The Governance Fund

Promoting Good Governance, using German expertise

4th network meeting 2019 - Development Cooperation made with Germany

New Focus: German and African partnerships

Around 160 experts from African partner countries and Germany - mainly political decision-makers and high-ranking technical administrative staff - took part in our fourth network conference on 5 June 2019 to exchange experiences and enter into partnerships. The meeting was a complete success and marked the start of structured cooperation between German and African governance experts within the framework of the Governance Fund.


New Studies of the Governance Fund

Freedom of Information and Transparency in Germany

Short Paper

Freedom of information can become a lasting success story only if it is guaranteed by the legal system, firmly embedded as a principle in people’s minds and routinely practised by institutions.

This paper examines the experiences made in Germany so far, also in comparison with the international and European situation, highlights good practices, e.g. the Hamburg Transparency Act, and gives recommendations on improving the current system with regard to public authorities obligations, data driven companies and artificial intelligence.



The Federal Republic of Germany can look back on many years of successful experience in the reform of its administrative and economic systems. Our partners in developing and emerging countries are very interested in using specific structural and regulatory approaches and experiences of Germany for their own reform considerations. For example, they analyse how the federal system in Germany, political participation and domestic accountability, our tax administration, public finances or sustainable economic policies work, and what elements and experiences might be relevant.

The Advisory Fund for Structural and Regulatory Policy Reforms (FSRP) aims to share this experience with the partner countries for the development of their reform initiatives, thereby helping them to develop their reform initiatives.



Support of the partners is demand-driven and takes place in the form of study trips, moderated exchanges of expertise and partnerships with German administrations. Forums and instruments for the systematic integration of German knowledge and experience providers in development cooperation offer the opportunity to bring them together with key players and political decision-makers of the partner countries and to provide their know-how in a demand-driven and needs-based manner.

High-ranking experts and German practitioners, who have themselves developed and implemented reforms in Germany, will support the design and implementation of reform processes as short-term experts on location. Together with the Advisory Fund for Structural and Regulatory Policy Reforms(FSRP) they reflect their experiences under the specific conditions of their partners in order to make German system achievements usable in the respective context.


  • Jost de Jager

    Former Minister of Economic Affairs of the Federal State (Land) of Schleswig Holstein.
  • Manuela Soeller-Winkler

    Former State Secretary
  • Jens Bullerjahn

    former Minister of Finance of the State (Land) of Saxony-Anhalt
  • Peter Mandler

    Hessian Ministry of Finance
  • Jörg Bülow

    Managing board member of the Schleswig-Holstein Local Authorities Association
  • Hans Frühauf

    Programme Director, Local Governance Reform Programme in Palestine, GIZ
  • "In principle, cooperation with development cooperation partners does not differ so much from consultancy for public institutions in Germany. In both cases, the aim is to understand the specific situation of the counterpart and to develop solutions on the basis of one's own experience. Only the conditions differ considerably."

  • "The experience of working with partners in a  - supposedly - so distant country on profound topics and to be able to create trust and a personal relationship is very enriching."

  • "After so many years in politics, it is exciting for me to share my experience in fiscal decentralization with German development cooperation partners. Developing an understanding of the problems in the partner countries broadens the horizon - much of what we take for granted here in Germany appears in a different light."

  • "Of course, we cannot and do not want to transfer Hessen's municipal financial equalisation to Bolivia, but we have certainly inspired our partners there. One finding was that regardless of the country, administration everywhere works similarly and seeks pragmatic solutions."

  • "It's just fun to talk to colleagues who do the same job as I do – but in a very different country, under much more difficult conditions. If more develops from the conversations and we find partnerships or other forms of exchange, I personally would be very happy about that."

  • "The talks with German urban planners were so inspiring for the partners from Palestine that they invited several of the experts they met in Germany to speak at a national conference on urban planning. We expect long-term partnerships to result from this."

The network

Our network is open and dynamic. Network partners are performance drivers from politics, administration, science, the private sector and civil society in Germany and the partner countries. It consists of active and former policy makers and administrative staff and high-level experts with practical experience. The establishment of new and the use of existing administrative partnerships at the level of the federal government, the German federal states and local governments is a central component of the FSRP.

Through a series of joint conferences and workshops, the identified knowledge holders from politics and administration, science and research, the private sector, media and civil society from Germany are brought together with their counterparts from partner countries and experts from German development cooperation. Through these exchange formats, the players learn from each other, and the German public is sensitised for "development cooperation Made in Germany".




Decentralised government and administration units can involve citizens more directly and comprehensively in planning and decision-making processes. Public services are provided adapted to the respective region.


Public finances

The public finances of a country are the backbone of the state. A well-functioning public finance system ensures that the necessary funds are available for the financing of public goods such as security, education and health, and that they are used effectively to implement sustainable development goals.


Political participation

Democracy is essential for a life of dignity and freedom. Free and fair elections, however, are not the only fundamental principle of democracy. Citizens must also have the right and the opportunity to express their interests and participate in political policy development and decision-making processes between elections.


Green economic policy

The use of natural resources already exceeds the regenerative capacity of the earth today. Sustainable development therefore requires the transformation towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive economy.


Pilot countries


Focus: fiscal decentralisation

  1. Mechanisms of municipal and state financial equalisation
  2. Dialogue and discussion mechanisms between the levels of government for negotiating financial relations
  3. Models or methods of calculating costs resulting from the allocation of competencies and expenditure between the levels of government.
  4. Increase tax revenues of local administrations



Focus: decentralisation

  1. Qualification offers for employees of local government and tax administration
  2. Advisory and research services for the local government level
  3. Dialogue between local associations in Pakistan and Germany



Focus: administrative colleges

  1. Curriculum development for training in mid-level service
  2. Training and continuing education for managers
  3. Teacher training in administrative colleges



Focus: urban planning processes, financial decentralisation, digitisation of administrative processes

  1. Effective, participatory regionalisation of urban planning processes
  2. Increasing self-generated local government revenue as well as transparent and efficient distribution of funds to local government units
  3. Digitisation and automation of administrative processes for improved participation and accountability



Focus: participatory land use planning

  1. Moderated technical discussions in Serbia on the development of a gradual reform and road map on land consolidation
  2. Partnerships with selected German institutions with land consolidation authorities, institutions and universities
  3. Use of the networks of experts in Germany with visits by practitioners of land consolidation and political decision makers in Germany
  4. Study trips to Germany


New phase, new focus: Africa

The aim: To initiate an exchange of experience and partnerships between German and African partners.

The start: A network meeting with about 100 high-ranking politicians and administrative officials from Africa and Germany.