What is E-Learning?

E-learning denotes the use of digital media in support of the learning process. This can include a very wide range of possible teaching formats, from the provision of a learning video or the offer of an online course, to a combination of online and classroom phases (blended learning). However, e-learning is more than the simple translation of analogue content into digital form. E-learning can change the entire educational value chain, starting with user-centred preparation, the consideration of different learning types during use, through to data-based evaluations which simplify the transfer of knowledge into practice.

Within the German development cooperation, atingi is the standard platform on which all e-learning elements will be implemented in future.


Video: E-learning (english subtitles available)


E-Learning in the Corona response

E-Learning is one of the few responses that education systems can give to the Pandemic. Digital technologies and connectivity are instrumental to distance learning. This is true not only valid in times of schools shutdown but also to allow to students to access the huge amount of education material available online. E-Learning can be implemented even with limited Internet connectivity, providing learning material and interaction through Internet messaging systems or by email. Experiences, that can be scaled up, are ongoing in remote and under connected communities.

With atingi, the BMZ has created an e-learning platform that is available to all projects free of charge and immediately as a standard e-learning solution for German development cooperation.

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Is capacity development a key component of your projects

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Are you working on global challenges which also arise in other countries or regions?

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Are there already any well developed learning materials for your target group?

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Have any solutions been developed in your area which could also be valuable (in modified form) elsewhere?

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Are there any e-learning providers from civil society or industry in your area?



As you answered Yes to %s questions, you should consider promoting e-learning within your project. The Department 112 of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the sector programme Digitisation in GIZ will be happy to advise you (


You have answered No to all the questions. The Smart Development components offer basic approaches for the correct implementation of digitisation as standard in development cooperation. Please feel free to find out about the other components. Department 112 of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the sector programme Digitisation for Sustainable Development will be happy to advise you.

Picture 1/4: "Life skills and training for refugees and host communities": In Kakuma, in the north of Kenya, lies the second largest refugee camp in the country with about 147,500 refugees, mainly from Southern Sudan and Somalia. In order to improve the opportunities for young refugees and local youth to acquire skills, the project is developing approaches based on information and communication technology (ICT) through which formal and above all non-formal education can be offered.
Picture 2/4: "Green Innovation Centres": Smallholders are trained via short e-learning trainings on the learning platform atingi regarding good calculation and profitability.
Picture 3/4: Rwanda, Kigali | Project EcoEmploi | We Code: Programming Workshop for Women
Picture 4/4: Within the BMZ initiative "Make-IT", young entrepreneurs are supported in the establishment and development of their start-up. Via the learning platform atingi, they have the opportunity to take advantage of training courses on project management and digital entrepreneurship and thus successfully position their start-up on the market.

Usage potential for our key topics

Advantages of e-learning for German development cooperation?

E-learning as a quality feature can in principle be employed in all projects which focus on capacity development. This applies to all five core themes of the BMZ: Peace and social cohesion, a world without hunger, training and sustainable growth for good jobs, climate and energy, and the environment. Particular advantages of e-learning include:

  • Scalability: The challenges of the core themes are very similar in many countries. With the aid of e-learning, training courses which have been once designed can be simply and cost-effectively scaled and adapted to the local context.
  • Independent of time and location: Unlike traditional classroom training courses, the users are not tied to fixed dates and times, but can split up the course to suit their resources and integrate it alongside their day-to-day work.
  • Interactivity and customisation: Depending on the programme, it is also possible to integrate interactive modules, such as videos or animated content, which take into account individual learning styles and increase motivation. Using tutored training courses, the individual’s learning progress can be supported and more specific attention can be given to each trainee.

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