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Instruments and structures of development cooperationconcluded

Structural Reform of Technical Cooperation

At the start of 2011 three organisations of German development cooperation (DED, InWEnt and GTZ) were merged to form the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The purpose of the merger was to make Germany’s Technical Cooperation more effective and enhance its visibility. DEval examined whether the desired results were achieved. The evaluation was completed in 2018.

Developing capacities in developing countries – defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as 'the ability of people, organisations and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully' – is a key factor for substantial development progress. Supporting partner countries in developing these capacities is therefore a core task of international cooperation.

In German development cooperation, so-called Technical Cooperation is the key means of supporting capacity development in partner countries. For many years it had been implemented by three organisations: the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the German Development Service (DED) and Capacity Building International, Germany (InWEnt). The structural reform process involved merging these three organisations into the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The merger was designed to make Technical Cooperation more effective and efficient. A further aim of the concentration process was to increase the German Government's capacity to manage international cooperation. The DEval evaluation 'Integration of Technical Cooperation Instruments' examined and assessed the implementation and potential impact of the reform four years after it was carried out.

Findings and Recommendations

The structural reform has laid the foundations for making German Technical Cooperation more effective and efficient.

The leaner structures enable the system to align the implementation of interventions more closely with the strategic objectives of German development cooperation and partner priorities. In conjunction with the new corporate identity this can strengthen German development cooperation as a whole.

It is not always possible to draw clear distinctions between the profiles and roles of the experts from the three different organisations. Nor are those responsible always aware of these profiles and roles.

Setting quotas also leads to a situation in which experts are not always assigned to positions on the basis of actual need. The profiles should be revised in order to more clearly highlight the relevant unique characteristics of each instrument.

When planning projects, planners should regularly consider whether regional and national experts might be assigned rather than seconded experts.

On a case-by-case basis, planners should look into the extent to which organisations in partner countries can participate in the financing of positions. This would increase both alignment with actual demand and ownership for the project.


The evaluation was completed in 2016. 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 objective of the evaluation was to assess the success of the Technical Cooperation merger as reflected by changes in the effectiveness and efficiency of the combined use of Technical Cooperation instruments in and with partner countries which resulted from those instruments being brought together in a single organisation. The evaluation of Technical Cooperation instruments thus did not study all aspects of the 2011 reform of the implementation structure. It was not an evaluation of the reform itself.

Some three and a half years after the implementation structure reform came into effect, the evaluation thus captured the extent to which the theoretical assumptions concerning the benefits of the merger for the integration of Technical Cooperation instruments were correct, i.e. the extent to which the targeted improvements occurred, or whether pointers for corrective measures could be identified.

The evaluation was also designed to help sharpen the profiles of the individual Technical Cooperation instruments, optimise the planning process for integrated projects, and identify possible criteria for the success of optimal planning, management and results-orientation of the integration of instruments.

To conduct the study, provisional evaluation questions were identified in two key areas. These were then further operationalised and differentiated in the course of the evaluation:

  • Changes in the effectiveness of Technical Cooperation instruments in integrated programmes following the merger into one organisation.
  • Changes in the BMZ's ability to manage Technical Cooperation and the external visibility of German development cooperation, i.e. changes in the relationship between the BMZ, other donors, implementing organisations and partner organisations.


As of January 2011, in accordance with the decision of the German Government the GTZ, DED and InWEnt were merged to form a single agency for German Technical Cooperation. The GIZ brings together under one roof all the expertise and long-standing experience of its three predecessor organisations plus the full repertoire of Technical Cooperation instruments.

The DEval evaluation of the integration of Technical Cooperation instruments in conjunction with the Technical Cooperation merger in 2011 was designed to identify and assess the effectiveness of the combined use of Technical Cooperation instruments by a single institution. The core focus of this evaluation was the combined use of Technical Cooperation instruments before and after the implementation structure reform in 2011, and the resulting changes on various levels.


The evaluation lasted from mid-2014 to September 2016 and comprised three phases: In the inception phase the evaluators first of all analysed selected documents and conducted approximately 20 interviews with experts in Germany, chiefly at the BMZ and GIZ. In a next step they used the findings to generate initial hypotheses and questions, on the basis of which they then designed semi-structured interviews.

A further component of the inception phase involved exploratory case studies in three of Germany's partner countries for development cooperation. Here the evaluators conducted some 60 semi-structured interviews with heads of cooperation at German embassies, GIZ programme coordinators and field staff, development workers, integrated experts, national experts, partner representatives and other donors in order to further structure the evaluation, its questions and its methods.

Based on the first findings obtained in the field the evaluators then further refined the reconstructed Theory of Change (ToC) and its hypotheses, and derived the evaluation questions for the data collection phase. For each evaluation question they also identified more specific detailed questions, assessment criteria and indicators/descriptors. The evaluators entered these in an evaluation matrix in order to define the evaluation design and the data collection plan. Following that they developed the corresponding data collection instruments.

For the data collection phase the evaluators employed an emergent mixed methods design. The data were also systematically triangulated. For this purpose, the evaluators compared secondary data from programme documents and statistics with their own primary data from three online surveys of approximately 1,500 German development cooperation professionals (survey of all active team leaders, development workers and integrated experts), case study interviews with over 250 experts in eight partner countries, plus a total of around 35 expert interviews and background discussions held chiefly with BMZ and GIZ personnel in Germany.



Portrait von Dr. Jan Tobias Polak
© Deval

Dr Jan Tobias Polak

Senior Evaluator, Team Leader, Anti-Corruption Officer

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-967

E-mail: tobias.polak@DEval.org

Portrait von Dr. Stefan Leiderer
© DEval

Dr Stefan Leiderer

Head of Department: Governance, Bi and Multilateral Development Cooperation

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-940

E-mail: stefan.leiderer@DEval.org

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