Short-term assignments with a development focus in your country of origin – Find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) here

Are you looking for a short-term assignment that allows you to put your skills to good use in your country of origin? Do you still have questions about the requirements, conditions, and application process?

In which countries can one be engaged in as a diaspora expert?

At present, we support short-term assignments of diaspora experts in Albania, Cameroon, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Serbia, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Diaspora expert assignments are open to anyone with a migration history from one of the countries listed above. You must have obtained your vocational qualifications or degree in Germany or your degree is recognised in Germany, and Germany must be your ‘main centre of activity’ in terms of residence. You must also have at least five years of relevant professional experience in Germany or another OECD-country in the field in which you would like to work during your assignment.

Funding of diaspora expert assignments is mainly available for the areas and sectors of gender, climate protection and health. Our service is in general designed to strengthen local structures that can contribute to the country’s development, especially in the priority sectors identified by German development cooperation. The individual country sections on GIZ’s website will give you an idea of which sectors are regarded as priorities (see link). In all cases, there must be a clear link between the goals of the assignment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With regard to short-term diaspora expert assignments, the partner institutions we work with are mainly public-benefit institutions, e.g. public bodies; municipal, regional and national authorities and public service providers; educational establishments; public health care providers; and civil society organisations. To qualify, partner institutions must have been operating for several years and must have at least five to ten employees. This is to ensure that the knowledge passed on during short-term assignments remains embedded in the institution and can continue to be used after the assignment. Support is primarily available for assignments with higher-level institutions and umbrella organisations, as these are more likely to generate a significant multiplier effect.

In each case, the partner institution must have the infrastructure, equipment, and other technical resources needed for the assignment. As a minimum, it must provide a suitable workplace and ideally should also supply accommodation and transport facilities. The partner institution must also designate a member of its staff to help the diaspora expert with technical and organisational matters during the preparatory period and throughout the short-term assignment.

Yes. You can still apply to the GIZ for a short-term assignment as a diaspora expert even if you have not yet established contact with a partner institution. In such cases, we may be able to place you with a suitable institution based on your profile. Please register your interest on our website.

We support assignments ranging from two weeks to three months. If necessary, it is possible to split the duration of the assignment into two. The assignment period is the time in which you actually carry out activities at the partner institution. GIZ cannot support preparatory or accompanying activities in countries other than the country of assignment.

We can only support your assignment as a diaspora expert if you work at least 30 hours a week at the partner institution. In the case of lecturers assigned to higher education establishments, you must work at least 20 hours a week to qualify for support from the GIZ.

No. There is no formal employment relationship between you and the partner organisation during the short-term assignment. You work for the partner institution on a voluntary basis. However, the conditions under which diaspora experts work are set out in a cooperation agreement between you and the partner institution.

The support we provide for diaspora experts is aimed at those with a migration history living in Germany who wish to contribute to development in their country of origin on a voluntary basis. Provided that the voluntary work you undertake in the form of a short-term assignment meets our conditions, we can support you by providing various services and benefits and help to cover your costs by means of a subsidy. Please note however, that this support does not create an employer/employee or client/contractor relationship.

The procedure is as follows: 

  1. Submission of the application incl. expression of interest to
  2. Individual consultation with the advisors of the Programme "Shaping development-oriented migration" (MEG). 
  3. Cooperation agreement drawn up between the diaspora expert and the partner institution. 
  4. Preliminary check to ensure that all the conditions and criteria for GIZ support are met. 
  5. Formal application. Diaspora expert submits booking document to confirm travel arrangements to assignment location.  
  6. The GIZ conducts final checks on the application. 
  7. The GIZ draws up a subsidy agreement and finalises insurance cover for diaspora experts. 

If you want to work as a diaspora expert in your country of origin, please send your application documents together with the completed expression of interest encrypted to the following e-mail address: diaspora2030[@] Please send us an up-to-date CV with your expression of interest and a brief letter explaining what has motivated you to apply and what ideas you have for the assignment. Let us know if you already have a specific partner institution and specific dates in mind. 

