Study: Federalism and Decentralization in Germany

Through a network of experts, the Governance Fund makes German experience and knowledge available to partner countries around the world, helping policy makers shape reform initiatives and thus supporting various reform processes. The aim is not the uncritical transfer of German policy experiences, but the joint identification of successful and useful elements and an analysis of their relevance for the respective partner country.


Federalism and Decentralization in Germany

Basic Features and Principles for German Development Cooperation

2018 | Harald Fuhr, Julia Fleischer, Sabine Kuhlmann | GIZ

This study responds to two demands. First, a demand by policy makers and technical staff in partner countries, many of whom seek to know more about and better understand some of the key features of Germany’s decentralized and federalized system, and the workings of its local governments. Second, a demand articulated by policy makers from various partner countries and German development policy experts regarding the usefulness, applicability and transferability of some of German federalism’s underlying principles and practices for policy advice and for on-going decentralization reforms in partner countries. To illustrate some of these features, the authors describe lessons from partner countries (Bolivia, Ukraine, Pakistan and Zambia).

Download [pdf, 30 Pages, 410kb]


The following studies will be published shortly

The Social-Ecological Market Economy in Germany

carried out by DIW Econ, Prof. Dr. Alexander Kritikos and Dr. Anselm Mattes and commented by Jost de Jager, Schleswig- Holstein’s Former Minister of Economic Affairs


Reform and Future of Financial Equalization in Germany

Benefits for Development Cooperation

carried out by Dr. Michael Thöne (Executive Board Member of the Institute for Public Economics at the University of Cologne) and Jens Bullerjahn (Former Minister of Finance of Saxony-Anhalt)


Forming Civil Servants

Elements of Success and Ideas for Transfer Based on Germany’s Dual Public Administration Education

carried out by the German Research Institute for Public Administration: Raphael Marbach, Carolin Steffens, Marius Herr, Prof. Dr. Dr. Jan Ziekow


The reform projects in the partner countries, supported by the BMZ: