ODA Spending

How much ODA does Norway allocate to education?

How is Norwegian educational ODA changing?

The governments of former Prime Minister Erna Solberg made education Norway’s a top development policy priority since 2013. This focus was reiterated in Norway’s April 2017 white paper on development priorities and the SDGs, Common responsibility for the common future – the SDGs and Norwegian development policy.. Following this political prioritization, funding for education has grown significantly. Education ODA doubled between 2013-2017, and remained high until 2020. The increase was driven by greater spending on primary education, in line with Norway’s focus on achieving universal primary education as a fundamental human right and a key driver of development. In 2022, however, Norway’s ODA for education decreased by 34% to US$255 million. In the 2024 budget the funding to education is expected to be NOK996 million, or US$103 million, which is a slight decrease from the 2023-budget of NOK1 billion, or US$ 104 million.

How does Norway allocation educational ODA?

Bilateral Spending

89% of Norway’s education funding was disbursed bilaterally in 2021. However, 41% of Norway’s funding reported as bilateral was earmarked funding through multilaterals.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

In 2022, only 11% of Norway’s total ODA to global education was channeled as core contributions to multilaterals. Key partners included IDA, UNRWA, UNICEF, and GPE. Norway pledged NOK3.7 billion, US$435 million, to GPE for 2021-2025. The government of Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre reduced funding to the budget line for education, reflecting a departure from the previous government's development priorities. The cut in funding has met with criticism from opposition parties, especially the Conservative Party.

The table below summarizes Norway’s more recent commitments to multilaterals working on education. Some of these commitments are considered core funding to multilaterals, while others will are allocated as earmarked funding through multilaterals.

Funding & Policy Outlook

What is the current government's outlook on educational ODA?

Education and humanitarian assistance go hand-in-hand: Norway is one of few countries to regard education as an explicit component of its humanitarian assistance policy. Norway is one of five founding donors to ECW, a special fund launched in 2016 that aims to improve access to education services in humanitarian emergencies and crises. Norway pledged US$53 million to ECW from 2023-2026 and is the 5th largest donor overall, with a total contribution of US$77 million for the period 2016-2022. The government is committed to prioritizing education in crisis and conflict settings, as well as promoting closer coordination between humanitarian and development efforts in education. According to the government, Norway spends more than 8% of its humanitarian assistance budget on education.

For more details on funding for education in emergencies, see our Donor Tracker’s insights piece: Decades of neglect: Donor financing for education in emergencies.

Prioritizing girls’ education: Norway is an international leader in global education, with a particular focus on girls’ education. Former Prime Minister Solberg co-initiated the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity and hosted the ‘Oslo Summit on Education for Development’ in 2015. The Commission aims to develop and promote innovative financing solutions for education to achieve the SDGs.

Looking toward educational technology: The government’s 2019 white paper on Digital transformation and development policy has a section focusing on developing and increasing access to digital tools for education.

Key bodies

Related Publications

Donor Updates in Brief: 2023 OECD Preliminary Data

December 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup 

September 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup 

Looking for a cross donor perspective?

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