Dvv international

Adult Education - Development - Cooperation

The promotion of  Development through  Cooperation in Youth and Adult Education is the objective of dvv international.

dvv international is the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V., DVV), which in turn is the federal umbrella association for the 16 regional associations of Germany's community adult education centres (Volkshochschulen, VHS). 

The domestic and international work of dvv international is guided by a commitment to human rights and the Institute's principles on the promotion of women and gender equality. 

dvv international is active on a worldwide basis, cooperating with more than 200 partners in over 40 countries. The Institute sees itself as a professional partner that brings experience and resources to joint projects and courses, in turn, from its partners. 

dvv international

  • fosters the exchange of information and expertise on adult education and development throughout Europe and worldwide 
  • provides support for the establishment and development of youth and adult education structures in developing countries and countries in transition 
  • provides inservice training, advice and media for global and intercultural education and for learning about European policies


Under the overarching goal of poverty reduction, dvv international strives to establish and develop efficient adult education organizations that contribute, in networks, towards building a system of development-oriented adult education. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the worldwide initiative "Education for All" (EFA) and the World Conferences on Adult Education (CONFINTEA) serve as an action framework which provides important orientation for this endeavour. 

The work of dvv international is shaped by clear identification with the interests of the poorer social classes in the Institute's partner countries. 

Projects concentrate on basic education and literacy learning, environmental education and sustainable development, global and intercultural learning, migration and integration, health education and AIDS prevention, as well as crisis prevention and democracy education. 

A bridge between education and employment is built through a work-oriented and vocational approach which seeks to integrate people in working processes and occupations, improve their income, and equip them with the skills they need to participate in self-help groups and cooperatives. 


dvv international follows a sectoral approach with the aim of improving structures in the areas of policy, legislation, and financing, while enhancing the professionalisation of adult education in theory and practice. 

By strengthening the performance capacity of partners in youth and adult education, the Institute seeks to establish durable and effective local and national social structures as a factor in combating poverty. 

Projects in individual countries are combined into regional and programme areas, which are jointly planned, managed, and evaluated to establish their impact. The country and regional offices of dvv international in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe structure the local cooperation with partners and secure the quality of the work. 

European and international networking with other youth and adult education organizations engaged in development cooperation is a fundamental part of cooperation. 

Youth and Adult Education

Education is a universal human right. It is a basic need and an indispensable prerequisite for development.

Education for youth and adults is a core component of education and plays a key role in the process of lifelong learning as general, vocational, cultural, and scientific continuing education and further training.

Non-formal and out-of-school education programmes that provide young people and adults with life-skills training serve functions that complement formal education and training and compensate for their deficiencies. 

We are... 

  • the International Institute of the German Adult Education Association 
  • the instrument of international solidarity of the 1000 German community adult education centres
  • a specialist adult education organisation with over 140 staff worldwide 
  • non-profit making and non-governmental 
  • a member of EAEA (European Association for the Education of Adults) and ICAE (International Council for Adult Education)

We work with...

local, national and regional partners and adult education institutions and associations throughout the world, with whom we have cooperated since 1973 on national programmes 

We aim to... 

  • support the establishment and development of continuing education institutions in developing countries and countries in transition
  • foster the exchange of information and expertise in Europe and worldwide
  • provide training, advice, and learning materials and media on global, intercultural and European policy issues

Our main areas of work are...

  • literacy and basic education
  • adult education and participation
  • initial training for adult education professionals 
  • new media and materials 
  • environmental education and agriculture 
  • poverty reduction and income generation 
  • initial and continuing vocational training 
  • health education and Aids
  • migration and integration
  • education for women and men
  • national, European and global adult education policy and funding 

Our main sponsors are... 

  • the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • the German Foreign Office (AA)
  • the European Union (EU)
  • the World Bank

Information and Contact 

dvv international
Obere Wilhelmstraße 32
53225 Bonn
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