Traditionally, development cooperation in Baden-Württemberg has been characterized by strong and efficient civil society organizations, networks and initiatives, which have had a say and a commitment to the state‘s development policy. In February 2013, the state government adopted new development policy guidelines for Baden- Württemberg, which were developed in a participation process that was unique in Germany at the time. More than 1,500 citizens from across the state, as well as 120 organizations and associations, actively helped shape the state‘s development policy through the initiative Welt:Bürger gefragt! and continue to support it today.
Even after the adoption of the development policy guidelines, the development policy dialog Welt:Bürger gefragt! will continue. At annual state conferences on development policy, the state‘s citizens review the implementation of the guidelines and develop new proposals for action. The Council for Development Cooperation (REZ), made up of experts from the state‘s major networks active in development policy, also advises the state government on development policy issues.
On the state side, development policy in Baden-Württemberg is a cross-cutting issue and, in particular, an opportunity for the classic core areas of state policy: for example, in education policy via the anchoring of global learning and study in school curricula or in the curricula, research priorities and internationalization strategies of universities; in economic policy in the areas of public procurement, (foreign) economic promotion; in the involvement of companies in development policy or fair trade; in environmental policy via issues of ecological sustainability.
In Baden-Württemberg, development policy is a joint task that is primarily supported by the efficient and professional commitment of civil society. The state supports this commitment, but does not want to replace it. It creates reliable framework conditions to advance development policy and to network and support its actors. The foundations established by the state of Baden-Württemberg, Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg and Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, promote, advise and support private and municipal initiatives. A department established specifically for development cooperation in the Ministry of State is available to citizens, civil society organizations, ministries, municipalities and their umbrella organizations, and the state parliament as a direct and competent point of contact on the government side. With the funding line bwirkt!, the state supports development policy engagement of the civil population at home and abroad as well as in Burundi every year. In 2020, the funding volume was increased to a total of three million euros, which was made available to various actors.
Since 2013, the state has also joined forces with the federal government to fund the One World Promoter Program in Baden- Württemberg. With eleven full positions at supporting civil society organizations, this program strengthens the valuable work of BadenWürttemberg‘ s organizations, networks and initiatives. This program was continued and funded in 2021.
Every year, the FAIR HANDELN trade fair offers all stakeholders a forum for exchange, networking and joint initiatives. With more than 150 exhibitors, the fair has become a beacon of the fair trade movement with an impact far beyond Baden-Württemberg. For the 10th anniversary of FAIR HANDELN in 2018, the trade fair was significantly larger and expanded to include the Future Fashion campaign. The new area emphasizes modern and fair-trade clothing and thus aims to appeal to a particularly young audience.
Another focus is on strengthening and promoting the self-organization of stakeholders. The establishment of development policy actor networks for migrant and young commitment as well as for the commitment of universities, schools and companies has been advanced in recent years through joint, state-wide annual focal points. Existing municipal and church networks have been strengthened in the process.
With the Africa in View study, the Council of Ministers established an initiative in December 2019 that provides an overview of Baden- Württemberg‘s relations with our southern neighboring continent and recommends concrete measures to expand cooperation with the African continent. Its cross-departmental and cross-actor implementation has been adapted to the Corona pandemic and has been launched in 2020 (for example, with the Colonial Responsibility Initiative, the second Africa Business Summit, the special funding BWirkt-Corona and Immediate Aid Burundi or the package of measures Africa in View of the Development Cooperation Foundation).