NOREC – Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (2019)

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The main purpose of this report is to give a brief overview of the practices and experiences of Norway related to South-South and triangular cooperation, especially as implemented by Norec, the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation. The first chapter provides a brief overview of how Norway, as a traditional donor, has been engaged in South-South and triangular cooperation by outlining related policy and institutional aspects of Norwegian development cooperation. This also includes an overview of Norwegian actors in South-South and triangular cooperation, including both government and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector.

Norway is one of the most committed providers of development cooperation in terms of official development assistance (ODA) in relation to its gross national income (GNI). Norway provides its development cooperation through a variety of channels, mainly to least developed countries, to countries recovering from war and crisis and countries that face severe threats from climate change.

In recent decades, Norway has also provided considerable support to South-South and triangular cooperation. Such support was often referred to as “regional cooperation” or “three-party cooperation”; but it has not been documented on a broad and systematic basis as a programme. The policy framework for South- South and triangular cooperation is discussed in a number of white papers.

Norway is a keen supporter of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and has also a strong engagement in the development effectiveness agenda. The second chapter introduces Norec, the first government institution in Norway to have developed a programmatic approach to South- South and triangular cooperation. What sets Norec apart is its focus on reciprocal exchange programmes and its explicit support to South-

South exchange of personnel within the framework of institutional cooperation. The chapter analyses Norec ́s model in the context of the 2030 Agenda as well as the international development agenda at large. The chapter also describes in more detail how Norec projects are initiated and implemented.

The chapter concludes with a carefully chosen selection of projects which illustrate how Norec works in practice, showing how the projects relate to the SDGs as well as some key development cooperation principles – good practices which hopefully can serve as inspiration for others.

The third chapter discusses Norec’s theory of change which looks at transformation on three different levels: individual, institutional and community/ societal level. Exchange of personnel can be a powerful tool to increase competence on all levels, promote development and fulfil the SDGs. This is also supplemented by evaluations and research. An exciting development is also ahead with Norec as a Centre of Excellence for Exchange

Cooperation. Systematically documenting, collecting and communicating experiences in this field, and networking with relevant institutions both in the South and in Norway will be important tasks in the years ahead.