Post Webinar Release | “Doing business with GIZ: procurement guidelines and recruitment practices”

By Ion Ilasco

Post Webinar Release | “Doing business with GIZ: procurement guidelines and recruitment practices”

The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), a public contracting authority, awarded contracts amounting to €1.839 billion in 2020 alone and reported a business volume of €3.3 billion with active operations in 120 countries. Given the increasing interest of the development community towards GIZ’s operations, DevelopmentAid invited Immanuel Gebhardt (Director of Procurement and Contracting Division) and Saskia Weisgerber (HR manager responsible for External Recruitment) to discuss GIZ’s procurement policy and recruitment strategy during a thematic webinar.

GIZ supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. As a federal non-profit enterprise, GIZ focuses on promoting international education work and human capacity development. The organization is active across multiple sectors maintaining a specific focus on energy, the environment, peace, and security.

In 2020, GIZ awarded contracts amounting to €1.839 billion which translates to a €0.830 billion increase compared to 2015. Out of the total contracts awarded worldwide, the largest share, or €1.453 billion, was managed by GIZ head office and €0.386 billion was awarded locally by GIZ country offices. It is important to mention that financing arrangements represent the most important subgroup in the field of awarded contracts totaling €0.913 billion or 50% of the total in 2020. These are followed by service contracts with €0.697 billion or 38%, supply of materials and equipment with €0.206 billion or 11%, and construction contracts amounting to €0.023 billion or 1% of the total.

Fig.1. Overview of the contracts awarded by GIZ in 2020 (billion €)


Fig.2. Total contracts awarded by GIZ by agreement type (%)

As a public contracting authority under public law, GIZ is legally bound to implement European and German procurement law in relation to its operations, Immanuel Gebhardt highlighted. However, he pointed out that there are some differences in the legal frameworks applied for procurement procedures conducted by GIZ Headquarters and its country offices.

GIZ’s contracts with values higher than €20,000 are generally offered via public tender while contracts higher than the €214,000 threshold will follow the European public tendering rules. The evaluation of proposals follow a specific sequence and the contracts are awarded to the most economically advantageous offer taking into account the following general ratio (this may differ on a project-to-project basis):

Referring to GIZ recruitment practices, Saskia Weisgerber mentioned that over 15,000 of GIZ’s employees currently work in different countries around the world. As an employer, GIZ offers an attractive variety of jobs, sufficient decision-making, and creative freedom. The organization is constantly searching for international experts for development cooperation and professionals who specialize in various subjects (e.g., climate and environmental policy, energy, economy and employment, crisis prevention) that will contribute to GIZ’s vision of creating a future worth living around the world.

For those who did not have the opportunity to join us for this online event, a link to the recorded version can be found here. The presentation materials used during this webinar can also be requested from

We invite you to join us for our next webinar, “Doing business with the Asian Development Bank: procurement guidelines and best practices”, on 14 October 2021. Our speaker, Stephane Y. Bessadi (Senior Procurement Specialist at ADB,) will present ADB’s profile, operations portfolio, and procurement policy.

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