Sustainable Economic Development

Project description


Sustainable Economic Development

Commissioned by:

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)



Overall term:

2014 to 2017


The underlying economic conditions for growth that is inclusive, environmentally sustainable and conducive to employment creation are a basic prerequisite for generating income and bringing about a permanent reduction in poverty. Issues such as how best to promote growth that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable are increasingly at the centre of the international debate. Examples of this include the post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the concept of inclusive green growth.

Growing importance is being attached to various aspects of sustainability in the context of economic policy – including questions of income distribution, impact in terms of the inclusiveness of growth and employment, regional economic integration, structural and industrial policy and strategies for economic development in resource-rich countries. The private sector must also be integrated into economic policy decision-making and strategy development.

Until now, sustainable development issues like these have not been sufficiently defined in the context of economic policy. Consequently, there remains a need to further enhance the economic policy profile of German development cooperation with regard to the three dimensions of sustainability – the social, the environmental and the economic.


The economic policy profile of German development cooperation is more clearly defined with regard to the three dimensions of sustainability.


The sector project advises the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on exploring specific issues related to economic policy, in particular structural and industrial policy, environmental economic growth and economic development in resource-rich countries. In addition, it supports BMZ with developing strategies, instruments and positions on sustainability issues in the field of economic policy and positioning German development cooperation in national and international bodies and processes.

The sector project also helps to implement sectoral guidelines for the priority area of ‘sustainable economic development’ in the German development cooperation portfolio and mainstreams innovative approaches to funding within the priority area. In addition, the project continues to develop strategies and instruments on relevant topics and introduces these into BMZ implementation documents and communication papers, sectoral profile development, priority area strategy papers, regional and country plans, as well as into advisory measures for country and regional departments. As part of the training measures supplied through international cooperation, projects are supported with providing training for partners on specific topics, as well as with developing – and when appropriate implementing – training measures of their own.


In the past, the sector project “Sustainable Economic Development” has successfully explored key topics within the priority area and contributed to their implementation – for example, organising the 2013 Inclusive Business Forum on ‘Green and Inclusive Business – Exploring and Developing Markets for Sustainable Growth’.

In addition, the project helped BMZ to position itself at the policy level. This was achieved in part by further developing concepts and funding strategies on the issues stated earlier, and also by providing advisory services to German development cooperation projects in partner countries in the field of economic policy.

The sector project contributed to the qualitative evaluation of BMZ strategy papers. This has led to improved portfolio mainstreaming of issues ranked as priority areas by the “Sustainable Economic Policy; Financial Sector” Division. At the same time, this helped ensure that the division’s conceptual quality standards were taken into account.

Furthermore, the sector project supported the evaluation of strategy documents from key stakeholders in international development cooperation, and advised the BMZ division on positioning itself in international bodies, such as the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development and a subgroup of the G20 Development Working Group. In addition, the BMZ division has been able to use the sector project’s services to significantly influence sectoral and political dialogue at the international level and to position itself in terms of technical capacity in the context of donor initiatives.