. Risks are identified through regular surveys and are dealt with using risk-reduction measures. This means that there are no particular risks to report.

Academy for International Cooperation

The Academy for International Cooperation is GIZ’s own professional development institution. It shapes learning processes and capacity building in international cooperation and makes a key contribution towards HR development within the company. It offers an extensive range of training courses for staff in Germany and in the field. The programme is open to all GIZ staff. Some of the courses are also available to partner experts and to members of the (professional) public, for example appraisers or the staff of non-governmental organisations and other institutions.

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

Graphic: GIZ: SDG 5 Gender equality
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 10 Reduced inequalities

Information on the following sustainability standards can be found on this page:
GRI standard 404; UNGC 6; The Code 14, 15, 16