Strategic cooperation in and with international organisations

Project description

Title: Strategic cooperation in and with international organisations
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Overall term: 2012 to 2017


Increasing globalisation is changing the setting of international cooperation for sustainable development. A multipolar world with a large number of new actors has emerged and is seeking timely answers to ever more complex global issues.

The change processes present challenges that cannot be addressed through purely bilateral or regionally and sectorally limited development cooperation; at the same time, however, they create scope for new forms of cooperation. Particular challenges include the processes of negotiation concerning global public goods, such as climate, financial market stability and crisis prevention. International organisations play a prominent role in this context, shaping developments and providing impetus.

By adopting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community has agreed on a plan of action comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. In order to achieve these jointly agreed objectives, adequate and coherent organisation and steering of the different actors is required.


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is able to provide key impetus for reform to multilateral organisations. The profile of German development policy in multilateral organisations and the interlinking of bilateral and multilateral development policy have improved.


The project is supporting the realisation of BMZ's Guiding Principles on Multilateral Development Policy by implementing individual measures, which can be proposed by various ministry divisions. The project cooperates with seven sector divisions, for example the Policy Issues of Multilateral Development Policy Division and the United Nations Division.

The Guiding Principles specify three priority areas for German multilateral development policy:

  1. Reforms of international organisations are to be supported in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
  2. Emphasis is to be placed on mainstreaming German specialist topics in the international development cooperation dialogue, not least in the light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  3. Stronger links between bilateral and multilateral cooperation are to be promoted.

Advisors, seconded staff and appraisers assist with the implementation of the priority areas. Furthermore, studies and analyses are conducted, and financing agreements and networking are supported. On behalf of BMZ, GIZ represents Germany in selected multilateral initiatives, for instance in the governance structure of the Global Delivery Initiative.

The project is currently implementing the following individual measures:

  1. Developing the Global Delivery Initiative (GDI) with the World Bank
  2. Seconding staff to the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EU DEVCO); topic: Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
  3. Seconding staff to the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EU DEVCO); topic: taxes and budget
  4. Financing agreement with the World Bank; topic: Action for Fair Production
  5. Seconding staff to the United Nations; topic: 'Fit for purpose' reform process
  6. Seconding staff to the United Nations; topic: governance


On the basis of a comprehensive analysis concerning the enhanced interlinking of multilateral and bilateral cooperation, recommendations for action were agreed on.

The secondment of staff has significantly improved the exchange of information between BMZ and the European Union, and between BMZ and the United Nations.

The project is supporting the reform processes of the United Nations, the World Bank and the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-DAC). The aim is to make these major systems of global governance fit for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. German political concerns are addressed and highlighted in selected international organisations.

The project has helped Germany establish itself as a key partner in the Global Delivery Initiative (GDI). Germany holds the important co-chair in the initiative's new management structure. It was largely due to Germany's influence that the range of products has been expanded. Germany has also provided strong support for the very successful extension of the initiative to include Asia.