© GIZ

GIZ Development Service

As a development worker, your employment status will be governed by the German Development Workers Act (EhfG). Development workers are deployed for a fixed term to actively help shape cooperation through partnerships between people and organisations worldwide and work towards global sustainability and quality of life.

As a development worker, you will be involved in development policy issues, gain new insights and help build a tolerant and open-minded society. Through your commitment and solidarity, you will be promoting ongoing development in our partner countries and helping to improve the living conditions of people locally.

You will be using your specialist expertise and your ‘outsider’s view’ to support our partners in developing innovative solutions and tackling barriers to development. Your role working directly with partner organisations, often outside central locations in a country, will illustrate how solutions developed jointly with the partner are likely to be accepted. This means that you will have an importing bridging function within GIZ when it comes to implementing German development cooperation programmes.

And when you return to your home country, you will have gained a fresh perspective and will be able to contribute your newly acquired knowledge to your own society.

Are you interested in being a development worker abroad? We look forward to receiving your application.

What conditions do I need to meet for a development worker post abroad?

  • You must have German nationality or citizenship in another European Union Member State.
  • You will have an appropriate vocational qualification for a role abroad, gained either through formal vocational training in a craft or trade or in a technical area or through academic training.
  • You will have at least two years’ relevant work experience, including an instructor’s licence in the case of a vocational qualification.
  • You will have good foreign language skills and/or be willing to expand existing skills and acquire new ones.
  • You will have good social skills and be open to different cultures, sensitive to intercultural, gender and conflict-related issues, and willing to live and work in a new and unfamiliar environment.
  • You will be flexible and resilient and keen to gain valuable experience that will benefit your future professional development.
  • You would like to use your sills in an advisory, planning or management role.
  • The requirements vary from job to job, and you can find the detailed job specification in individual job advertisements.

What benefits will I enjoy as a development worker?

GIZ offers a comprehensive and attractive package of benefits based on the EhfG. These include a living allowance and other cash benefits, employment benefits (such as insurance cover), and other benefits, including organisation of outward and return travel, including for any family members who may be accompanying you. These benefits will cover your living expenses while abroad. Please note that development workers are assigned to provide a short-term service and are not employees.

You will receive specific preparation for your assignment both in Germany and on arrival abroad. Your family may also take part in some preparation seminars. Following your assignment and return, you and your family will receive various forms of support.

The following video provides further information about the benefits you will enjoy as a development worker:

Benefits package for development workers – what Nina has to say

Benefits for development workers

How it works


        
    
‘As a development worker, I cooperate directly and independently with my partner organisation to support learning and change processes on the ground.’

        
    
‘As a development worker, I cooperate on the basis of partnership to improve global sustainability and quality of life.’

        
    
‘My assignment as a development worker is the first time I have been able to put my vocational experience and social competencies to use in development cooperation.’

How long will I spend abroad as a development worker?

Your assignment will normally be 24 project months plus a preparation phase. Some assignments are longer, depending on the project term, with a maximum of six years. Shorter assignments are also possible, depending on the programme term. However, the German Development Workers Act stipulates a minimum assignment period of 12 project months excluding the preparation phase. If you have already completed at least one year as a development worker with a posting organisation recognised in Germany, you may also complete short-term assignments (less than 12 months).

In which thematic areas can I be involved as a development worker?

  • Peacebuilding and crisis prevention 

  • Rural development and agriculture, food security

  • Vocational education and training and the labour market

  • Democracy, rule of law, gender

  • Forests and biodiversity

  • Decentralisation, urban and regional development

  • Private sector development, sustainable economic development

  • Health, family planning, HIV/AIDS

  • Education and youth

  • Drinking water, water management, wastewater/waste disposal

  • Energy

  • Environmental policy, conservation and sustainable management of natural resources

Further information