Development cooperation

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Development cooperation (also known as development aid or technical cooperation ) is the joint effort of industrialized and developing countries to permanently and sustainably reduce global differences in socio-economic development and general living conditions . The basic principle of cooperation is always " help for self-help " as opposed to mere emergency aid in crisis situations.

Delimitation of the term

Since the 1990s, partnership-based development cooperation has replaced development aid as a term in development policy. The change in the terminology from development aid to development cooperation illustrates the need for equal partnership between donor and recipient countries, in contrast to the dominant role of technical expertise and the financial capabilities of the donor countries, especially in the early years after the Second World War and decolonization . However, this change in terms does not necessarily mean a change in philosophy, so that development cooperation often pursues very similar goals to previous development aid. The conceptual change is most evident, however, in the formulation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, which now oblige all countries in the world to undertake development efforts in the sense of global goals. The framework conditions also include reflection on one's own trade policy, which may be distorted by subsidies, and its tariff incentives .

Refugee, famine, disaster and humanitarian aid , on the other hand, is short-term and strives to mitigate the worst effects of natural disasters, wars and other humanitarian crises as quickly as possible and to improve current living conditions. They are usually followed by development cooperation as so-called development aid, which, in contrast, intends long-term, sustainable goals and structural changes.

Development policy is an umbrella term for government programs that aim to improve the political, economic and social situation in underdeveloped countries.

State international development aid

The concept of development aid first emerged in 1961 when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was founded on September 30, 1961, with its headquarters in Paris . Their task was to coordinate what was then called development aid internationally and to better coordinate it with one another.

Until then, the only help was in the form of loans to the independence colonies hoped to develop economic dynamism similar to that of the post-WWII Marshall Plan in Europe.

The establishment of the OECD led to the formation of development ministries in numerous countries. The founding was preceded by a wave of independence from African states ( decolonization ).

State development cooperation

State development cooperation (DC) can be broken down into:

Multilateral development cooperation

In the context of multilateral development cooperation, some industrialized countries make payments to supranational associations and organizations that manage these funds and pay them out to developing countries under a wide variety of programs. Multilateral donors are e.g. B. the World Bank Group, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the United Nations and its specialized agencies, such as the United Nations Development Program , the United Nations Environment Program , the World Health Organization , the United Nations Population Fund and the World Food Program United Nations .

Bilateral development cooperation

In bilateral development cooperation, industrialized countries support their partner countries in the form of financial, technical and personal cooperation; this aid is regulated by bilateral agreements between the donor and recipient countries. The Development Assistance Committee of the OECD is the most important body of the bilateral donors. 22 industrialized nations and the European Union are represented in it, and every three years they submit a report on their “ Official Development Assistance” .

Contributions to bilateral development cooperation can also be initiatives for economic or cultural education networks. Examples from the German-speaking area are International Science Years of the BMBF for alternating partner countries or the ASEA-UNINET between Austria and East Asia.

United Nations development cooperation

In the early 1960s, the idea of ​​a “ green revolution ” prevailed in development cooperation . One only has to provide agriculture with modern production methods in order to ensure that the world's population is fed. Agricultural production increased. However, the dependencies in agriculture grew and knowledge of traditional cultivation methods was often lost.

The group of 77 was founded in 1964 as an interest group to which 131 developing countries now belong.

In 1965 the United Nations Development Program came into being . It has been coordinating the programs and activities of the United Nations since 1970. In its “Human Development Report”, which is published annually, the Development Program (UNDP) presents a comprehensive analysis of social developments in the world.

In 1970 the United Nations formulated the goal that the industrialized countries should spend 0.7% of their gross national income or gross national product on official development aid. To date, it has only been achieved by a few countries (e.g. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg).

In a long-term process, the United Nations began in the 1980s, on the initiative of the then committee chairman of the Commission for Environment and Development, Gro Harlem Brundtland , to formulate a global Agenda 21 for worldwide, sustainable change, which would lead to a complete re-evaluation of environmental and environmental factors Development problems led and their implementation continues to the present.