The next step involves drawing up a cooperation agreement between the diaspora expert and the partner institution. The purpose of this agreement is to give the assignment a firm structure. Once we have conducted our preliminary checks on the cooperation agreement, we will send you an application form for requesting GIZ support as a diaspora expert. Complete this form and return it to us. If your application is approved, the GIZ will draw up a subsidy agreement between you and us setting out all the conditions under which the GIZ will support your assignment. Before we can draw up the subsidy agreement and finalise insurance cover, however, you will need to send us confirmation of your travel booking to the assignment location.

The assignment starts on the first day on which you work at the partner institution. It ends on the last day of your assignment at the partner institution. Both days are usually weekdays. Time spent travelling to and from the assignment location is not included.

Please send us your application as early as possible (at least three months before your planned assignment) to the following e-mail address: diaspora2030[@] so that we can initiate the application process in good time. Once we have checked that you meet our requirements, a complete set of documents (your expression of interest, cooperation agreement, and formal application) must be submitted at least four weeks before the start of your assignment, so that we can prepare a subsidy agreement. You must sign an original copy of the agreement and return it to the GIZ before you travel to your country of assignment. The GIZ cannot support your assignment without a subsidy agreement. You should not make any travel arrangements before you receive your subsidy agreement.

The GIZ team in Germany and in our partner countries will check whether the applications meet the criteria for support. They will also check whether the partner institution is eligible and if the objectives of the assignment are in line with GIZ’s development policy mandate.

The subsidy agreement is a contract signed by the GIZ and the diaspora expert once an application for support has been approved. It sets out all the terms and conditions under which GIZ will provide financial support for the assignment. The subsidy agreement must be signed by both parties before you travel to the country in question and before the assignment starts. Please read the agreement carefully as it sets out the contractual rights and obligations of both sides.

The GIZ staff in Germany will advise you on how best to prepare for your short-term diaspora expert assignment and our local coordinators will establish contact with the partner organisation. We are happy to try and find you a suitable assignment based on your profile even if you have not yet found a partner organisation. Our local team will be available to offer advice and support if requested during your assignment in the partner country.

One of the ways in which we support short-term diaspora expert assignments is by covering your travel expenses in the form of a lump sum travel allowance. The exact amount depends on the country of assignment. We also provide a free insurance package. The insurance package consists of travel health insurance (for acute injuries or illnesses), travel accident insurance, and travel liability insurance. The insurance cover begins two days before the start of your short-term assignment and expires two days after it ends.

In addition, we provide an expenses allowance for diaspora experts of EUR 60-90 per assignment day depending on the country of assignment (excluding arrival and departure days). We can also pay for consumables that you may need in order to carry out your assignment, although only limited funding is available (up to EUR 400).

That depends on the length of your assignment.

  1. If your assignment lasts 30 days or less you will receive financial support in two installments. The GIZ will release 20 Percent of your total expenses allowance together with your travel allowance and any payment for consumables once we receive a signed original copy of the subsidy agreement. You will receive the remaining 80 Percent of your expenses allowance when we receive confirmation of the completed assignment from the partner institution and your final report. The final report must be submitted within one month of the date on which the assignment ends.
  2. For assignments with a term of more than 30 days and up to three months we will release your travel allowance and any payment for consumables once we receive a signed original copy of the subsidy agreement. This will be followed at the end of each month by your monthly expenses allowance. At least 10 Percent of your total expenses allowance will be retained by the GIZ. You will receive the remaining 10 Percent at the end of your assignment when we receive confirmation of the completed assignment from the partner institution and your final report. The final report must be submitted within one month of the date on which the assignment ends.

Your short-term assignment will be supervised by the local GIZ advisor with whom you and the partner institution will have regular contact at the start of and during your assignment. Precise details of your reporting obligations are set out in the subsidy agreement.