EZ-Scout programme


Title: Global EZ-Scout programme
Commisioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Germany
Gesamtlaufzeit: 2011 to 2022



Solving the economic, social and environmental problems in developing and emerging countries is a challenge which cannot be met by the official development cooperation work on its own. The partnership role of international companies is central to German development cooperation in terms of the momentum they can provide for sustainable development in partner countries in the context of their business operations, creating local jobs and income, generating tax revenue for government development services, training skilled workers, maintaining social and environmental standards or introducing urgently needed technologies – in the energy, environmental and health sectors, for example.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is therefore looking to German industry to step up its long-term involvement in developing and emerging countries. German business and trade associations, chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of crafts and regional associations have a key partnership role to play in spreading the message in order to achieve this goal. They have precious little expertise in relation to developing and emerging countries, however, and with regard to the existing support, financing and cooperation services offered by the German development cooperation initiatives. They are therefore hardly in a position to help member companies which may be interested in support.


Selected chambers, organisations and associations in German industry are in a position to increase their support for sustainable business involvement in developing and emerging countries.


Up to 30 development policy experts, referred to as ‘EZ-Scouts’ or development cooperation scouts, will be sent to selected chambers, organisations and associations in German industry. They will support their host institutions and their member companies in their efforts to promote development. To this end, they will advise on existing support, financing and cooperation instruments of German development cooperation, arrange contacts with international and local networks, and will facilitate and support the development of new cooperation projects and initiatives of German industry which promote investments and activities which are in line with development policy.

This successful approach was extended to civil society in 2017 with the non-profit organisation Engagement Global. Since then, four EZ-Scouts working on behalf of BMZ have been supporting selected institutions in the foundation and philanthropy sector on all issues bearing reference to development cooperation, and have been formulating sustainable approaches to cooperation and encouraging alliances and partnerships.

Experts from the programme also advise companies from developing countries and emerging economies on taking part in trade fairs in Germany and Europe, either as exhibitors or as visitors. Enterprises can draw on the experts’ professional consultancy and extensive networks to make the most of their trade fair visits and acquire new customers and business partners. This enables local companies to safeguard production and jobs and grow their business activities. 


The advice provided by the EZ-Scouts has helped develop and implement many new projects and initiatives, including the following:

  • New partnerships between chambers and associations: a partnership was formed, for example, between the Reutlingen Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mandalay Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MRCCI) in Myanmar. The partnership will strengthen the MRCCI institutionally, and this will benefit local companies in this country with a long history of economic isolation.
  • New develoPPP.de partnerships: one example is Snow Leopard Projects, a biogas company with a project in Kenya supported by sequa gGmbH. The company trains people locally to provide instruction in the operation of biogas plants and in the analysis of laboratory tests. A training centre and a test and analysis laboratory are also being set up with Kenyan partners.
  • New institutional and professional partnerships between industry and development cooperation: in 2015, the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) and GIZ GmbH decided to work more closely together in international vocational education and training. A cooperation project was launched by the partners in 2016 which will qualify German skilled tradespeople and craft enterprises to contribute their practical knowledge to international vocational training cooperation, especially in Africa.
  • Institutionalisation of development cooperation issues in German industry: the project will continuously bring development cooperation issues to the attention of German industry through events, discussion forums and public relations work and will anchor them in the strategy and activities of the associations, chambers and organisations in the long term. The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag - DIHK) has joined the Alliance for Integrity, for example, and is committed to imparting knowledge on corruption prevention in developing countries and emerging economies.

Latest update: September 2020

Additional information