First face-to-face network meeting since 2019
More than 50 high-ranking German experts came together at the Governance Fund’s sixth network meeting on September 7 to discuss governance issues with GIZ colleagues and Development experts. Due to a train strike, the face-to-face event at the Lower Saxony State Representation in Berlin was changed at short notice into a hybrid event, so that more than 20 guests joined the more than 30 guests on site virtually.
First face-to-face event since the start of the Corona pandemic
The Governance Fund, like other projects, had to stop all personal meetings during the Corona pandemic. Therefore, the team developed various well received virtual exchange formats. However, the 6th Governance Fund network event showed how much partners had missed direct, face-to-face exchanges. Around 50 members of the expert network followed the invitation.
After the welcoming remarks by Johannes Sturm, the Representative of the State of Lower Saxony in Berlin, Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Head of the Sub-Department "Agenda 2030, Democracy, Human Rights, Gender Equality and Education" at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), who was virtually connected, stressed the importance of good governance for sustainable development in his statement.
Transparent administrative action and more legal certainty
The network event showed how broad the range of deployment of network partners of the Governance Fund is. For example, Dr. Birgit Grundmann, former State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice, reported on her mission to Ethiopia shortly before the first lockdown. Together with Friedrich-Joachim Mehmel, President of the Hamburg Higher Administrative Court, ret., and a team of Ethiopian experts, Dr. Grundmann had prepared the Exposé des Motifs for the new Ethiopian Federal Administrative Law. It prescribes clear legal regulations for all forms of administrative action. The Ethiopian Ministry of Justice adopted this legal justification and officially presented it in Addis Ababa on July 22, 2021.
Jens Bullerjahn, former Minister of Finance of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, reported how he has advised partners from Benin and Burkina Faso on virtual platforms and is in exchange with Mozambican partners. As discussions and conversations during the event showed, these are only two of many examples in which the cooperation between German network partners and their counterparts in the partner countries worked well.
Special guest: Alero A. Ayida-Otobo from Nigeria
As a special guest, Alero A. Ayida-Otobo joined by livestream from the School of Policy, Politics and Governance (SPPG) in Nigeria. She is the CEO of SPPG, and in an interview with moderator Kah Walla, she explained why governance is key to sustainable development and what SPPG's recipe for success is: SPPG focuses on empowering young people with potential. In order to reform governance and politics, young people in particular need to be convinced that the public sector can be a key to improving the quality of life for all. Young people need to be empowered in their ability to take responsibility. This is the only way to achieve structural change.
Good governance - focal points of the future?
Dr. Kathrin Lorenz, GIZ Head of Governance and Conflict, and Dr. Christian von Haldenwang from the German Development Institute (DIE) addressed the question of what the future topics in the field of Governance will be in their presentations. One thing is clear: Governance of the future is always also "Governance in crisis”. The global Governance issues will also be the areas in which GIZ will become more involved: Governance in Fragile Contexts, Urbanization, Climate Change, and Digitalization. Long before the withdrawal of international troops and organizations from Afghanistan, GIZ asked itself under what conditions governance projects can be successful. A 2019 evaluation commissioned by GIZ shows that projects are particularly successful when the cooperation between national and sub-national actors and between public and private sector actors is improved. Forms of cooperation between the state, private sector, and civil society must therefore be further pursued in the future.
Governance Fund - mix of virtual and presence also in the future
What's next for the Governance Fund? Karen Losse, head of the Governance Fund, addressed this question on closing the event. The successful virtual formats that emerged from the pandemic will be maintained. In particular, the virtual master classes will continue. In these 2-3 hour events, German network partners give input on a relevant topic. Afterwards, there is enough time for discussions between the speakers and the experts from the partner countries. Depending on the development of the pandemic, the Governance-Fund will invite to a large network meeting with representatives from the partner countries and German network partners in 2022.