Digital Competences

Three adult students with laptops on table outdoors

The digital transformation has far-reaching global effects on political, social and economic processes and is changing the way we live and work together. To be part of this change, digital competencies are needed - on the one hand to be able to use technologies efficiently, and on the other hand to develop a responsible and critical approach to digital tools.


In international cooperation, digital skills are essential for successfully and sustainably anchoring visions and goals in societies. According to the capacity development approach, these must be built up at different levels: Person, organization, society. In addition to imparting purely technical knowledge, it is therefore essential to promote contextual knowledge in order to apply acquired skills in a meaningful way in different areas of life and to develop them independently. The area of data protection and information security plays a central role here.

Since there is a data gap on the need for digital skills in many of GIZ's partner countries, it is difficult, especially for young people, to assess what skills are needed and how they can develop them. The high investment costs, e.g., for required hardware and licenses, as well as costs for Internet access, are further challenges that accompany the development of digital skills. In addition, educational opportunities for women, the rural population and socio-economically disadvantaged groups are often less accessible due to language or technical barriers. If these target groups are not explicitly addressed and supported in the teaching of digital skills, the digital divide also threatens to widen.

GIZ addresses these challenges by taking into account the different local and technical circumstances in project planning: Digital ecosystems, infrastructures, existing approaches to training, and appropriate public digital goods.

In collaborative and cross-sectoral processes, user-oriented and inclusive offerings are thus created that are tailored to the target groups and can achieve maximum impact.