Academic policy advice from DIE

The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) was established to conduct research closely integrated with policy advice work and training activities.

Our advisory work is based on independent, empirical scientific research. Whether carrying out research or providing policy advice, we are increasingly working in global contexts, with our researchers collaborating in worldwide networks to develop policy recommendations.

DIE tackles issues of sustainable development and international cooperation, and offers its advisory expertise at German, European and international level. We do so by:

  • addressing global trends at an early stage in our research and using the findings to derive options for action for a range of actors;
  • pooling global discourses in the field of international policy/cooperation and sustainable development, and subsequently devising policy-related strategies;
  • getting involved in debates in order to state our position on relevant transnational and global issues and highlight potential solutions.

DIE believes that good policy advice should be politically independent and based on sound research. We seek to make a difference with our advisory work by providing input in political decision-making processes and contributing to agenda setting. Based on this understanding of our role, we advise decision-makers on how best to organise global policy and cooperation and offer suggestions for the long-term strategic development of their work.

Target groups

DIE’s advisory services are aimed at actors influencing and helping to shape sustainable development and global cooperation in the spheres of policy-making, business, society and research.

Target groups include public institutions in Germany, Europe and beyond. In particular, we advise the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and other German Government ministries, parliaments, European institutions, international organisations, German implementing agencies for development cooperation, and other policy-shaping institutions and networks.

Civil society groups and the private sector have a key role to play in global cooperation and in shaping sustainable development, and are also an important part of DIE’s advisory activities. Additionally, we provide advice to societal groups through our involvement in public debates. The public in its various forms (media, citizens, specialist groups, etc.) serves as a partner, intermediary and target group in our advisory work.

We also aim our policy advice at the research community itself. Our researchers provide input in a range of academic contexts at national and international level through their involvement in (specialist) debates, academic advisory councils and expert committees.

Formats of advisory work

Based on many years of experience, DIE provides advisory services in a number of different formats, both on its own and jointly with other actors.

Bilateral policy advice is often considered to represent the classic model of advice provision, with external advisors using research-based knowledge to offer a number of options to decision-makers directly. However, in many cases, advisory work goes beyond this “provider-recipient” model and is organised in a way that supports processes, with both parties collaborating closely and contributing knowledge from their respective contexts in order to devise practicable options for action and further develop their system of action (transformational policy advice).

DIE’s researchers are also members of numerous German and international advisory bodies consisting of academics from a range of disciplines and, in many cases, actors from society and the private sector, who work together to develop policy recommendations (collective policy advice).

Our national and international training courses represent a unique format in our advisory work. They are aimed at individuals in decision-making positions and young professionals in relevant institutions involved in international cooperation for sustainable development (educational policy advice) (see Training).

Our public presence and the tailoring of our communication to different (specialist) sectors of the public (public policy advice) are part and parcel of our work. We use public events, publications and other media to reach different actors from the spheres of policy-making, business and society and, where possible, foster dialogue between them. In this way, our public policy advice supports and reinforces other advice provision formats. DIE uses new media (website, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn) communicate its research findings and recommendations for action.


When it comes to policy advice too, our researchers collaborate on a cross-departmental, cross-border and trans-disciplinary basis and are involved in networks, working for example with other research institutions and think tanks in Germany, Europe and developing countries, as well as with European and multilateral organisations. In this context, the Institute conducts research and engages in discussion with actors from a range of contexts, policy areas and levels (national/international).

Joint forums promote mutual understanding and facilitate the collaborative development of solutions. For example, we are carrying out national and global advisory work with actors from the global South within the Managing Global Governance network. Through our membership of the European Think Tanks Group for Development, we are helping to strengthen a global perspective within European policy and advise European actors. We are also promoting the worldwide implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN); the Institute is home to the office of SDSN Germany.

Briefing Paper

Publications of our series Briefing Paper include recommendations and primarily aim at policy makers, practitioners, and representatives of the (professional) media industry. Here you'll find our latest issues.




Cover: Statement

Statement on  „Research and Innovation in Germany : Status and Prospects - including interim results of the High-Tech Strategy“
Messner, Dirk (2016)
Deutscher Bundestag: Ausschuss für Bildung, Forschung und Technikfolgenabschätzung (Ausschussdrucksache 18(18)245 a), Berlin

Current Publications

G20 and Africa after the summit: Need for continuity, global voice and vision

Hackenesch, Christine / Julia Leininger / Elizabeth Sidiropoulos
The Current Column of 17 July 2017

Did the G20 Hamburg Summit advance 2030 Agenda implementation?

Scholz, Imme / Clara Brandi
Mitarbeiter sonstige of 13 July 2017

Successful agricultural mechanisation in sub-Saharan Africa and the significance of agricultural financing

Müller, Corinna / Christiane Ströh de Martínez / Michael Brüntrup
Briefing Paper 11/2017

Retail FDI liberalisation and the transformation of agrifood value chains in India

Hampel-Milagrosa, Aimée / Hauke Brankamp / Thomas Cremer / Alexander Haddad / Katharina Pannwitz / Franziska Wehinger / Sangeeta Agasty / Tamal Sarkar
Studies 95