Carrier (selection)

European development cooperation

→ For development cooperation in individual countries, see Development cooperation in Germany , French development cooperation , Austrian development cooperation , Swiss development cooperation

European development cooperation began in 1963 with the Yaoundé Agreement , which provided for the establishment of a free trade area and the dismantling of trade barriers between the then European Economic Community and its former colonies . After Great Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, the group of developing countries and the type of development cooperation expanded. From 1975 the projects were regularly continued as the Lomé Convention at intervals of five or ten years. From 2000 onwards, the Lomé Conventions were replaced by the Cotonou Convention , which has a longer term - a total of twenty years with a review of the contractual conditions every five years - and whose development cooperation is more closely linked to the fulfillment of the criteria of good governance .

The European Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) was created in 1992 to provide faster and more flexible humanitarian aid in disasters and emergencies. ECHO works with more than 200 partners who have signed a framework partnership agreement with the EU Commission.

Since 2001 the EuropeAid Cooperation Office has been the central point for the practical implementation of European development policy. EuropeAid manages the programs and projects in all developing countries. EuropeAid is therefore chaired by the EU Commissioner for External Relations and the Executive Committee by the Commissioner for Development.

Carrier (selection)

Development cooperation by non-governmental organizations

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are important actors in the field of development cooperation. These work in very different subject areas. Many NGOs are largely financed by donations, but they also receive government grants. Some are mainly politically active to bring about a change in laws in both industrialized countries and the countries in which they work.

NGOs, which are also active in developing countries either through their own structures or local cooperation partners, attach importance in their current development cooperation to empowering people in developing countries to " help themselves to help ". However, this means that the people who are to be helped must be involved in all planned measures at the start of a project. The people in the project areas play a leading role, starting with the needs analysis through the project design. Most NGOs today see themselves as partners for people in developing countries.

Participatory methodological approaches in development cooperation

Systematisation processes in development cooperation

Systematisation represents a participatory process of knowledge production. Knowledge from one's own practice is extracted through reflection and critical analysis . The central aspect here is that the analysis of the practice (experience) and the construction of knowledge are carried out by those people who also implemented the project activities or took part in the activities. This means that in the systematisation “subject” and “object” of knowledge production are identical. This unit is characterized by the fact that knowledge production in a systematization process always aims at practical knowledge in order to better understand processes and to be able to achieve an increase in effectiveness. A systematisation of project experiences can, however, to a certain extent also produce theoretical knowledge or enrich theories or point out possible weak points in theoretical approaches. However, this requires a rigorous comparison of the results of a systematization with existing theories and approaches.

Origin of the approach

Systematisation is a concept that was developed in South and Central America in the 1970s. The starting point of the systematisation lies above all in the Educación Popular ( Paolo Freire ). In the decades that followed, the concept and approach were continuously improved and refined and adapted to current conditions. Important representatives of this further development were or are: Oscar Jara , Marfil Francke , María de la Luz Morgan and Alfredo Ghiso , as well as all those organizations that have systematized.

Transition processes in development cooperation

In the context of development cooperation, transition is understood to be the transition phase in which projects are successfully supported to become self-employed after a long period of external funding. Especially in terms of economic sustainability , this “release into independence” must be carefully and strategically prepared and carried out. The transition from one project / program approach to another is also understood as a transition process.


In general, it should be noted that a transition process cannot begin at the end of a project or program, but rather must be an integral part of the entire project or program implementation phase.

Legal work in development cooperation

Advocacy is a political process by an individual or group that is designed to influence decisions under public law and the distribution of resources within political, economic and social systems and / or institutions. Legal activities by an individual or a group may include media campaigns, public speaking, and the procurement and publication of research or survey results, among others. Lobbying is a specific form of advocacy and at the same time a certain way of representing interests in politics and society. By lobbying, interest groups (lobbies) try to influence the executive and legislative branches mainly by cultivating personal connections .

Areas of tension

Since the beginning, development cooperation has been exposed to the tension between very different interests.

raw materials

Most of today's developing countries, with the exception of Latin America, were still under colonial rule after World War II . After gaining their often bloody independence, these countries were exploited, impoverished and indebted to the developed countries. Developing countries often had abundant natural resources, but not the means to refine them. The industrialized nations, on the other hand, had these funds, but no longer had the raw materials they needed.

