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Corporate Strategy: focus on effectiveness

Tackling challenging development cooperation tasks quickly and effectively, even in a difficult environment – this is what our capacity to implement effective projects involves. It was the focus of our Corporate Strategy 2020–2022. Our review three years down the line shows that we chose the right focus. During the three-year strategy cycle, GIZ was able to respond flexibly to unforeseen challenges and has initiated many necessary change processes in order to adapt to the new conditions. This has enabled us to achieve our aim to be more digital, more flexible, more agile and more efficient in our work.

Diagram of the Strategy Architecture: Four key external influences impact on our actions. They move around our Strategy Architecture like clouds: • The trend towards more competition (and ideas competitions) will continue. • Our business is becoming increasingly volatile and diverse. • The demands on GIZ project management are rising steadily. • Digitalisation has an enormous impact on all of our work. Our vision forms the ‘roof’ of the building: We work to shape a future worth living around the world. We focus on our capacity to implement effective projects now and in the future. We do so in the four areas of action – the rooms – of our Strategy Architecture: • Effectiveness, Objective 1: We translate political requirements quickly and visibly into effective solutions. • Business development, Objective 2: We strengthen our market position with data-driven and technology-based services. • Expertise & alliances, Objective 3: We mobilise internal and external expertise more rapidly and manage it more effectively. • Value for money: – Objective 4: We digitalise our internal business processes, thereby making them more efficient. – Objective 5: We create demand-based implementation structures. The foundations on which the Strategy Architecture stands are the targets of the Shareholder and the legal foundation. The federal enterprise GIZ is a globally active service provider and partner in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work. A sign next to the Strategy Architecture points in the direction of the 2030 Agenda. The 2030 Agenda is a key benchmark that guides our actions.

Results of the Corporate Strategy

In the past strategy cycle, GIZ concentrated on its ability to implement effective projects, creating a stable basis for delivering effective advisory services and targeted support even in times of uncertainty and crisis.

Our Corporate Strategy is based on four areas of action: effectiveness, business development, value for money, and expertise and alliances. Four focus projects on expertise, data-driven and technology-based services, processes, and implementation structures – which were concluded at the same time as the strategy cycle at the end of 2022 – were an additional driving force behind the implementation of the Corporate Strategy 2020–2022. We have used the past few years with their constantly shifting parameters to enhance our development in the above-mentioned areas and become even more agile in the way we work. In this way, we were able to achieve our strategic goals.

Area of action: Effectiveness

Our objective: We understand political requirements and work together to translate them quickly and visibly into effective solutions.


Our ability to deliver our services reliably, even in uncertain times, was shown in particular by our work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We demonstrated flexibility in adapting to the new political requirements and expanded our global health portfolio.

Data on indicators that can be aggregated enable us to draw more informed conclusions about our effectiveness. In 2022, GIZ introduced standard indicators that are used in all ongoing projects. This has allowed us to standardise our collection of data on the results of our projects and to aggregate the data across projects and countries. It also means that we are able to communicate the results we achieve with our work worldwide more effectively – to our clients and commissioning parties but also to parliament and the public.

Overall, better data quality and more effective use of data has enabled GIZ to significantly improve the transparency of its financial flows, activities and results over the past few years. This is demonstrated by the Aid Transparency Index 2022, in which the quality of data on BMZ/GIZ projects was rated as the second best of all bilateral donors – a significant improvement on the previous ranking in 2020.

Area of action: Business development

Our objective: We strengthen our market position with data-driven and technology-based services.


Digital innovations and data-driven ways of working are becoming increasingly important for GIZ in this competitive business environment. In the strategy cycle 2020–2022, we succeeded in increasing our implementation capacity with new data-data-driven and technology-based services. The Data Service Centre (see box) has been up and running since February 2022 and supports GIZ projects with using and processing data. We have developed training courses for GIZ staff on company-wide data competence and on data-driven working practices and integrated them into existing learning formats. This has enabled us to achieve our goal of using digital tools and services to strengthen our market position. In the long term, we intend for all our future projects to be data-driven from the outset.

The Data Service Centre

The Data Service Centre (DSC), which was established in 2022, pools and develops a series of services to support digital, data-driven work in GIZ projects. Instead of setting up a new IT monitoring system for each project, the DSC team is working, for example, with in-house digital experts and IT colleagues and with GIZ’s Sectoral Department on a modular system, which all projects will be able to use for their future monitoring activities. Where necessary, it trains project staff on the use of data and also enables access to chargeable data, which the projects would have difficulty in accessing on their own.

Another service that DSC is currently developing is text analysis assisted by artificial intelligence (AI), which can be used to search for information in large volumes of text, especially from completed GIZ projects. DSC also helps to collect geodata showing deforestation or mining in project regions, for example. As a result, a large geodatabase of the areas where GIZ operates is gradually being created. By linking this kind of geodata with satellite data, maps can then be created that support data-driven project planning.

At present, all of these services can be used only with DSC’s support, but there are plans to scale this up in future so that the projects will also be able to use the services themselves wherever possible.

Area of action: Expertise and alliances

Our objective: We mobilise internal and external expertise more rapidly and manage it more effectively.


A forward-looking human relations (HR) policy is essential for a service provider with a focus on implementing effective projects. This is why reforming our HR management system was one of our priorities in the 2020–2022 strategy cycle. Carefully developed target profiles and examples of career pathways for key posts form the basis for the new digital talent management system that will underpin our staff development activities in future. As a result, we will be able to deploy the right expertise in the right place at the right time. New processes for filling key posts with a view to future planning, which we have been piloting since July 2022, are also making a valuable contribution.

Services do not necessarily have to be provided directly by our staff. In some cases, materials and equipment, sub-contractors and financing arrangements may also be an appropriate way of moving closer to achieving a project objective. In the previous strategy cycle, GIZ developed new tools designed to promote flexible service delivery of this kind. The Mode Finder is an example of this. It is aimed at GIZ staff who prepare, devise and implement projects and shows them suitable options for resolving current project challenges, including practical examples. The aim is to find a mix of HR resources, financial resources and materials and equipment that is the right fit for each project in order to achieve the best possible results.

Area of action: Value for money

Our objective: We digitalise our internal business processes, thereby making them more efficient. We create demand-based implementation structures that enable services to be delivered quickly and efficiently across all organisational units.


In the previous strategy cycle, GIZ laid the foundations for process-oriented management and appointed staff to take responsibility for priority processes – for example in the areas of finance and HR – across all departments and divisions. A further aim is to simplify internal processes – which is why we have begun to standardise and digitalise them. The SAP software S4GIZ, represents GIZ’s biggest investment in IT to date and involves digitalising our central business processes within a single system, enabling us to manage them across departments and divisions in a holistic fashion. This results in a seamless flow of data and information and makes processes more efficient.

We have also reformed and enhanced our implementation structures in our countries of assignment so that we can step up or reduce our range of services on the ground quickly and efficiently as required. To this end, we have developed management approaches that allow experts to contribute their knowledge to several projects at the same time. Overall, this means that GIZ is able to put its expertise to work faster and on a wider scale, to leverage synergy effects across different projects and, as a result, to use resources even more efficiently.

Read more about GIZ’s new Corporate Strategy here