Preparing – Networking – Accompanying

Programme description

Title: Key Qualifications for International Cooperation
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Worldwide
Overall term: 2018 to 2020



Germany’s international cooperation experts and managers face ever greater demands in their partner countries, especially with regard to the sensitive handling of cultural differences. With regard to their assignments, German international cooperation workers are finding it increasingly difficult to fully understand the situations in their respective countries. To be able to comply with new requirements governing the implementation of development measures, experts increasingly need to acquire new and more extensive management skills. Exacting consultations with local, regional and national organisations present an additional challenge. First and foremost, however, intercultural skills and an understanding of the political and social realities in the country of assignment are crucial for effective work.


Experts and managers engaged in international cooperation have a solid skills base, enabling them to meet the increasingly high demands on their work in partner countries.



For many years now, the Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ) has been preparing people for their assignments abroad as part of German international cooperation. At the Academy, experts and managers can undertake a broad range of training activities to ready themselves for their foreign assignments. Courses are available on topics such as intercultural skills and country analysis; personal safety, stress and trauma; language and communication; management and consulting, digital literacy and development policy. Particular emphasis is placed on reconciling the assignment with the staff member’s private and family life. This is why accompanying partners not only have access to the ‘accompanying partners and family’ course that is held especially for them, but to virtually all other courses too. Complementing the programme are needs-based tutoring and information services, such as tutored learning and interactive workstations. There is also a wide range of networking offers and a digital learning platform that supports participants well after their stay abroad has ended. Moreover, all courses are continuously developed and new digital formats added. In the face of growing demand, three-quarters of the courses are also offered in English.
With more and more countries and regions worldwide affected by conflict, violence and instability, a decision was taken in 2016 to give experts more training on the topic of personal safety, for example.


The new site, Campus Kottenforst, in Bonn-Röttgen offers excellent conditions for learning. Participants can attend training courses for up to four weeks, as well as an additional four weeks of language courses. Those interested can sign up for the programme up to twelve months after their departure. In addition, experts can arrange for one-on-one advice during their assignments abroad.


  • Every year some 2,200 experts and managers, along with their accompanying family members, prepare for their foreign assignments at the Academy
  • There are more than 1,100 training courses a year
  • More than 35 sending organisations book courses on the Key Qualifications Programme. These include official development services, federal ministries, non-governmental organisations, political foundations and government organisations
  • More than 95 per cent of participants recommend these training courses to other people afterwards
  • Nearly 2,400 experts and managers use the Academy’s digital portal for networking and discussion purposes.