Simulation game for attachés of the German Federal Foreign Office

Young diplomats simulate international negotiations

Every year, the Federal Foreign Office prepares around 30 young people as so-called attachés for the future career as diplomats. Practical exercises on multilateral negotiations are part of this training. In this context, for several years planpolitik have facilitated a game about an international conflict about scarce water resources. The fictional game is based on a real conflict in Central Asia but highlights an issue that is causing conflicts in many regions of the world.

Scarce water resources are a cause of conflict in many regions of the world. After all, there can be no development in drier regions without water. At the same time, effective institutional structures on a supra-regional level, dedicated to the prevention of violent conflict, are rare.

This is the basic setting of the game, which was developed in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office’s training academy. It is very well suited to depicting the difficulties of international cooperation with a background of conflicting national interests. Furthermore, the delegations continue to receive instructions from their governments throughout the game – instructions they must then include into their negotiation strategies.

As a result of the game’s resounding success at the academy we have played the game more than twenty times so far, occasionally with participants from regions that are affected by conflicts over water resources. Most recently, one such region was Vietnam, which is arguing with its neighbours over water from the Mekong.


Facts + Figures

Target group

Attachés of the German Federal Foreign Office (trainee diplomats)

  • The difficulties of regional cooperation
  • Depending on instructions of one's own government

Federal Foreign Office


1,5 days

Number of participants








  • I found cooperation with planpolitik very good, very constructive, and I will recommend you to my successor.

    Sabine Stöhr, Head of Training, Higher Civil Service, Foreign Service Academy, Federal Foreign Office