© GIZ / Asja Caspari

Four Questions for Andrea von Rauch

Ms von Rauch, you are the Director of the Academy. What is special about your Academy for International Cooperation?

Social change for sustainable development needs people who are both capable and accountable. That is where we, as the academy of GIZ, come in. We offer training that builds the capacities of experts and managers in international cooperation and we gear our courses to current trends. For example, you can learn about the 2030 Agenda from us, or the green economy. Or about the question of how to make transformation processes successful when they involve people from different cultures. In addition, we prepare field staff for their assignments in 120 countries, including security training, country analyses and intercultural communication.

Frau von Rauch © GIZ/Asja Caspari

How do the participants benefit from the AIZ?

They benefit firstly from the comprehensive know-how at the Academy on all aspects of learning. Our concept builds on 50 years of experience with learning in international cooperation and we have an extensive network of excellent trainers. Furthermore, the participants benefit from the practical experience of GIZ. More than 19,000 employees in over 120 countries pass their knowledge on to our Academy – the things they know, the skills they have, and the solutions that have brought positive changes in practice.

What is special about the learning opportunities at the AIZ?

We pass on more than just knowledge. We want people to develop their capabilities. Alongside sector knowledge, the experts and managers in international cooperation need strategies for working successfully with people with different technical, institutional or cultural viewpoints and interests, in order to reach common goals. For instance, we prepare the participants for their work in intercultural contexts and in crises, and practise dealing with stressful situations. But our portfolio also covers leadership skills, negotiation and communication.
We always pay attention to the three aspects that together make up people’s competencies. First of all that means their knowledge, secondly their skills – that is, their actions – and thirdly their attitudes. We enable our participants to reflect on their attitudes and develop them – to obtain an orientation they can always rely on, regardless of how varied the demands made of them are.

How do people learn in the AIZ?

Learning should be as practically relevant and as individual as possible. We regard ourselves as an academy that learns, and we draw on the latest trends. Of course, that also means that, alongside our face-to-face seminars, we are increasingly using virtual learning formats and offer training courses on digital topics. In addition, we are continuously developing our learning strategy. It is well known that people do by far the greater part of their learning while working independently and through exchanges with colleagues. For us, this means that during our training courses we promote dialogue between the participants and support them in learning from one another. To do this, we need an inspiring environment of trust. That is what we offer them.