Young researchers from the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) off for field research in Africa

After five months of theoretical preparations in Bonn, 18 participants from the Postgraduate Training Programme of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) will face the challenge of transferring their knowledge into practical projects and policy advice during the next three months. The research project in a developing country or rising power country is the core of the training program. This year, the host countries are Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa. Within small and interdisciplinary groups, participants design and conduct a study of eleven weeks and analyze the results once they are back in Bonn. The aim is making such research findings accessible for knowledge transfer and policy advice. The institute will publish the reports in its own publication series.

As every year, the three working groups conduct research in a broad range of different topics. The working group Kenya, led by Steffen Bauer, addresses challenges of effectively implementing the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. The field research aims at clarifying whether Kenyan institutions and actors are prepared for a coherent climate-friendly, sustainable change of policy – and whether the findings from the Kenyan case could be transferred into policy recommendations for other countries. Under the direction of Armin von Schiller, the working group Mozambique deals with the political economy of local tax collection. The focus lies on factors that determine the degree to which local governments exploit their tax potential. The goal of the working group South Africa, led by Sven Grimm, is to examine the role of science-based, academic policy advice in South Africa and the importance of international cooperation with and between think tanks. The group has already started its work in South Africa in January for joining the conference “Africa and the G20: Building alliances for sustainable development” in Johannesburg. During this conference, the young researches had the chance to gain initial experiences in the field of scientific policy advice and to build networks with local partners.

Those interested in the three-month fieldwork of the working groups can follow them on Twitter via




The interdisciplinary Postgraduate Training Programme was established in 1964 at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). It prepares German and European university graduates for a career in the international development cooperation. “The programme creates opportunities and opens doors towards junior positions that would otherwise require years of work experience”, stresses the head of the Postgraduate Training Programme, Regine Mehl. “Employers in the field of bilateral development cooperation are convinced about the high quality of the program: seven to eight employers primarily appoint the skilled participants of oure postgraduate program”. The application for the 53rd course, starting on 1 September, is still possible until 31 March 2017. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) finances the programme.

Find further information about the programme and the application process here.