Municipal Partnerships


In 2019, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) of Engagement Global, we again award prizes to municipalities in Germany and in the Global South that have demonstrated a particularly exemplary commitment to implementing Agenda 2030 within the framework of partnerships.

We seek successful international partnerships between municipalities of all sizes in Germany and partner municipalities in developing and emerging countries, intended to promote the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We showcase them as good practices for successful development cooperation to other stakeholders as well.


Promoting transformation.

The National German Sustainability Award (GSA) has been intensively involved in charting the path to Agenda 2030. As a member of the High-level Group for the preparation of Agenda 2030, former Federal President Horst Köhler was awarded an honorary prize. Ahead of the adoption of the sustainability agenda, awards for the UN Secretaries General Ban Ki-moon and António Guterres then followed.

As part of a collaboration with the UN, SDG-Advocate I.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium gave a remarkable speech on the importance of Agenda 2030 at the 2017 award ceremony. The GSA will use its funds to further contribute to making SDGs more popular among its target group of municipalities. 


The most important facts about the award for Municipal Partnerships

Call for applications:

Partnerships between municipalities in Germany and the Global South



22.7. to 16.8.2019;
9.9. to 30.9.2019

Prize money:

€ 60,000 shared between the
German municipality and the
municipality in the Global South

Award ceremony:

The competition ended on 16 August.

The Gala will take place on 22 November 2019, MARITIM Hotel, Düsseldorf


Everything you need to know about the award for Municipal Partnerships

Until 16 August 2019, German municipalities were able to submit their concrete partnerships intended to promote the implementation of Agenda 2030 with municipalities in the Global South via our online questionnaire. The countries on the BMZ´s current DAC List are considered the “Global South” for this competition. The prerequisite for participation was that the partnership is either ongoing or has been concluded less than 12 months ago.

Our key criteria for selecting the top candidates are a clear focus on one or more SDGs, concrete measures to implement the SDGs in Germany or in the developing or emerging country, a high sustainability impact and a medium-term perspective for ongoing cooperation and success. The submissions will be evaluated by the assessment partners Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, the German Development Institute, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

The applications will be evaluated by the assessment partners of the award. Afterwards, phone interviews will take place with the leading candidates. Based on the information provided in the questionnaire, the candidates’ activities will be examined in greater detail and further questions will be asked. The finalists will be presented to the jury of experts chaired by Prof. Dr. Günther Bachmann, Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development, who will select the winner.

The winners will be announced at the German Sustainability Award ceremony in Düsseldorf on 22 November 2019. The representatives of both partners will jointly receive the award.


In 2018, municipalities in Germany and their partner municipalities in the Global South were honoured for the first time for their joint exemplary commitment to the implementation of Agenda 2030. The response to the award's introduction was extremely positive. The nominated partnerships included impressive examples of partnership-based cooperation. The competition showed that municipalities are very interested in using their partnerships to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller presented the prizes to the representatives of both municipalities at the German Sustainability Day on 7 December 2018 in Düsseldorf.

These were the Nominees of the German Sustainability Award
for Municipal Partnerships 2018

Wernigerode with Hoi An (Winners)

Wernigerode, located in Saxony-Anhalt, and Hoi An in Central Vietnam have been connected …

Gudensberg with Shchyrets (Top 3)

The relatively new partnership between the two small towns of Gudensberg and Shchyrets …

Leipzig with Travnik (Top 3)

The partnership between Leipzig and Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina, initiated by Travnik in 1997 shortly after the end …

Solingen with Thiès (Top 3)

The long-standing and complex relationship between Solingen, also known as the “City of Blades” and the …

Bremen with Durban

The long-standing relationship between the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the South African …

Würzburg with Mwanza

The partnership between Würzburg and Mwanza, which has existed since 1966, was expanded in 2011 to include a climate change …

Cologne with Corinto

The partnership between Cologne and Corinto on the west coast of Nicaragua has endured for over 30 years. It originated in the context …

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