International Capacity Development for the Civil Service - The Sustainable Digitalisation Agenda

MGG Conference

Cape Town, South Africa, 04.05.2024 bis 09.05.2024


German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and The National School of Government (NSG) of South Africa

MGG has been engaging in public sector capacity development for the implementation of the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development since early 2018. The engagement is based on the understanding that the successful advancement of the Agenda 2030 is dependent on the support and involvement of civil servants on all political levels. Civil servants are responsible for translating the Agenda and the SDGs to the domestic context (localising it), they facilitate and broker multi-stakeholder partnerships for innovative solutions and joint implementation, they design, provide and monitor public services, allocate resources and manage budgets.

Today, the implementation of 2030 Agenda is severely lagging behind. At the same time, digitalisation and the complex nature of sustainability challenges demand a whole new set of competences to equip public servants as agents for sustainability transformations. Here, Schools of Public Administration and further training institutions for the public sector play a key role. They prepare young civil servants for their careers, but also offer training courses for more senior staff. Through this, they can infuse the public sector with the attitudes, skills and knowledge that will be crucial for sustainable development.

Against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent advances in Artificial Intelligence, a special focus must be put on the opportunities and risks of digitalisation. Digitalisation is one of the “seismic shifts” of the 21st century, and it has the potential to benefit sustainable development across the ecological, economic, and social dimension in parallel. At the same time, digitalisation comes with severe risks and challenges for societies, public sector, and training alike. It is therefore time to bring together digital solutions and sustainable development objectives in public sector operations, reform – and consequently training to make use of digitalisation for enhancing sustainable solutions, and to enable the containment of potentially harmful impacts.

The conference has the following objectives:

  • Awareness-raising and knowledge creation regarding the interconnection of sustainable development, digitalisation, and capacity development of the public sector (together with decision-makers in the public sector and related training institutions)
  • Competence development through international knowledge-sharing & hands-on workshops on experiences in South African and international training institutions regarding the interconnections of sustainable development, digitalisation, and capacity development (with digitalisation and training experts)
  • Peer-exchange and network-building among core institutions to advance a collaboration agenda for 2025 and 2026


The conference brings together more than 70 stakeholders and representatives of national schools of public administration (SPA) and other training institutions to deliberate on challenges in training civil servants in the context of the 2030 agenda and digitalisation. The first two days of the conference are open for participation from a wider set of stakeholders. Selected sessions will also be hybrid so that online participation in the event is possible. The third day of the conference is reserved to work in smaller groups to advance a joint collaboration agenda for capacity-development and sustainable development in the next years.


Hinweis / Please note

Während unserer Veranstaltungen werden z.T. Foto- und/oder Filmaufnahmen gemacht, die für Zwecke der Veranstaltungsberichterstattung und allgemeinen Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in verschiedenen Medien veröffentlicht werden. Sie haben jederzeit das Recht, die Foto- oder Videograf*innen darauf hinzuweisen, dass Sie nicht aufgenommen werden möchten.

During our events photos and/or videos may be taken which may be published in various media for the purposes of documentation and PR activities. You have the right at any time to point out to the photographer or videographer that you do not want to be photographed or filmed.


04.05.2024 bis 09.05.2024


Cape Town, South Africa