East-West contrast

In the area of ​​tension of the so-called East-West conflict , the competing blocs sought allies among the developing countries. For fear that one country after the other would convert to the enemy bloc , strategically important developing countries were often promoted according to the motto "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", even if it was bloody and corrupt dictatorships that the development opportunities of the respective country disabled.

Examples of this are the cooperation of the Soviet Union with dictatorial regimes such as in Cuba , North Korea or, at times, Angola . In addition to the USSR, the GDR was also active here and had had its own office for economic and scientific- technical cooperation with some states since around 1960 .

Other developing countries shuttled back and forth between the two blocks in order to opportunistically use the best opportunities in each case ( “swing dividend” ).

Making amends for suffered colonial policies

The group of 77 was founded in 1964, now with 131 developing countries as members, which in the Charter of Algiers demand the economic rights of the Third World, reparation for centuries of colonial policy and the transformation of the World Bank into a development bank. A key requirement is to allow at least one percent of the gross national product generated in the industrialized countries to benefit the developing countries every year.

International terrorism

The American government took the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the USA as an opportunity to wage wars against the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2003 against Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in Iraq for security reasons . In addition to political and military pressure, this security policy also relied on development policy support measures in order to induce developing countries to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

Securing sales markets

Some of the developing countries, especially in Asia, harbor enormous potential for economic growth and are considered by the industrialized nations to be strategically important as future sales markets for their own products.

Israel-Palestine Conflict

On March 27, 2017, the State Department of Israel announced the reduction of payments to UN institutions for obsessive discrimination by $ 2 million. Instead, these funds are invested in expanding Israeli projects in developing countries that support Israel in international institutions .

Serious cuts in development cooperation

1973/74 oil crisis

As a result of the Yom Kippur War , the Arab oil-exporting states imposed an oil boycott on friendly-minded countries from October 1973 to March 1974. This led to an energy shortage in the industrialized nations and triggered the first oil crisis. Between 1973 and 1974, the price of crude oil quadrupled from almost three US dollars to nearly twelve US dollars per barrel.

Development in the developing countries was slowed down. The worsening trading conditions for many of their raw materials in the 1970s and 1980s led to falling foreign exchange income, which they in turn had to spend more on the more expensive crude oil. This increased their dependence on the large loans of the commercial banks.

In 1979 and 1980, the Arab oil-exporting countries voted for a second round of price increases that raised the target price for oil to over US $ 30 per barrel. In the industrialized countries there was a second oil crisis and an even stronger global economic recession than after the first oil crisis. Banks and governments raised interest rates, which exacerbated debt repayment problems, especially for developing countries, and led to even lower export earnings for developing countries.

In the 1980s it became increasingly difficult for developing countries to cover previous commercial bank loans and had to turn to the World Bank for help. As a result, the latter only granted loans if the recipient countries agreed to so-called structural adjustment programs, which forced economic reforms to reduce imports and promote the market economy.

Political upheaval in 1989

The East-West conflict that developed after 1945 ended from 1989 to 1991 with the political and economic collapse of most of the communist regimes. The Eastern Bloc and its leading power, the Soviet Union, fell apart. These events changed the international system and views on development policy in several ways.

Support for inhuman dictatorship regimes, which were excused with “bloc considerations”, now turned out to be superfluous, as did the “proxy wars” between and within developing countries that resulted from the East-West conflict. The chances of demanding minimum conditions from developing countries such as compliance with human rights, the fight against corruption and commitment to development and of linking compliance with these standards to the continued provision of development aid have improved. On the other hand, the "block discipline" had also contributed to the suppression and containment of internal and international conflicts, which now intensified and were sometimes carried out violently.

Strategically interesting developing countries could no longer play off East and West against each other to their own advantage. In addition, development aid from the Eastern Bloc countries was abruptly dropped , although it was of a modest magnitude and concentrated on “socialist” developing countries belonging to the bloc, such as Cuba and North Korea. In view of the growing problems in the north as well, there was no reallocation of defense spending to development cooperation. In addition, some of the former Eastern Bloc countries were now competing with the developing countries for resources from the West.

