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Instruments and structures of development cooperationconcluded

Engagement Global

Engagement Global was founded in 2012 to promote citizen engagement in development policy. Amongst other things, the DEval evaluation aimed to determine what benefits the organisation has for its target groups, whether the organisational structure is suitable for its tasks and how well the organisation is managed. The evaluation was completed in 2020.

By establishing Engagement Global, already existing funding programmes and services for development policy initiatives have now been brought together in a central place. The organisation advises interested individuals, associations, non-governmental organisations, companies, foundations, schools and communities on the ways in which they can get involved in development policy – both in Germany and worldwide. It also helps to obtain funding for the implementation of projects and initiatives.

Another task of Engagement Global is development education work. For this purpose, the organisation makes information and teaching materials available to various age groups and acts as a mediator for education and training opportunities.

The programmes and services that Engagement Global offers include the “weltwärts” volunteer service, the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) and bengo (which provides advice for non-governmental organisations active in development cooperation).

Results and Recommendations

Engagement Global has succeeded in establishing itself as an important actor in a complex topic area. Its target groups appreciate the programmes and services it offers and value their benefits.

Overall, the portfolio meets relevant requirements. Although the quality of advisory services is good overall, there are large differences. Efforts should be made to achieve a joint quality standard in the future.

Some of the funding procedures are highly complex and bureaucratic.

This means that there are large hurdles involved in applying for funds, especially for organisations that are mainly staffed by volunteers and for migrant-diaspora organisations. The funding procedures need to be simplified and standardised. An efficient software architecture could facilitate application management.

Frictional losses repeatedly occur between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Engagement Global.

In BMZ, different divisions are responsible for managing specific programmes of Engagement Global and there is not always sufficient coordination between these divisions. This hampers coordination and cooperation across different programmes within Engagement Global and means that the potential for synergy effects is not tapped. More coherent management by BMZ would be desirable.


BMZ should greatly increase the scope of action of Engagement Global.

This would put the organisation in a position to further develop its own strategic basis and programmes in accordance with the political guidelines of BMZ and in line with government interests, while performing its tasks in a more effective and efficient manner. 


The evaluation was completed in 2020. This is a summary of the results and recommendations; you can find the complete results and recommendations in the report.

Objectives of the Evaluation

The main goal of the evaluation was to assess what Engagement Global has achieved up to now and use this as a basis to contribute to the institution’s further development. Specifically, the evaluation deals with four major thematic areas:

  • Benefits and services for target groups addressed by Engagement Global
  • Institutional set-up and performance of Engagement Global
  • Role of Engagement Global in the ‘Engagement of citizens, civil society and communes in development policies’ field of action
  • Structures and processes of governance that are relevant for Engagement Global


The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) founded Engagement Global in 2012 as a non-profit company to promote the engagement of citizens, civil society and communities in development policy. To this end, different programmes were concentrated under a single organisational roof, some of which already existed while others were created after the organisation was founded. Based on proposals from BMZ as well as from VENRO (an umbrella organisation of non-governmental organisations providing development and humanitarian aid) to conduct an institutional evaluation five years after Engagement Global was founded, this evaluation became part of DEval’s 2017-2019 evaluation programme.


The evaluation implemented a tailored design for an institutional evaluation. It combined various qualitative and quantitative survey methods in order to systematically record the views and assessments of the various stakeholders and consider them in relation to one another and other data sources. In the process, the evaluation drew on established institutional evaluation procedures from other policy areas as well as on methods from the area of organisational analysis. For example, the range of methods comprised not only the analysis of existing data and documents, but also a report on self-assessments, a staff questionnaire, the visit of all branch offices, case studies for various programmes and services, a legal opinion on funding legislation issues, a contextual analysis and a large number of interviews with internal and external stakeholders and experts.


[Translate to Englisch:] Portrait Martin Bruder
© DEval

Dr Martin Bruder

Head of Department: Civil Society, Human Rights

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-970

E-mail: martin.bruder@DEval.org

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