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GIZ operates in a highly complex environment

There are many ways in which the world is changing. It is becoming more digital, more fragile and less secure. The following developments had a particular impact on our work over the last year.

The client landscape remains diverse

German development cooperation operates on behalf of a number of different public and private sector donors. GIZ’s most important commissioning party is the German Government, followed by the European Union. With its Team Europe approach, the European Commission aims to pool bilateral efforts in order to pursue European development goals more effectively. For GIZ, this means adapting to the requirements of different commissioning parties, linking bilateral and multilateral approaches, increasingly cooperating with private sector partners alongside state bodies, and thereby maximising results.

The international order is changing

Even before war broke out in Ukraine, a look at 2021 showed that the political map of the world is shifting and becoming more complex. We live in a multipolar order, in which different systems and spheres of influence compete. Past certainties no longer apply today. The world now expects Germany to shoulder an increasing level of responsibility, show more drive and demonstrate a greater will to shape events – as part of a close-knit network of partnerships and alliances. This is bringing GIZ new tasks, as it works with a wide range of different actors to both strive for more democracy and sustainability and seek solutions in the war on hunger and poverty.

The number of crises is rising

No improvement in the situation can be expected, given the diverse global and regional conflicts. Indeed, in 2021 more than two-thirds of GIZ’s partner countries were affected by crises, outbreaks of violence and displacement. We therefore need to retain our ability to act even under the most adverse conditions, and to focus on supporting local people. In fragile contexts it is especially important to help people become more resilient to crises, promote peaceful and sustainable development, and deal with any conflicts as they arise.

Digitalisation is changing lives and societies

Digitalisation is changing the way we deal with one another, the way we live and work and the way our societies function. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the various lockdowns it triggered around the globe, has accelerated the spread of the internet and the many ways it is used. That is also true of developing countries where many people still have no access whatsoever to the internet, or where significant improvements need to be made. For GIZ, this means pushing ahead with digital solutions for sustainable development and laying the foundations to ensure that everybody can use and benefit from digital services as soon as possible. It also means, however, that we are committed to data being handled securely and openly, in line with democratic principles.

Sustainability is becoming more important

Today the international agenda is ultimately determined by the imperatives of climate change mitigation and environmental protection. Everywhere on the planet, people are already feeling the impacts of higher temperatures. They are seeing ecosystems collapse and biodiversity shrink. Among the 10 biggest risks facing us in the coming years, the World Economic Forum lists five risks related to a lack of environmental sustainability. Climate and environmental policy issues therefore play a major part in shaping GIZ’s work; they are the largest items in our portfolio. GIZ is collaborating with partners around the globe to advance effective environmental policy and mitigate climate change. At the same time, it is building capacities to help people adapt to the consequences of climate change.

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

Graphic: GIZ: SDG 17 Partnerships for the goals

Information on the following sustainability standards can be found on this page:
GRI standard 2-9; The Code 1, 2, 3, 6