Dariush Ghobad checks the rice harvest of the project partner Life with Dignity. The organisation trains small farmers in sustainable agriculture. (Photo: Christof Krackhardt)
Secondment of Personnel

Learning from One Another

Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) supports capacity and competence building in partner organisations by seconding European professionals for an employment based on the German ‘Development Aid Workers Act’. Moreover, we assist qualified native personnel who have completed their studies or training in Germany and intend to return to their native countries.


Various fields of work are covered by Brot für die Welt-seconded personnel, such as human rights, medical or ecological domains, rural development, conflict resolution, formal and non-formal education or vocational training. Strengthening management and organisational capacities, too, belong to their range of activities. The professionals sent become employees of the partner organisation — for three to a maximum of six years.

Our secondment of personnel is based on three principles:


Brot für die Welt gets active upon request only — the partner organisation is responsible for the project.


The professional is an employee of the partner organisation. His/her contract is limited. He/she does not receive any executive functions.


The chosen professionals possess skills and experience — as well as intercultural competence.


The partners of Brot für die Welt are not only Christian churches and church-related organisations, national and regional church councils, but also international organisations and NGOs. Brot für die Welt supports its partners’ work irrespective of any national cultural or denominational boundaries.

Brot für die Welt

  • recruits appropriate professionals with adequate qualification;
  • prepares these professionals for their work abroad;
  • pays the professional’s allowance and other benefits that cannot be borne by the partner organisation;
  • takes care of the necessary insurances for the professional and his/her family.

The partner organisation

  • pays a local monthly salary — either for the professional or for a local colleague;
  • provides rent-free accommodation for the professional or supports him/her with the search for suitable accommodation and the conclusion of a rental contract;
  • takes care of residence and work permits;
  • provides appropriate office facilities enabling working conditions for the professional;
  • secures funds for activities and tasks of the seconded personnel.

Additionally, Brot für die Welt supports the partner organisation with consultancy, exchange programmes and trainings for local personnel.

Contractual Modalities

A secondment is based on three elements:

  • Partnership agreement between Brot für die Welt and the partner organisation
  • Local contract of employment between partner organisation and professional
  • Development service contract between professional and Brot für die Welt (resp. Dienste in Übersee gGmbH, a subsidiary of Brot für die Welt)

Most essential: The professional is an employee of the partner organisation which is, hence, authorised to issue directives. The partnership agreement describes the aims and objectives to be achieved in cooperation with the professional.

Secondment of personnel based on the German ‘Development Aid Workers Act’ is conducted by Dienste in Übersee (Service Overseas, DÜ), a subsidiary of Brot für die Welt, acknowledged responsible body for overseas development service by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.


If the partner organisation meets the requirements for secondment of personnel, Brot für die Welt submits a corresponding proposal to its committees of approval, which will then decide within a period of about four months. At the same time the search for a suitable candidate will start.

That person, once found, will undergo a selection procedure and, in case of a positive result, will be presented to the partner organisation in a ‘candidate proposal’ (including CV and certificates, as well as a comment on professional and personal aptitude). The partner organisation is then to decide on acceptance of this professional.

Your Request

If you are interested in a secondment of personnel, please send us an informal request including a brief description of your organisation and the need for a professional from abroad.

Should your demand be within our mandate, we will send you our questionnaires which we kindly ask you to fill in. Please take into account that searching for appropriate personnel will be easier the more precise your information is.

On the whole, it will take about 18 months until a requested person is available for your organisation as the search for suitable and qualified personnel with respective experience takes time. For instance, existing employment contracts have to be cancelled. Furthermore, the chosen professionals receive preparation and training for several months equipping them for their work within your organisation.