Norway Donor Profile

Last updated: March 2017.


the big six

How will Norwegian ODA develop?

  • Norway has spent at least 1% of its GNI on ODA since 2013, and the 2017 budget is set to reach slightly higher levels. While future ODA levels are dependent on the outcome of the 2017 elections, the ODA/GNI share is expected to remain at around 1%. There is a cross-party consensus to keep ODA at this level.
  • The 1% commitment means that it is likely that Norway’s ODA will increase in absolute terms if the economy continues to grow. However, reduced oil prices in 2016 have put pressure on public expenditures as Norway’s oil revenues have decreased. This will likely limit the number of new development-related initiatives launched by the government and might require a prioritization of initiatives it supports.

What will Norway’s ODA focus on?

  • Norway’s current top priorities, including education, humanitarian assistance, private sector development and job creation, global health, and climate, environment, and sustainable energy, will remain in focus throughout 2017.
  • Beyond 2017, strategic priorities may shift, depending on the outcome of the elections in September 2017. Over the past two decades global health has traditionally been a focus area for Norwegian ODA, and therefore may remain so despite a change in government. The focus on education is potentially more subject to change given that it is a concrete focus of the current leadership.

What are key opportunities for shaping Norway’s development policy?

  • The election campaigns in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in September 2017 present opportunities to engage with leadership in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), parliament, and civil society, and work towards modifying or strengthening Norway’s thematic priorities and future levels of funding. There is some question as to whether the 1% commitment should be set for a period of years rather than annually reconfirmed as part of the budget process. This debate was triggered by a proposal in a development paper published in September 2016 by the Christian Democratic Party.
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg has made education a cornerstone of development policy during her tenure, with a particular focus on girls’ education. This provides opportunities to leverage more funding for areas with close links to education.
  • The Christian Democratic Party is taking the lead on the development discussion in Norway. In the fall of 2016: Thee party presented a white paper suggesting the creation an independent Minister of Development.
  • The MFA is working on developing a new white paper to set the direction of Norway’s development policy. It is expected to be published by April 2017. In this process, the government is undertaking public consultations. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a key pillar of the new framework. Linking initiatives with the SDGs is thus crucial when engaging with the Norwegian government and other stakeholders.





  • Germany supports US$1.5 billion funding call for Lake Chad region

    Germany, Norway, Nigeria, and the UN jointly organized an international donors conference in Oslo on February 23, with the view to raise US$1.5 billion for humanitarian aid and emergency response in the Lake Chad region. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said the aim of the conference was to draw up a package of measures for the region involving "a broad alliance of backers for the humanitarian effort." The Ministry further emphasized that the underlying causes of the misery and distress, including climate change and poverty, need to be tackled.

    Newspaper article – Deutsche Welle

  • Norway increases funding for women’s reproductive health, including abortion

    Norway has announced NOK85 million (US$11 million) in increases in ODA for family planning and safe abortions for 2017. These increases are to help ensure that organizations working for safe abortion and reproductive health can continue their work internationally in the wake of the reinstated US policy that cuts US global health assistance to organizations promoting abortion globally. The Norwegian Government has outlined several channels for this funding: NGOs, after a selection process certifying they are “effective and show good results”; the Dutch-led initiative ‘She Decides’; and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The exact origin of the funds is yet unclear.

    Norway has also initiated dialogue with other Nordic countries to strengthen joint-efforts to counter funding cuts induced by the American policy.

    Press release – Norwegian Government

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