Development Cooperation

Innovative solutions accessing to basic services

Siemens Stiftung seeks to make long-term improvements to basic services in developing regions.
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Social entrepreneurs bring about positive changes in their societies and are an important part of our work.
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We help connect social entrepreneurs through networking activities and prepare them for the next phase of growth in their companies.
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We recognize promising technologies for developing regions with our empowering people. Award. The empowering people. Network makes these solutions accessible worldwide.
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We support e-mobility, sustainable energy, and drinking water supply in rural Africa through hands-on projects.
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Hygiene training courses provide information about clean drinking water and hygiene at schools and in communities.
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Secure access to basic services is indispensable for people to lead independent and dignified lives. Our goal is to reduce existential deficits in basic services and strengthen related social structures. With our international empowering people. Network (epN), we bring innovators and social entrepreneurs together and encourage technical and entrepreneurial approaches to be combined. This allows us to promote the spread of suitable solutions, maintain a platform for knowledge transfer, and enable networking with development collaboration organizations. Locally operating projects are run together with partners and implement solutions that are both innovative and proven. Additionally, we provide knowledge to ensure that self-supporting structures are working toward permanent improvements in basic services.

Key issues in Development Cooperation

Overview of all Development Cooperation projects

As a hands-on foundation, we work with partners to develop concepts and programs for accessing basic services in developing regions while strengthening the related societal structures.

Engagement in initiatives

We aren’t the only ones hoping to make a contribution to sustainable societal development. There are many stakeholders around the world working to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We have joined a number of them in initiatives that aim to achieve the highest possible impact for society.

The Practical Impact Alliance (PIA) from the MIT D-Lab seeks to harness the power of collaborative knowledge among leading global stakeholders to take a better, more efficient approach to fighting global poverty. The initiative from Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology supports development work based on discovery, design, and the dissemination of knowledge.

Siemens Stiftung has been a PIA member since June 2016. Members of the Siemens Stiftung’s empowering people. Network form working groups with additional stakeholders on urgent issues, such as impact assessment, scaling pilot projects, integrative design and innovation, and inclusive recycling. The results are then shared in the development collaboration field.

Practical Impact Alliance website

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) serves as the world’s leading environmental authority, coordinating environmental activity by the United Nations, creating in-depth reports on the current status of the global environment, and developing political and legal instruments for international environmental protection. As an advocate for global environmental issues, UNEP also supports environmental protection partnerships.

Siemens Stiftung is working together with UNEP on a strategic e-mobility partnership in sub-Saharan Africa. The program’s focus includes networking, education and increasing awareness, financing, business model development, and technical support for local manufacturers in the electromobility sector.

Visit the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) website

The government’s ‘Strategic Dialogue’ initiative brings private-sector foundations and the Federal Foreign Office together to work toward a common goal: shifting from “a foreign policy of nations to a foreign policy of societies.” The collaboration between the ministry and civic stakeholders is about creating synergies, working cooperatively, and implementing projects. In addition to engaging with foundation alumni, working groups focus on migration in geographically prioritized areas of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

As a member, Siemens Stiftung receives helpful background insights into political developments in certain regions that impact the foundation’s international work. As a civil society stakeholder, Siemens Stiftung brings a unique perspective and emphasis to the dialog on civic, social, and cultural developments in these countries. Rolf Huber is co-chair of the working group on Africa, representing civil society interests that pertain to the African continent.

 Visit the German Federal Foreign Office website

Recent studies and publications

In addition to sharing experiences and formulating recommendations, we consider it essential to utilize thorough research and science to examine the fields in which we are active. Our studies and reports contain a wide range of data and facts about social enterprises and technology for developing regions.

Social enterprises create urgently-needed jobs in Africa. The comprehensive study “Social Enterprises as Job Creators in Africa – The Potential of Social Enterprise to Provide Employment Opportunities in 12 African Countries 2020-2030“ by Siemens Stiftung and GIZ estimates that by 2030, one million new jobs can be created in the 12 countries analyzed. The report also includes recommendations on the best ways to support these social enterprises in reaching their full potential.

Read the study

Rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa have the potential to become the driving force behind e-mobility in Africa. Our booklet provides insights into currently available technologies and implementation of various business models in addition to reliable data about the region.

Read the booklet

Financing is one of the biggest hurdles for social entrepreneurs. Our report provides deep analyses and expert opinions on the current financing situation and the potential of digital solutions.

Read the report

A report collecting the findings of a round table discussion with more than 40 international experts on innovative opportunities for social entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through access to capital and investors.

Read the report

How can participatory design be used to make progress in underserviced communities? A new case study by the MIT D-Lab and Siemens Stiftung shows how this method of technology transfer can be successfully implemented.

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For-profit or nonprofit – how important is organizational structure? The IRENE | SEE research network, founded by Siemens Stiftung and Zeppelin Universität, provides insights into the social entrepreneur landscape in developing and emerging countries.

Read the study


»With motorization rates on the rise and mounting climate-change action, a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have made decisive steps to enable local leapfrogging into low emission technologies.«

Rolf Huber, Managing Director of Siemens Stiftung

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