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View the documentIntroducing AT-forum NGO-GTZ - AGEF, GSE and KATE

Introducing AT-forum NGO-GTZ - AGEF, GSE and KATE

This fourth instalment of our series portraying members of the AT Forum NGO-GTZ introduces you to three organizations all with common roots: namely in the former German Democratic Republic. They all have their offices in the eastern part of Germany's former divided capital, Berlin. Another feature common to these organizations is their efforts to sensitive Germany's population for development policy work.

Association of Experts in the Fields of Migration and Development Cooperation

AGEF, Association of Experts in the Fields of Migration and Development Cooperation was established in 1992 as a non-profit-making, limited company.

The team of 10 staff members and c. 10 free-lance co-workers all come from different walkings and backgrounds, originate from different cultures and regions, from countries of the South and also from the western Germany, although most co-workers are nature to the former German Democrat Republic.

Naturally, therefore, the experiences made by the latter dominate in our work.

AGEF activities focus on Romania, Russia, Poland, Mongolia, Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe, and many co-workers are versed in the languages spoken in these countries.

The 35 projects operated in 1993 and 1994, were commissioned by the Central Placement Office (ZAV) in Frankfurt, the GTZ - German Technical Cooperation - in Eschborn, the German Development Foundation DSE, the Carl-Duisberg Society CDG, the Ministry of Labor, Social, Health and Women's Affairs of the Land of Brandenburg, the German Federal Environmental Foundation, the Federal Office of the Environment and others.

AGEF receives no subsidies whatsoever, nor does it appeal for donations. It is financed exclusively by the services it performs.

While the political and economic changes over the last few years have sharpened the contrast between the North and South, this is being concealed by the development disparity between the West and the former eastern bloc and the political tensions between and within the successor states of the Soviet-Union and their neighbours.

The foreboding network of global and local problems such as growing poverty of wide sections of the population, increasing ecological problems, shortage of natural resources, spread of aids, is often addressed by activities which tackle only individual problems.


AGEF has taken up this challenge and focuses its efforts on developing and applying complex solutions. Traditional issues in development cooperation are overlapping with the problems caused by global migration. Migration has manifold, often interlinked causes, such as growing poverty, armed conflicts and their consequences and also ecological degradation.

Our aim is to incorporate all these factors in our attempts to find solutions. We are also convinced that cooperation in developing human resources will take on growing importance in the future. The promotion of local know-how and the integration of graduates or returnees (e.g. former contract workers or refugees) in the labor markets of their home countries are examples of the areas we work in.

AGEF services address the following areas:

- implementation of reintegration programs

- development, organization and implementation of specific education programs, particularly for foreigners advisory services on setting up businesses abroad/conducting seminars for young entrepreneurs management of protects m Germany and abroad, including further training in project management specialized consultancy on technical equipment for development cooperation projects identification of procurement sources and potential utilizations for reconditioned machines, equipment and materials

- advisory services on environmental protection and resource conservation for development countries

- human resources management, placement of specialist (wo)manpower

- supervision for institutions/organizat ions

- implementation of specialized seminars in the above mentioned area.

We always monitor how the studies, recommendations, programs or concepts we draw up are actually transformed into practical action.

Cooperation partners and memberships:

We work with numerous organizations in Germany and abroad and maintain intensive contacts with

- the Mozambique Working Group of the Protestant Church of the East, East German Branch; - the IKB Information and Coordination group on education and labour promotion;

- development policy research and advisory service at the University of Saarland, Saarbrucken.

AGEF is a member of the AT-Forum NGO/GTZ, the AT Association e.V. and the Mozambique Coordination Circle KKM Bielefeld.

Ongoing project activities:

- project management for job creation companies and training companies who recondition equipment and materials for use in development aid projects

- reintegration of former GDR contract workers from Viet Nam, Mozambique and Angola

- seminars on setting-up new businesses for former contract workers from Viet Nam

- study of the reintegration measures in Viet Nam

- human resources potential: survey of experiences in the field of appropriate technologies in Germany's "new" states (former GDR)

- back-up assistance for self-help structures for Roma in Romania

- cooperation on peacestabilising activities in Mozambique ("swapping machine guns for sewing machines")

- cooperation with an association of returnees in Laos

- survey of the potentials of research on ecologically oriented innovations and projects in the former GDR, and how this potential can also be tapped for development cooperation.

We feel that appropriate technologies will take on far greater significance in future particularly by interlinking the interests of graduates or returnees from developing countries with access to reconditioned technology and equipment from German companies.

We assist people setting up new businesses or already existing companies from countries such as Mozambique, Viet Nam or India, and also German organizers of development projects by providing access to equipment and machines (for example textile machines, medical technology, workshop equipment) which they can use to equip their projects, satisfy the needs on hand and are affordable in a tight budget context.

Over the last two years we have placed some 5000 items (from bicycles through to container workshops).

Klaus Dpt

Society for Solidarity Development Cooperation

The Society for Solidarity Development Cooperation (GSE e.V.) was founded by a citizens' initiative in the former GDR in 1990. It is a nongovernmental organization working in the new federal states of Germany and in East-Berlin. The GSE supports grassroots projects and initiatives of partner organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve living conditions of people there. It does information and educational work on North-South questions and development policies in the German public and at schools. The GSE maintains a shop selling goods from developing countries, thus realizing its commitment to fair trade.

Project work is based on a model of partnership in which partner organizations themselves organise and administer their projects. GSE's assists in strengthening the technical and equipment base of groups from the South, reviews project sustainability and technico-economic viability. Most project-assistance activities to date have involved funding of DM 20,000 to DM 80,000, although a larger project to run over a 3-year-period has activities valuing some DM 700,000.