With communism, the centralized, planned economy development model of the Eastern bloc states, which had worked with strong state coercion, had also failed. This not only led to fundamental changes in the development policy strategy of many developing countries and their sponsors, but also in the scientific discussion of development theory. Alliance politics, friend-foe thinking and geostrategic interests continue to influence development cooperation.

Individual aspects of development cooperation

Women and development

The experiences of women , their creativity and creativity are essential for the development of their countries and for living democracies. The World Bank has shown that countries with small differences between men and women in education , employment and property rights are less likely to experience malnutrition and child mortality . The economy of these countries is growing faster, with less damage to the environment, and they are governed increasingly responsible. Improved educational and life opportunities for women also contribute to conscious family planning and moderate population growth .

A study by the World Bank found: “ Investing in education for girls is the most powerful single investment a developing country can make. The education of girls affects all dimensions of development: lower child and maternal mortality, a lower fertility rate, a higher level of education for daughters and sons, higher productivity and better handling of the environment. "

If women are discriminated against or oppressed , they form a “blocked development potential” in the relevant societies . The company is therefore unable to use an existing and significant development resource. Apart from that, discrimination against women is a human rights problem .

Municipal development cooperation

In recent years there has been increasing recognition that development must be based on good governance , participation and decentralization in order to be sustainable. This brings local authorities, local self-government and local development policy into the focus of development cooperation. For the United Nations, the World Bank and other international organizations, municipal projects or activities aimed at strengthening self-governing structures are an important element of their work today. At the same time, the importance of municipalities as actors in international development cooperation has increased significantly internationally. This was underlined at the Millennium Summit , the UN General Assembly in 2000. The World Union of Municipalities ( United Cities and Local Governments - UCLG) joined the UN Millennium Campage in 2005 and accepted the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals as a task for cities and municipalities. Most recently, with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the international community affirmed that global challenges can only be solved together. Because of their proximity to citizens, businesses and local initiatives, municipalities play a crucial role in achieving these goals.

Culture and development

The culture a shadowy existence in the international development cooperation. This applies to culture in the broader sense, as a way of life, tradition and customs (so-called sociocultural key factors), but in particular to culture in the narrower sense, as art and creativity in the fields of visual arts, performing arts, literature, music and media and their influence on the development of an individual, a society or a state.

As far as German foreign policy is concerned, the two responsible ministries for development policy and foreign cultural policy , the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA) only feel responsible in a few areas. This applies to the Department of Culture and Communication of the Foreign Office and Division 204 Gender Equality; Human rights; Culture and Development in the BMZ. Various state ministries are also active here.

At the international level, the topic has become increasingly important in recent years. Central and at the same time the most recent moment is the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of 2005: “To reaffirm the importance of the connection between culture and development for all countries, especially for developing countries, and to support the measures taken at national and international levels to ensure recognition of the real value of this context […] To strengthen international cooperation and solidarity in a spirit of partnership, in particular to increase the capacity of developing countries to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions. " Countries such as Sweden (SIDA), Denmark (Danida) and the Netherlands are already devoting themselves intensively to the topic. Austria (ADC) and Switzerland (SDC) have significantly reduced their commitment in recent years.

GTZ emblem in East Timor

In recent years, German actors have also increasingly been involved in the subject area. A starting point was the conferences on “Progress” in 2004 and “Culture, Development and Progress” in 2006 by the Goethe Institute and the German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH . The Goethe-Institut expanded its work in this area and founded the global initiative Culture and Development in cooperation with local actors . The activities focus on the following four areas:

  • Professional qualification
  • Educational advice / educational cooperation
  • Design of cultural spaces
  • Cooperation with civil society.

The German Development Service (DED) also dedicates itself to the field in its own way.

The NGO scene in this area is still thin. German examples are the non-profit association Pan y Arte , which has been based in Münster and has been operating in Nicaragua since 1992, and the Bagamoyo Circle of Friends, which is active in Tanzania . An international example is the Music Crossroads International project initiated by Jeunesses Musicales International in southern Africa .

In October 2006 the Manifesto for close cooperation between foreign cultural policy and development policy , culture and art for sustainable development” , formulated by various German NGOs and experts, was published. It contains a catalog of guiding principles for an expanded cultural foreign policy in Germany.

