The German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) is one of the leading Think Tanks for development policy world-wide. IDOS draws together the knowledge of development research available worldwide, dedicating its work to key issues facing the future of international cooperation. The Institute’s research is theory-based, empirically backed, and application-oriented. The policy advice and consulting services IDOS provides are bearing on the framework conditions of development policy, including issues concerned with world economic policy, foreign policy, and security policy.

The research staff is involved in numerous international renowned research projects and contributes to policy networks. Their research and publications focus on practice-oriented research and is organised in four research programmes and cross-cutting research.


The Researcher-Directors conducts research on fundamental issues of development policy, the transformation of international cooperation patterns, the development of sustainable development paths in the context of global change, Agenda 2030.

Inter- and transnational cooperation

This research programme is based on the premise that the best way for nation states to uphold their interests is to create formal international institutions. This gives rise to three closely interlinked dimensions

Sustainable Economic and Social Systems

Researchers in this programme are examining the impacts of global economic dynamics on developing countries and emerging economies and observing the interplay between globalisation on the one hand and national economic and social policy strategies and initiatives on the other.

Environmental Governance

This programme examines different strategies for the protection of the global climate, the environment and natural resources and scrutinizes the extent to which they meet the transformative requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.

Transformation of political (dis-)order

The research programme is investigating the normative and institutional preconditions that explain politics and policy-making oriented towards the common good.