GIZ Development Service

The Development Service of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH brings Germany’s contribution to international development cooperation straight to the people on site. We are always on the lookout for experienced and socially responsible individuals to help us roll out our activities around the world.

Development workers are deployed worldwide in our projects under the German Development Workers Act (Entwicklungshelfergesetz; EfhG). Another option in this context is to head abroad as a peace expert with GIZ as part of the Civil Peace Service (CPS).


Development workers advise partner organisations in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East on achieving their development objectives on their own initiative using a participatory approach. Currently about 850 experts are assigned as development workers on behalf of GIZ. They bring their professional expertise to government agencies and other organisations in partner countries, provide training and advisory services and work with our partners on designing projects. 


Development workers have completed their university or  vocational training and have a proven track record of at least two years in their particular field, during which time they have been able to apply and consolidate their expertise. They are eager to work together with their partners to achieve development goals by applying their expertise and experience in a different cultural context, their objective being to improve local people’s living conditions.


Through the Civil Peace Service programme, peace experts provide strategic and systematic advice and capacity development services for local stakeholders, enabling them to resolve conflicts peacefully, bring about societal changes and foster sustainable development based on human rights. After completing their assignments, development workers bring their experience back to European society, where they contribute to sustainable development and help cultivate a tolerant society.


As the only federal agency engaged in the German Government’s Development Service, GIZ maintains a neutral world view. Over a period spanning more than fifty years, GIZ's Development Service has gained a wealth of experience in planning, preparing and supporting development worker assignments. The pivotal aim has always been to get close to local people, to provide professional support based on experience and intercultural sensitivity, and to enable them to develop their own skills and abilities.

Development Service Website (in German)

Development service for socially committed individuals

With the aim of harnessing professional experience and technical expertise to help others, GIZ seconds development workers within the scope of German international cooperation projects and programmes. Development workers are often assigned to rural areas, where they can put their professional expertise to good use developing the capacities of local people and organisations. Development workers are prepared to engage with the local culture and language, and to work under customary conditions in the region. Assignments are for a fixed period, generally two years, with the option of extending for a total period of up to four years. Development workers shape change and pursue a holistic approach. Their high level of competence in implementing measures is paired with an understanding of advisory services delivered on the basis of partnership, and the willingness to keep learning themselves. They demonstrate great intercultural sensitivity and empathy in their work. From practice (in German only)

Peace experts in the Civil Peace Service

The idea behind the Civil Peace Service (ZFD) programme is to resolve conflicts peacefully and to strengthen civilian forces within society so that they are able to apply this approach. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Civil Peace Service sends peace experts to crisis- and conflict-affected regions, where they work with local partner organisations to support peace processes.

GIZ is currently involved in the Civil Peace Service in 18 countries, with about 100 international experts and another 100 local experts. The peace experts support local non-governmental organisations and initiatives, state agencies and municipal authorities as well as national programmes and institutions under the provisions of the German Entwicklungshelfer-Gesetz (development workers act). They aim to change behaviour patterns, attitudes and structures to enable partners to deal with conflict in a non-violent way. GIZ’s Civil Peace Service brings together different stakeholders in dialogue, enabling them to network and building a bridge between the state and civil society.

Civil Peace Service

Return and engagement for development

On their return to their own country, we help development workers reintegrate into society and working life. GIZ also encourages returning development workers to network among one another and with GIZ.
Development workers’ engagement does not end on their return: there are a great many ways of passing on the experience gained in the partner country so that it can be harnessed for sustainable development.

Network of former development workers (in German only) Further information (in German only)

Care, safety and security

As a state development service we are particularly concerned to ensure your safety and security during your assignment in the partner country, and to provide a high level of care. We will pay the social security contributions for you and your family, ensure that you are able to afford an appropriate standard of living, and pay a reintegration allowance on your return.

Before starting your assignment, you will complete a thorough preparatory phase conducted by highly qualified specialists at GIZ’s Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ). Our medical service will provide a full medical check-up before you leave and on your return and will also give you health care information and tips.

Development workers and their families are protected by a professional risk management system which minimises individual hazards and risks in crisis-affected countries. Experts monitor and analyse the situation, are in close contact with local embassies, issue security reports and warnings, and provide advice on safety and security precautions.

Benefits and requirements (in German only)