Achieving educational objectives worldwide

Project description

Project or programme title: Sector Programme Education
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Global
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2017 to 2020

Students in the library, Ethiopia. © GIZ / Heather Oh


Over the past few decades, educational successes have been achieved worldwide. Nevertheless, the lack of access to high-quality education remains an urgent challenge along the entire education chain.

With its education strategy, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is taking a holistic approach. In an international process to negotiate the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, Germany successfully argued the case for a comprehensive education goal. This is consistent with the BMZ approach to education. Goal 4 was agreed as part of the 2030 Agenda: ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all’. Germany provides support through contributions that impact several countries and through the implementation of the international education goal in selected cooperation countries.


The contributions of BMZ and German development cooperation (DC) promote the implementation of the education-related goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Schoolgirls at a primary school in Yemen. © GIZ / Nashwan Al-Sumari


The supraregional programme (sector programme) advises and supports the BMZ Education Division. The primary focus is on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the BMZ education strategy. The programme also helps BMZ continue to develop and position German development cooperation in the area of education and training. It advises BMZ on identifying innovative education topics and, where possible, leading the themes of German development cooperation in the area of international policy.

The advice and support services include the creation of specialist working papers, updates and strategy papers.
The programme also supports important networking with German preliminary and implementing organisations as well as departments such as the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). The project incorporates its expertise through the organisation, implementation and documentation of events (conferences, meetings, workshops) and through contributions to them. It is actively involved in relevant national and international bodies and working groups on behalf of BMZ in order to strategically position an approach that strengthens education systems and to coordinate activities with other organisations. Within the framework of cooperation with the grant recipients, the project provides support in managing the programmes of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and advises BMZ on participation in committee meetings.

The conflict-sensitive advice and support provided by the project relates to central topics in the education sector with the exception of vocational training. It covers three fields of activity: (1) fundamental issues and cross-cutting topics; (2) multilateral organisations and networks; and (3) extended basic education, university education and academia.


  • Advice, support and diverse cooperation have resulted in better positioning and mainstreaming of education promotion in German and international development cooperation.
  • The project has helped BMZ to strengthen its influence in the framework of the Global Partnership for Education. This is the only multilateral coordination instrument that concentrates solely on assistance in the education sector.
  • Expert talks and conferences on selected aspects of education organised or supported by the project contribute to increased international visibility and strategic positioning of German development cooperation in the education sector. These include Africa Code Week, eLearning Africa and UNESCO Mobile Learning Week.
  • As part of the #eSkills4Girls initiative and the EQUALS initiative, the project coordinated (or helped coordinate) and successfully implemented a number of BMZ activities to promote the digital inclusion of women and girls.
  • Together with education experts from AvH, DAAD, GIZ and KfW, the project worked on the design of a ‘university of the future for sustainable development’. This culminated in a jointly developed graphic that highlights the immense significance of university education and academia in development cooperation in national and international discussions on promoting education.
Schoolgirl at a primary school in Benin © GIZ / Olliver Girad