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Municipal Development Policy: Evaluating the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW)

German cities, towns and districts are increasingly emerging as actors in German development policy. For instance, they champion fair trade and fair procurement or maintain partnerships with municipalities in the Global South. As a result, they are actively shaping “municipal development policy.” This evaluation examines the existing funding for municipal development policy in Germany. Much of the funding in this area is provided by BMZ and implemented by Engagement Global gGmbH and its Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW). The purpose of this evaluation is to contribute to the strategic and operational development of this funding structure.

German municipalities are involved in various areas of sustainable development. For instance, they champion fair trade and fair procurement or maintain partnerships with municipalities in the Global South. Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, municipalities in Germany and elsewhere are increasingly perceived as important development policy actors. Since 2013, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has been funding municipal development policy through a separate budget item. The Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW), which was established in 2001 and is now part of Engagement Global gGmbH, is responsible for implementing this funding. In Germany, more and more municipalities are now receiving support for their development-related activities. To what extent do SKEW’s offers meet the needs of German municipalities? To what extent are the goals of municipal development policy achieved within Germany and how much of this can be attributed to the SKEW? What are the potentials and risks of SKEW’s offers with regard to development policy impact? This evaluation aims to provide systematic answers to these and other questions, focusing on the period from 2013 to 2020.

Background

No comprehensive evaluation of German municipal development policy has been conducted to date. The last large-scale study on this topic was carried out by the German Development Institute (DIE) over a decade ago. For this reason, the evaluation “Municipal Development Policy: Evaluating the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW)” was included in DEval’s evaluation programme. In parallel to this evaluation, DIE is preparing a new study on municipal development policy in Germany. Based on a cooperation agreement, the two institutes cooperate closely on conceptual issues and data collection.

Objectives

The overall objective of this evaluation is to enhance the existing funding structure for municipal development policy in Germany. Effective and targeted funding is necessary to support German municipalities in contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The evaluation serves both an accountability and a learning function: it aims to assess the existing funding structure and, at the same time, the findings are intended to help improve municipal development policy in Germany. To this end, the evaluation aims to develop specific recommendations for adjusting the funding options.

Methods

This evaluation uses a theory-based approach and a mixed-methods design. This design includes both quantitative elements (e.g., online surveys of German municipalities, portfolio analysis) and qualitative elements (e.g., case studies, expert interviews, usability study).

Contact

Portrait von Dr. Johannes Schmitt
© DEval

Dr Johannes Schmitt

Senior Evaluator - Team Leader

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-946

E-mail: johannes.schmitt@DEval.org

[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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