Title: Alumniportal Deutschland
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2017 to 2018
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on states, civil society, businesses and the academic community to work together to ensure sustainable development for all. The goals of the 2030 Agenda can only be achieved through worldwide cooperation, and with their experience, networks and educational backgrounds, the alumni of German institutions can play an important role.
These ‘Germany-Alumni’ as they are known, are experts and managers, including those just embarking on their career, from all over the world and all sectors, working in a variety of posts in their home countries. Their training has been provided by GIZ, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Goethe-Institut or the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, as well as other German (training) organisations and universities. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).
Many alumni continue to maintain close relations with these institutions and with Germany, and are therefore a crucial part of the relationship network in the field of German international cooperation. The alumni are part of civil society in their home countries and have access at the local and international level to structures and decision-makers, including in the private business sector, the academic community, administration, politics and the media. Consequently, many of them have contacts and skills crucial to the discourse on the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how to implement them.
The Germany-Alumni are informed, trained and encouraged to take part in activities and projects under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Alumniportal Deutschland is a GIZ project which is run in cooperation with DAAD, the Goethe-Institut and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. It is the German Government’s national alumni platform for all these organisations. The project seeks to maintain ties between Germany-Alumni and Germany itself, create a network among the alumni and involve them in the development of their home countries and regions. The aim is to train alumni to implement the 2030 Agenda effectively and sustainably with the help of stakeholders from the fields of German educational, cultural and development cooperation, as well as from the academic world.
A mix of innovative online and offline formats provides effective, sustainable learning and informed discussion. They have a practical focus and are aimed at fostering autonomy, as well as ensuring that activities are transferable and inclusive, with a view to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. They also promote networking in the various sectors.
Most of the teaching is virtual, for example in e-learning courses or webinars, but may also take the form of blended learning, a combination of classroom sessions and e-learning. This takes up as little of the members’ time as possible and is free of charge. However, dialogue events are held locally in certain countries. These face-to-face formats are always complemented by digital sessions to put discussions back at the global level and give the alumni community access to them. The project is testing innovative formats combining digital and in-situ approaches. In this way, people from all over the world can be brought together to talk about the goals of the 2030 Agenda and, on a cross-sectoral basis, to engage in dialogue and discussion and to share experiences. This may in turn initiate partnerships and encourage joint action by a range of different players. The contact data comes from the Alumniportal expert database, which has some 160,000 registered alumni.
The project also helps alumni develop their own ideas for projects, for example in the context of practical projects or blended learning courses. Individual project initiatives by alumni to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda are selected according to predefined criteria and receive advisory support and funding during execution.
At the Trained in GermanY contact-building and career fairs, the emphasis is on placing alumni in specialist and management positions and on establishing contacts. Several fairs are organised every year in selected countries. Depending on the country and local circumstances, they are either real or virtual events. They are used to put interested and qualified alumni in contact with German organisations and companies and provide them with the opportunity to discuss cooperation and offer their specialist skills.
The project focuses on communicating the goals of the 2030 Agenda as a whole, but places particular emphasis on education (goal 4), promoting sustainable consumption (goal 12), economic growth and employment (goal 8) and migration issues. In 2017, it became clear that alumni wish to learn and engage, are keen to share their experiences and ideas with others and be part of a network. The Alumniportal expert database contains the details of alumni from 190 countries. This means that they can be contacted directly in relation to German issues or by organisations well into the future.