Experts for municipal partnerships worldwide

Project description

Title: Experts for municipal partnerships worldwide
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Global
Overall term: 2012 to 2022



Partnerships between municipalities in Germany and those in the partner countries of German development cooperation are an important factor in realising the development goals under the 2030 Agenda. Thanks to a high degree of autonomy, German towns and cities, municipalities and administrative districts have extensive competences that are valuable in terms of development cooperation. At the same time, German municipalities also benefit from international experience. There are already more than 400 municipal partnerships embracing cooperative arrangements between local governments as well as between civil society, universities and the business community. Working together on equal terms, municipal experts provide specialist knowledge and experience to help their partner municipalities perform their tasks better. In some cases, however, partner municipalities lack the capacities to implement partnering initiatives effectively. As a result, some of the potential for partnering with German municipalities is not adequately used. 


Selected municipalities of partner countries of German development cooperation extract greater value from their partnership arrangements with German municipalities.



The project assigns experts internationally and locally in order to support the municipalities of partner countries of German development cooperation. It is implemented in cooperation with Engagement Global’s ‘Service Agency Communities in One World’ (SKEW) and makes a contribution towards improving the ability of municipalities to deliver services and demonstrate good local governance, making the cooperation structures of partner municipalities more viable and expanding the commitment of civil society. 

The following eligibility criteria apply: 

  • Existing partnership between a German municipality and a municipality in a partner country of German development cooperation
  • Joint declaration of interest 
  • Partnership’s objectives: increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, accountability or citizen-focused approach of municipal administration

What the municipalities can expect: 

  • Need-oriented assignment of experts based on thematic priorities
  • Support from the project (including the assignment of appraisers and training measures)
  • Advisory services from SKEW for the German municipalities and their partnerships (human resource and financial support, networking events) 


In Durban, South Africa, (twinned with Bremen), cross-ministerial structures were established. As a result of this, an integrated open spaces concept was made possible and participation formats were trialled. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, (twinned with Leipzig) and Uzhhorod, Ukraine, (twinned with Darmstadt) new actors were included in the partnership work. In Kharkiv, Ukraine, (twinned with Nuremberg), a range of services for investors was developed, supporting the establishment of a municipal service centre for foreign investors. Communication structures were developed in Masasi, Tanzania, (twinned with Enzkreis) and in Zanzibar, Tanzania (twinned with Potsdam), thus improving the preconditions for implementing partnership-based projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Additional information