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BMZ digilab – Our approach

At a glance

Digital technologies help to achieve global development goals more efficiently and effectively. The digilab of German development cooperation offers a space and framework for developing new ideas and solutions, together with a strong network of policymakers, tech companies, start-ups, civil society and academia. With modern tools and methods, we want to help shape sustainable development cooperation.

With an agile way of working, we will test solutions – even if they are not yet fully developed and are still in the prototype stage. This way, potential for improvement can be identified very quickly and the learning effect is great.

The digilab specifically addresses a gap in the innovation process of German development cooperation. So far, only a few innovative project ideas have made it to the stage of concrete BMZ measures. Project concepts or prototypes often remained stuck at the idea stage. In digilab, the interest of the relevant technical and regional departments in the BMZ is now at the beginning of the process. In addition, the design thinking method requires a deep engagement with the user perspective, which is central to German development cooperation.


As a driver of digital innovation

  • we identify relevant tech trends.
  • we create a creative space for partnerships with innovative players.
  • scale successful digital projects with agile methods.
  • we make digital innovations usable for the BMZ.


In the BMZ digilab, new aspects are added to the identified ideas or challenges and they are further developed. Together with the technical unit that proposed the idea, relevant trends and partner systems are evaluated. The group of participants in the design thinking workshops is selected accordingly. The digilab’s co-working space is then available for this group. The environment is intended to encourage people to think and work differently than they are used to.

Some particularly promising ideas will be developed into a prototype in agile workshop formats, which can then be implemented by the responsible technical and regional units and taken to the wider public.

Alongside other agile methods, design thinking is a well-known process model that is now also increasingly being used in development cooperation. The method enables the development of user-oriented solutions for complex problems in the form of prototypes.

Our goal is very clear: to make development cooperation more effective, more efficient and more transparent!


If you also have ideas on how we can improve our development cooperation with digital solutions or are simply curious about digilab, then simply write us an email.

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