Featured Partner – Norec

Norec: South-South & Triangular Cooperation Featured Partner

Norec’s Vision

The world is full of knowledge and skills. Through mutual exchanges, we teach each other to think bigger, live more sustainably, and build responsible local communities.

Approach to South-South & Triangular Cooperation

Norec (Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation) is an executive body under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Norec facilitates the mutual exchange of personnel in organisations, companies, and institutions in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Norway. Norec supports both North-South/South-North and South-South/Triangular cooperation projects. South-South cooperation has been embedded in Norec’s development strategy since 2001 and is now a substantial part of Norec’s projects.

Norec’s exchange model is based on reciprocity and mutual learning. South-South & Triangular partnerships may often be the most fruitful ones, as the challenges facing the partners may be more similar than in a North-South partnership. Norec finds that it may therefore be easier to localise learning points and to benefit from South-South projects.

South-South & Triangular Cooperation is shaped on the terms of the Global South. It is Norec’s experience that South-South partners have good prerequisites for mutual understanding of problems, possibilities, cultural and administrative conditions.

Featured Good Practices

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The ownership of the projects and all decisions made are in the Global South. This may increase the relevance of the projects and thus also the long-term sustainability and lasting results of the projects. Norec’s experience is that South-South & Triangular Cooperation projects have a high degree of results achievement. Norec shall work to achieve the overarching goals of Norwegian development policy. Following this, Norec’s main priority areas are, therefore:

  • Climate, environment, and ocean
  • Education
  • Health
  • Private sector development, agriculture, and renewable energy

Anti-corruption, climate change and the environment, gender equality and human rights are cross-cutting issues within the priorities. Norec has also received a special mandate from Norwegian Parliament in following up the outcome document from the UN Conference BAPA+40 on South-South cooperation.

Method: Reciprocal Exchange

The project partners Norec supports both send out personnel to work in their partner organisation and host personnel in their own organisation. It is crucial to Norec’s model that the exchanges are mutual.

The underlying understanding is that everyone in an exchange project has both something valuable to bring to the table, as well as something to learn. Each partner is therefore both a provider of knowledge and a beneficiary. Norec firmly believes that exchange is not a one-way street based on the assumption that one partner provides the knowledge and the other receives it. Norec thus rejects a sharp distinction between recipients and providers.

Norec implements reciprocity in several ways in the projects. First, all partner organisations send and receive personnel in approximately equal numbers. Second, when the partners establish their partnership, they jointly identify their needs and capacities. This assessment forms the basis for the organisation’s own recruiting of personnel to go on exchange. Third, Norec engages with all partners on equal terms and it is the partners who select the coordinator of the project among themselves.

In 2019, Norec supported eighty projects that in total exchanged 615 participants. Of these, fifty projects were South-South and six were Triangular projects. The South-South and Triangular projects included 161 different partner organisations.

Norec's Success Stories

Sustainable Playgrounds, Organic Farming and Clean Rivers`

Spreading e-waste-Management Across Continents

Using Farming Methods from India to Help Migrant Workers in Nepal

Featured Publications

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Norec's South-South & Triangular Cooperation Projects

Promoting the Use of ICT in Education

Empowering Youth Through Circus and Performing Arts

Improving Psychosocial Treatment at Community Level in Central America

Transforming Small-scale Farming into Viable Businesses

Supporting Youth Mentors to Use Media in Advocacy

Educating Young Women to Advocate on Social Issues

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