In December 2009, the German UNESCO Commission presented the white paper “Shaping Cultural Diversity” . “Cultural diversity is an indispensable resource for the freedom and development of pluralistic societies. Strengthening them is an investment in the future, ”said Walter Hirche, President of the German UNESCO Commission. As part of the national coalition for cultural diversity, German cultural workers, artists and politicians collected suggestions for protecting cultural diversity. Recommendations were made to the actors involved in the civil society white paper. Part of this is the “Fair Culture” chapter, which is devoted to North-South and South-South relationships in international exchange.

Nature conservation through development cooperation

This field has gained in importance due to the effects of climate change, which accelerates the loss of biodiversity . The loss of animal and plant species and entire habitats has been recognized as a global threat to human life since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

More recent approaches to nature conservation assume that protection goals for habitats or special plants and animal species can only be achieved if the population is significantly involved in the activities. Since a large part of the world's biodiversity is in developing and emerging countries, these regions play a particularly important role in global conservation efforts. At the international level, developing and emerging countries are calling for access to their biological resources ( seed banks, etc.) and the added value obtained from them ( access and benefit sharing ). In some cases, conflicts arise from the protective interests of western states and the direct economic interests of the local population. Most of the time, the actors try to develop alternative sources of income for the population ( ecotourism, etc.).

In Germany, WWF , NABU , Euronatur and BUND work in the field of development and nature conservation through its partner Friends of the Earth . The most important state actor is the Society for Technical Cooperation , GTZ.

Criticism of development cooperation

Criticism of development cooperation comes from different directions. Sometimes the “utopianism” of the classic development approaches is criticized, which has no eye for the local realities and would disregard fundamental economic insights. In particular, there is a lack of methodological empirical evaluation for sustainable development aid concepts. The permanent scientific review of the results of the aid measures - in the form of improved education or increased prosperity - is indispensable for effective development aid.

Especially ethnologists , members of indigenous peoples and activists from developing countries (such as Vandana Shiva from India) point out that the assumptions and goals of development cooperation arise from a Eurocentric and purely market-based perspective. The common disregard for subsistence-oriented traditional economic systems , which are openly or subtly viewed as "underdeveloped", fails to recognize their enormous importance for securing largely independent, socially and ecologically sustainable modes of existence. Instead of recognizing that self-produced goods and traditional knowledge have been able to satisfy people's needs for thousands of years and B. has made more leisure time possible than under modern conditions (→ see historical development of the standard of living ) , the Western ideas of (among other things) poverty , wealth and progress are ideologically elevated to the only truth. In this respect, such critics complain that profit , consumption and growth - which primarily benefit the global economy and not the people affected - would determine development cooperation significantly. In extreme cases, they see it as a development from a modest but independent and self-determined way of life to a consumption-oriented, but dependent and externally determined way of life.

Many left critics complain that Western development aid is oriented towards capitalist production methods and that the sovereignty of the recipient countries is undermined by political guidelines from donor countries and international organizations. The Ghanaian economist George Ayittey also points out that many developing countries are characterized by corrupt elites who do not act in the interests of their people.

Both critics of globalization and economists such as Ayittey and Jeffrey Sachs criticize too much focus on industrial and urban development and the neglect of agricultural development, which is a very important economic sector for many developing countries.

The occasional criticism that developing countries do not receive any net development aid because the repayment of debts is greater than the aid provided is wrong, however. This is shown by figures published by the OECD, figures published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and several studies by independent scientists. In all years since 1960, the net flows of development aid funds (aid funds minus debt repayment) have been positive. In 2004, for example, a net amount of USD 26.5 billion flowed to sub-Saharan Africa. One exception is South Africa, which is now a donor country itself and is cited by many as a model for successful development. Since it no longer receives development aid itself, but is still paying off old debts, it has had negative cash flows in recent years.

The Roman Catholic Church criticizes the fact that development cooperation based on purely technical-material principles not only omitted God , but also pushed people away from God and thus made the Third World the Third World in today's sense. Representatives of Catholic orders, who committed EUR 118 million in development cooperation in 2007, are also calling for a stronger presence in the German development aid bodies. However, this often contradicts the understanding of the separation of church and state. Conversely, it can also be criticized that this very church instead pursues a missionary goal and therefore takes care of its own interests in a similar way.

