For an export-oriented economy, for modern develo­p­ment coope­ra­tion and for multi­cul­tural coexis­tence inter-cultural compe­tence is indis­pensable. In times of incre­asing global inter­de­pen­dence, it has become a perma­nent chall­enge on the one hand and a part of self-concept on the other, affec­ting almost all profes­sional fields and biogra­phies. Being able to deal with cultural diver­sity and ”strange/foreign/different” standards of behaviour and thinking is just as much a chall­enge abroad as it is in domestic profes­sional contexts that are becoming incre­asingly inter­na­tional. Here are some of my estab­lished and current training formats:

  • Short (aware­ness) seminars (1–3 days). Custo­mized seminar design using a database of modifiable critical incidents and video sequences on inter­cul­tural situa­tions for managers, develo­p­ment profes­sio­nals, autho­ri­ties dealing with migrants, psycho­trauma thera­pists, exchange students and et al.;
  • Joint learning journeys (JLJ) for “changing perspec­tives”. Among others, JLG offer the oppor­tu­nity to talk to refugees, not just about them. In this premium-format of inter­cul­tural trainings, learners become teachers: Together with refugees from Syria, Afgha­ni­stan and African count­ries of origin, the aim is to sharpen one another’s aware­ness of inter­cul­tural challenges, to change perspec­tives and to try out in real contact how to live with one another.
  • Training of trainers. After 20 years of experi­ence in human capacity develo­p­ment, workshop facili­ta­tion, team building, leader­ship training, coaching & training of trainers in more than 25 count­ries, the engage­ment with multi­pliers serves above all for networ­king and didactic exchange. Ongoing research and teaching about the topic at German and inter­na­tional univer­si­ties link any ToTs with inter­cul­tural experts.
  • Tailor made trainings. These generally include HCD analyses and strategy develo­p­ment for inter­na­tional projects as well as the creation of tailored multi­l­in­gual seminar materials for agile deploy­ment contexts. Through an estab­lished network of foreign regional trainers, inter­na­tional measures can be co-constructed and imple­mented together whenever required.


Develo­ping  ”capaci­ties” of indivi­duals, organi­sa­tions and systems reuqires a precise analysis of (learning) needs, struc­tures and contexts. Thus, In most cases, the right ”HCD mix” is essen­tial. This can include blended learning options for managers, toolbox design, coaching, joint learning journeys (JLJs), expert inputs etc. For ”tailor made” capacity develo­p­ment in develo­p­mental contexts, the HCD-team from the Stein­beis Consul­ting Centers is recom­mended; for measures in the field of ”Migra­tion & Integra­tion”, the Bonner Institut für Migra­ti­ons­for­schung und Inter­kul­tu­relles Lernen  as well as coope­ra­tions with the academy of the German Gesell­schaft für Inter­na­tio­nale Zusam­men­ar­beit were mutually inspi­ring. Some examples:

  • Employees of the HR-Depart­ment of the Office of the Presi­dent of East Timor expressed the wish to network inter­na­tio­nally and to develop a human resources develo­p­ment strategy; together with experts from the German BaKöV, the Office of the Presi­dent in Berlin and the GIZ, we then designed and imple­nted an inten­sive workretreat ”capaci­ties to build capaci­ties” (Presi­dencia 2014)
  • Lectu­rers in Good Gover­nance projects in Eastern Africa complained that their courses didn’t get the neces­sary atten­tion from parti­ci­pants. The content was well thought out, however the metho­do­logy needed to be optimised. State-of-the-art adult educa­tion techni­ques were the key, a series of training of trainers in modern metho­do­logy (TOT) the format (InWEnt 2010).
  • Follo­wing a detailed HCD study in Indonesia (GIZ 2012), we conducted tailor-made manage­ment training courses with cultu­rally sensi­tive case studies on regional forest and climate protec­tion for key actors in the forest educa­tion system.
  • The same applied to coope­ra­tion with civil affairs officers in Haiti (UN, 2011), the develo­p­ment of a capacity building roadmap for the Indone­sian Ministry of Finance (MOF, 2012), leader­ship develo­p­ment in Timor Leste (World Bank 2008), capacity works appli­ca­tions in the Indo-German energy programme (IGEN 2014) and method-quali­fi­ca­tion for facili­ta­tors in Azerbaijan (GIZ: 2014) as well as the quali­ta­tive focus-group techni­ques for migra­tion resear­chers (BICC: 2019): Initi­ally, ”training needs” are articu­lated — followed by the chall­enge to design capacity develo­p­ment measures in such a way that adult learners reflect on previous patterns,work out new options for action and co-construct alter­na­tives with their partners/clients.
  • Monito­ring scien­tific studies serve as quality assurance. In coope­ra­tion with GIZ and the Univer­sity of Applied Sciences Ludwigs­burg (HVF 2020), for example, human capacity develo­p­ment is also syste­ma­ti­cally resear­ched in the context of migra­tion gover­nance (HCD4MG).