Basic principles

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development forms the basis for reconciling global economic progress and social justice, while respecting the Earth’s environmental limits. The 2030 Agenda aims to transform our world. In other words, it is more than just the sum of its individual goals. It lays down further requirements to be met by countries and organisations beyond the 17 SDGs.

There are overarching principles that guide the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The principles are not set out in just one or even several sections of the 2030 Agenda text, but are mentioned in different places and with a different degree of emphasis. We at GIZ have defined implementation principles for our work based on these texts.

Whereas the SDGs provide an answer as to what themes need to be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development, the implementation principles describe how a transformation towards the greater common good can be brought about. We are convinced that the values and convictions that are enshrined in the principles provide the necessary impetus to change behaviours and attitudes.

The five core messages mentioned in the text of the 2030 Agenda (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, Partnership – the five ‘Ps’) before the 17 SDGs illustrate the sectoral links between the goals.

GIZ is guided by the following five implementation principles:


These principles do not claim to be binding beyond the scope of GIZ’s work, but are used by other international and national organisations with similar content matter.

This section presents individual principles and how they relate to the topics of the sectoral divisions, and gives practical indications on how the principles are integrated into project design

The implementation principles have been fed into the working aids for producing brief assessments and module proposals (in line with Joint Procedural Reform) and the internal explanations of quality assurance.


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