Postgraduates of German Development Institute started 11-week field research in Africa

Press Release of 17 February 2010

Since 1965 the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) has trained young German professionals in the Institute’s Postgraduate Training Programme to pursue career opportunities with development organisations in Germany and abroad. Alumni of the Programme include Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, Hans-Joachim Preuß, Managing Director of GTZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, Bruno Wenn, Managing Director of DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH as well as Michael Hofmann, Executive Director for Germany at the World Bank.

The participants of the 45th Course have now started their 11-week field research trips to Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia. The four country working groups will focus on (1) Challenges of the aid architecture at country level - DAC and non-DAC donors in Rwanda, (2) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa, (3) Budget support and public finance reform in Zambia and (4) Agricultural Development in a Changing Climate in Zambia. The field research carried out by small interdisciplinary groups in a developing country is the cornerstone of the Postgraduate Training Programme.

The country working group in Rwanda is adopting an especially innovative approach in its fieldwork, since it is already implementing what has been demanded by the new German Development Minister, Dirk Niebel: to cooperate with China in Africa. This research team is conducting empirical field research in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in order to analyse the challenges and opportunities of having various donor countries present in a developing country, including new donors such as China.

Since the first course in 1965, around 900 young professionals have completed the Postgraduate Training Programme of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). Every year, DIE chooses 20 German and European university graduates from over 400 applicants to prepare them for their future tasks and responsibilities in the German and international development cooperation systems. During the training phase at DIE, the participants deal with the practical challenges of sustainable development in a globalised world. Working within small and interdisciplinary groups in developing countries gives them the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge and gain practical experience in the framework of research projects designed to provide policy advice.

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