It is also stated that the money is mainly used for the economy. In 2010 the Federal Ministry for Development Cooperation itself advertised that every euro spent on development cooperation has three times as much effect on the German economy in the form of subsequent exports. The CDU and FDP, on the other hand, have been criticizing for years that development aid in Germany is “in a bad position” and that too little economic aid is in focus. Development aid for China is particularly criticized (in 2006, 56.5 million euros in development aid were paid to China, in 2008 it was 187 million euros in development aid for China), since China has long ceased to be a developing country and has now become a main competitor in the globalized world World economy has risen. The German Development Ministry wanted to stop financial development aid for China in 2008.

Example Africa

Many critics consider Africa as a whole as a prime example of a misguided development policy when, as a possible yardstick, the standard of living and income situation of the people in rural areas at the time of independence are compared with the situation 40 years later. Critics who estimate the amount of aid paid in a certain area over a period of time and compare the expectations expressed earlier with the current economic situation of the population note a discrepancy. The West has given Africa a total of 800 billion euros in development funds. This is a multiple of the Marshall Plan . The main problem is corrupt elites who enriched themselves with development funds. According to management consultant Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate, an estimated 600 billion euros did not flow into development projects, but into the private assets of individuals. The admission of unsuccessful development aid coined the term “aid pessimism” in liberal circles, which means resignation in terms of development policy. In Africa in particular, it is evident that development aid has failed to combat the greatest poverty and that it is often only a dependency on this aid that has been created. Dambisa Moyo despises western glamor aid and alms culture ; development aid has been mistaken and destructive for 60 years. In their view, has Bob Geldof , the beacon set for a whole army of moral activists Africa and made it the "object of a worldwide well-staged compassion" development aid to a kind of cultural commodities - with the bizarre consequence that musicians who not even in Africa live, the competence was awarded to be able to end Africa's misery.

A radical criticism from a liberal point of view, as expressed by the British economist Peter Bauer and the Kenyan economist James Shikwati , suggests that development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. Since it hampers economic intervention and the free exchange of goods between developing countries and the development of a private economy, it should be stopped. Peter Bauer compared the development of Somalia with its de facto independent part of Somaliland . While Somaliland has shown positive developments due to its international isolation through its own achievements, Somalia is a "failed state" despite multiple aid from abroad. James Shikwati criticizes development aid as a means of tying African countries to Western financiers and thus creating one-sided economic and political dependence. Since 2000 he has been advocating a radical departure from the concept of development aid. It only made Africa dependent and solidified power structures from which few benefit. According to James Shikwati, the Chinese ( with their development aid to Africa ) are more sincere: “They are approaching Africa with a certain message: we want this, you give us that, and in return you get that. That puts the old dimensions of development aid on the table Head. ”Numerous African intellectuals and practitioners share Shikwati's criticism of the West’s development policy to date and are convinced“ that development aid destroys any incentive to do well and to stimulate the national economy. Obtaining development aid is easier than rehabilitating a country ”.

A political criticism wants to see development cooperation linked to the question of democratic structures in the recipient countries and their use of the state budget in a meaningful way for the common good. Most African countries are said to have deficits on both points. George Ayittey, among others, criticizes the fact that a large part of the development aid that has flowed into African countries is abused by corrupt elites, and therefore comes to the conclusion: "African problems must be solved by Africans" ("African problems must be solved by Africans." become").

Independent of theoretical criticism from a market economy point of view, independent development workers on site and journalists criticize the unjust distribution of long-term aid and, in particular, the disaster aid set up as a bridging measure. In principle, disaster relief has nothing to do with development aid, but often faces similar problems, as Operation Lifeline Sudan showed. There is the inevitable practical problem that the distribution of aid is based on power-political structures and cannot be adequately controlled by development organizations. It comes up that goods that are to be imported as part of development aid are imposed by numerous recipient countries on import duties and demands are made that are unrelated to the projects. According to the critics of development practice, neither donor nor recipient countries or the “aid industry” can be interested in accounting for these costs on site.

