ADRA Norway Chosen by Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

Will ensure a simpler application process for development projects.

News June 3, 2024

3 June 2024| Røyse, Norway [Gry Haugen]

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Norway is one of the first seven aid organisations in Norway approved to work within a new cooperation model with Norad, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The Plus Partnership status granted to ADRA Norway ensures a simpler, more straightforward application process and closer follow-up in its cooperation with Norwegian aid authorities.

Plus Partnership

The Plus Partnership is the name of this new cooperation model, which aims to provide a simpler application process for development projects, closer follow-up during the implementation phase, and greater flexibility in response to changing conditions, both geopolitically and within the project countries. “The Plus Partnership model aims to free up time for strategic cooperation, thus ensuring better and more effective aid,” Norad states on its website.

“ADRA’s Plus Partnership with Norad applies to our work in the field of education,” says Birgit Philipsen, Secretary General of ADRA Norway. “Education is ADRA Norway’s area of expertise, and this agreement gives us great flexibility as we also embark on a new five-year programme agreement.”

Other organisations with Plus Partnerships include Save the Children Norway, NRC – Norwegian Church Aid, NCA – Norwegian People’s Aid, NRC – Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE Norway, and the Strømme Foundation.

In a society where early and arranged marriages are common, Napim and her friends want to stay in school to learn. Here is an image from one of ADRA’s Norad-supported projects in South Sudan. [Photo: ADRA – Frank Spangler]
Unstable World – Flexibility Essential

Erik Lunde, Secretary General of the Strømme Foundation, emphasised the importance of such processes for enhancing development effectiveness. “In an unstable world, trust and flexibility have become more important,” he added. Secretary General Philipsen of ADRA highlighted the importance of civil society’s role in engaging with communities at the grassroots level and reaching those who need us most.

The Norad Plus Partnership model has been developed after extensive consultation between Norad and civil society organisations. It is intended for large civil society organisations that meet specific criteria related to funding volume, implementation capacity, strategic focus, organisational systems, and professional expertise.

Norad’s Director General, Bård Vegar Solhjell, praised Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim for her direction, drive, and capacity. “Our ambition at Norad is to think even more holistically,” he said, expressing hope for further political interest and commitment.

The purpose of the Plus Partnership model is to make the administration of Norad and its partners more efficient and the agreement is initially valid for five years.

Action to Strengthen Partnerships for Inclusion, Resilience, and Education. 

Parallel to the special partnership process, Norad and ADRA also signed a five-year programme agreement, securing ADRA Norway NOK 390 million (about £29m) for five years, – for holistic educational development work in seven partner countries, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Niger, Somalia, Myanmar, Mali and Uganda.

The new five-year programme is named Aspire: Action to Strengthen Partnerships for Inclusion, Resilience, and Education. It aims to bridge education gaps for children and youth and will enhance resilience through partnerships with civil society and local governments. The programme is responsive to issues arising from conflicts, insecurity, youth unemployment, high out-of-school drop-out rates and, in many countries, low teaching quality.


[Lead picture: Synnøve Aasland, Norad, CC BY-NC-ND From left to right, Secretary General Erik Lunde of the Strømme Foundation, Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten of Norwegian Church Aid, Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Ann Stewart Pedersen of Save the Children, Secretary General Birgit Philipsen of ADRA Norway, Executive Director of Field Operations Magnhild Vasset of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Secretary General Raymond Johansen of Norwegian People’s Aid, Secretary General Kaj-Martin Georgsen of CARE Norway, and Bård Vegar Solhjell, Director General of Norad].

About ADRA Norway ADRA Norway works for equality, peace, and reconciliation through sustainable development projects, mainly in education, but also in health and food security. ADRA Norway’s programmes focus on building local capacity. The agency’s programmes place particular emphasis on improving the working and life situation of women and children, with a focus on human rights, education, democratic participation, and the environment. ADRA Norway, the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church also works for an efficient utilization of funds and resources.

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