Project work focuses on rural development, assistance to drinking water and sanitation projects and construction work in different sectors. Projects are designed to take account of ecological aspects, already existing in*astructure and technical viability. Great attention is given to the experiences already made by project partners in the South. GSE's aim is to support projects which have a long-term impact and allow gradual development of the given region.

The following individual projects are being carried out or completed:

· Irrigation of farming land aimed to ensure sustainable use of water resources without contaminating the ground water. The irrigation equipment has been successfully running since 1991 and assures an all-year-around supply.

· Eco-management of organic waste via appropriate pig-farming. A complex waste-management program involving construction of the equipment, operation of pig hushandry facilities, veterinary support and marketing.

· Livestock management conversion to higher-yielding stock breeds and transfer of animal husbandry know-how.

· Papaya - development of a unit for on-site papaya-processing, in order to ensure more effective marketing of papaya raw materials.

· Well-drilling - rehabilitation of a retention basin and simultaneous control of erosion damage in the catchment area of the wells. Improved water management.

· Urban drinking water and sanitation project - rehabilitation of the sewage plant and establishment of a drinking water supply for an ill-supplied urban area. Rehabilitation activities include efforts to halt the discharge of pollutants from the dyeing industry so that a biological sewage treatment stage could be incorporated.

· Drinking water for schools - construction of wells for drinking water and of latrines to protect groundwater reserves.

· Construction of latrines creation of sanitary installations and protection of water reserves.

· Joiners workshop - replacement equipment for the joiners in a technical high school, preparation of further projects. Production of school furniture for a specific region.

· Equipment for an electrical workshop - initial equipment for the radio-workshop with locally-produced measuring equipment

· Establishment of a crafts training center for young people from a poor urban area.

The experiences made in projects flow into GSE's education and information work in Germany. We give assistance to school twinning arrangements between schools in the North and the South.

Klaus Pech


KATE - the Center and Working Team for Appropriate Technology and Development is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 in the former German Democratic Republic.

KATE presently has a staff of seven, all with different callings. These are joined by voluntary co-workers who, together with certain staff members form the Project Commission. This Commission plans, consults and monitors KATE's various project activities. An interdisciplinary approach is given top-priority.

KATE focuses on development-policy education and information activities and on project work. Education and information aim to promote the discussion on development policy and environmental policy in Germany and take the form of meetings and publications.

KATE has some DM 100,000 available to finance project activities and advisory services geared to the use and dissemination of appropriate technologies. Target group participation in project planning and project implementation, the widest possible use of local resources (know-how, materials, skills, specialist human resources) and the training of local specialists and the target group to continue project work are key themes.

KATE's project activities center on rural regions, and KATE works together with self-help groups and non-governmental organizations in implementing projects m the field of drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene/health, agriculture, environmental protection and energy supplies. Projects aim to contribute to improving the living conditions and the quality of life of rural populations and to consolidate and strengthen self-help structures.

Some example of KATE's project work:

The VIWA project - wind power plants in Vietnam - assists the use of 100 wind generating units with the capacity of 150 Watt in neglected rural areas. The plants supply electricity for heating, a radio, TV, refrigerator or sewing machine, and raise the quality of life in the given region.

Working together with the Vietnamese project partner RECTERE (Research Center for Thermal Equipment and Renewable Energy) KATE advised on optimizing the generators and blades before setting up the plants because the overall price per unit was far to high (c. US$ 300) to be accepted by the target group. By using almost 100 percent local raw materials it has been possible to reduce the price of the plant by about 25 percent and commence the dissemination program.

Mobile photovoltaic driven thermo-electrical refrigerator for a street clinic in Calcutta (INDIA). In 1993, scientists and technicians at the Interdisciplinary Project Group for Appropriate Technology IPAT of the Technical University of Berlin developed a portable, photovoltaic thermo-electric refrigerator. A K ATE co-worker was involved in activities to apply this technology.

It will be used for the first time in a street clinic in Calcutta, India. This mobile clinic treats around 250 to 400 patients per day, and in addition to out-patient treatment gives family planning consultations and children's vaccination (polio, BCG, DPT and tetanus). Keeping the vaccinations refrigerated is a major problem.

There is no reliable supply of electricity on Calcutta's streets, nor is an ice-machine always around. An efficient refrigerator must have an autonomous power supply, be suitable for mobile use, use CFC-free refrigerant, be simple to operate and robust. IPAT's refrigerator fulfills these criteria and KATE is supporting its introduction in Calcutta.

The refrigerator only weighs 6.5 kg and is powered directly by a 40 - 75 W solar module without battery storage. A borosilicate glass insulation (thermos -flask-principle) and a latent cold store keeps the contents refrigerated for more than 12 hours with an ambient temperature of 32. The refrigerator uses the physical principle of electro-thermic refrigeration. The fridge motor is a 4 x 4 cm Peltier element which, combines with a gravity driven refrigerant cycle to pump heat away from the refrigerated area.

Carlos Echegoyen


Arbeitsgruppe Entwicklung und Fachkrafte eGmbH
Georgenkirchstra 70
D-10249 Berlin
Phone: +30/24063235
Fax: +30/24063236

Gesellschaft fur Solidarische Entwichlungszusammenarbeit e.V.
Georgenkirchstra 70
D-10249 Berlin
Phone: +30/240632 97
Fax: +30/24063252

Kontaktstelle und Arbeitsgemeinschait fur Angepae Technologie und Entwicklungszusammenar beit e.V. (KATE)
Zionskirche 23 D-10119 Berlin
Phone/Fax: +30/2823398

Errata: The correct e-mail address of Ferdinand Soethe, author of the report "Participating in a global information society" (cf gate 4/94) is: f.