Financial expenses

In 2016, development aid payments totaling 157.7 billion US dollars were made by the states of the Official Development Assistance. The largest part went to the states of Sub-Saharan Africa with 44.3 billion US dollars, followed by the states of the Middle East and North Africa with 25.7 billion US dollars and South Asia with 14.0 billion US dollars. The amount of development aid paid rose from 4.2 billion in 1960 to 157.7 billion in 2016. However, the development aid paid as a share of global gross national income fell from 0.31% to 0.21%.

Development of development aid received 1960–2016
year Development aid in millions of
US dollars
Share of world GNI Biggest recipient
1960 4,233.3 0.31% IndiaIndia India
1970 6,816.8 0.23% IndiaIndia India
1980 34,474.6 0.31% IndiaIndia India
1990 58,531.2 0.26% EgyptEgypt Egypt
2000 52,025.8 0.15% China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China
2005 108,098.0 0.22% IraqIraq Iraq
2010 130,685.4 0.20% AfghanistanAfghanistan Afghanistan
2011 141,692.9 0.19% AfghanistanAfghanistan Afghanistan
2012 133,538.5 0.18% AfghanistanAfghanistan Afghanistan
2013 151,100.8 0.20% EgyptEgypt Egypt
2014 161,661.3 0.20% AfghanistanAfghanistan Afghanistan
2015 152,727.7 0.20% SyriaSyria Syria
2016 157,676.2 0.21% SyriaSyria Syria

See also

Portal: Development Cooperation  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the topic of development cooperation


1 The Association of Development Services (AGdD) also includes the funding agency for returning specialists from development services (

2 To the working group “Learning and Helping overseas” e. V. (AKLHÜ) also include other organizations that offer possible volunteer work, such as International Building Orders (

3 “Eirene - International Christian Peace Service” has a special role among the development services in that it also sends Swiss, Dutch, Belgian, French and German development workers.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Tobias Straumann : When European funds ruin African fishermen , Tages-Anzeiger, January 10, 2018, citing scientific sources on development cooperation
  2. Global Fund . Global Fund. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  3. ^ Development Co-operation Directorate . Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  4. Brundtland's biography on the website of the United Nations . Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Franz Nuscheler: Development Policy, Verlag JHW Dietz Nachf. GmbH, ISBN 3-8012-0350-6 .
  6. Participation in development cooperation . Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  7. a b c d e f g h Federal Agency for Civic Education Uwe Andersen: Development policy under changed framework conditions, accessed on February 25, 2012
  8. ↑ Fields of work and instruments Education for women and girls . Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  9. Global Sustainable Municipality. In: Service Agency for Communities in One World. Retrieved November 19, 2019 .
  10. BMZ organization plan  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  11. Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, accessed on December 16, 2014
  12. ^ Goethe-Institut : Culture and Development website with detailed project descriptions
  13. ^ William Easterly: The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. Penguin Press, New York 2006, ISBN 1-59420-037-8 , pp.
  14. Manfred Dworschak: Helpers in the endurance test. The reputation of development aid has suffered badly - often the harm seems to be greater than the benefit. Economic researchers are therefore using social experiments in dozens of countries to find out what really helps the poor. In: Der Spiegel . No. 42 , 2011, p. 138-142 ( online - 17 October 2011 ).
  15. Big Mountain Action Group e. V. (Ed.): Voices of the earth. Raben, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-922696-37-6 .
  16. Vandana Shiva: How To End Poverty: Making Poverty History And The History Of Poverty. Translated by: Andrea Noll, ZNet Comment May 11, 2005
  17. Edward Goldsmith : The Way. An ecological manifesto. 1st edition, Bettendorf, Munich 1996, pp. 201ff
  18. ^ Dieter Haller (text), Bernd Rodekohr (illustrations): Dtv-Atlas Ethnologie . 2nd Edition. dtv, Munich 2010. p. 163.
  19. Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen: Subsistence economy, global economy, regional economy. In: Maren A. Jochimsen u. Ulrike Knobloch (Hrsg.): Lifeworld economy in times of economic globalization. Kleine Verlag, Bielefeld 2006. pp. 65–88.
  20. OECD Data Warehouse beta
  21. ^ UNDP Human Development Report 2006 ( Memento of October 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  22. David Roodman: Net Aid Transfers data set (1960-2005) 2007
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