About us

The Development Policy Forum organizes dialogue and other events on future options for development policy with a particular focus on advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

For 40 years now, the German government has entrusted us to work on behalf of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). We are a unit in the Sector and Global Programmes Division (GloBe) of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). As a federal enterprise, the GIZ supports the German government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.


We shape multi-stakeholder dialogue events on issues facing sustainable development, bringing together national and international decision-makers and experts from the fields of politics, business, civil society and the scientific community. Our dialogue and other events promote specialized and personal exchange among stakeholders at a national and international level. This is our contribution to forging global partnerships for sustainable development.


We offer advising services, and plan and implement solutions.
Our dialogue events are unique. They are developed entirely in-house and employ highly effective methods with great political sensitivity. We leverage our many years of experience, excellent network, and international reputation, and create space for constructive dialogue. Online participation formats round out our work and keep the conversation going.


Development Policy Forum events are aimed at development practitioners and policy-makers. We employ a wide range of different event formats and methods to ensure dialogue is constructive and enriching for all involved, skilfully combining and adjusting them to best serve an event’s purpose.

An event that drives progress on a national or international issue forward is the result of many factors: the right participants, carefully selected formats, a fitting location and, last but not least, a well thought-out supporting programme.

Dialogue and other events

Development Policy Forum events are generally conceived as dialogues. As a rule, we organise a series of events pertaining to one key issue that are held over a longer period of time. These events employ different formats and methods, and address a range of target groups. Where needed, we also set up and moderate online forums and virtual consultations in both the run-up to and follow-up after an event.

Guided by objectives defined in cooperation with our clients, we select the formats, methods and target groups that will most effectively strengthen dynamic discourse beyond the scope of any one single event.

The History of the Development Policy Forum

The Development Policy Forum (EF) was founded in 1978 by the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as a platform for development policy dialogue. It was part of the German Foundation for International Development (DSE) located in the historical Borsig Villa in Berlin.

The German government prioritized promoting dialogue on development policy in response to increasing global challenges. The EF was created to serve as a platform for dialogue outside of government negotiations and official conferences, as a space to discuss development policy issues in an open and trusting environment.

From the outset, the events the EF designed and organised for the BMZ covered a broad range of topics and issues. The agenda included the deepening of North-South and South-South cooperation and the effects of population growth and violent conflicts in Germany’s partner countries, among others. In the early 1980s, the Forum also began addressing cultural and media policies in developing countries.

Many events have been scheduled in the run-up to or as follow-up to international conferences. The Forum has always invited representatives of the United Nations and other international organizations to attend.

In 2002, the EF became part of InWEnt (Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH), created through the merger of the DSE and the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG). The EF has been a unit at the GIZ since 2011.