Portfolio analysis for Global development and international relations
Issues that impact investment choices
Investment choices are impacted by the priorities in the portfolio plan, both thematic and structural, striving to achieve a sound balance across the priorities. Further, as this portfolio has a very applied objective and targets policymakers and practitioners, both nationally and in LMICs, within the priority areas. This is of consequence for investment choices as the research not only must emphasise novelty and excellence, but also strong relevance to the topics highlighted in key Governmental papers from funding ministries of this portfolio.
Key documents which constitute the basis for priorities within the portfolio are the white papers
- Meld. St. 4 (2018-2019) Long-term plan for research and higher education 2019-2028 (of particular relevance is the cross-cutting perspective related to the Sustainable Development Goals and the priority area Societal Security and Social Cohesion in a Globalised World)
- Meld. St. 27 (2018–2019) Norway’s Role and Interests in Multilateral Cooperation
- Meld. St. 36 (2016–2017) Setting the course for Norwegian foreign and security policy
- Meld. St. 17 (2017-2018) Partner Countries in Norway’s Development Policy (executive summary in English)
- Meld. St. 24 (2016–2017) - Common Responsibility for Common Future
- The research strategy for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation 2017 - 2024
- Strategy for research and development for the defence sector (only available in Norwegian)
- Meld. St. 10 (2021–2022) Priority changes, status and actions in the defence sector (only available in Norwegian: Prioriterte endringer, status og tiltak i forsvarssektoren)
- Meld. St. 40 (2020–2021) Objectives with meaning – Norway's action plan to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 (only available in Norwegian: Mål med mening— Norges handlingsplan for å nå bærekraftsmålene innen 2030)
- Health and Care 21-strategy (only available in Norwegian) along with the executive strategy for The Research Council of Norway, Empowering Ideas for a Better World, in addition to priorities set out in the annual allotment letters from the ministries.
The ministries' allocations to the Research Council should, within this portfolio, contribute to the achievement of the Long-term plan's goals Improving scientific quality and Meeting major societal challenges. The first goal entails a national responsibility for making funds for research available and secure competent Norwegian knowledge environments in areas of importance for each of the ministries. This includes promoting long-term production of knowledge, as well as knowledge that can contribute to achieving the sustainability goals relevant for each ministry.
The papers and strategies listed above, all express great ambitions regarding the need for solid, timely and relevant research to underpin policy and practice within each of the portfolio's priority areas. However, the R&D-funding is both somewhat inadequate and rather imbalanced. Most of the portfolio's funding derives from ODA funds. Only 11 percent is allocated to research on international relations, foreign and security policy. There is a need to increase overall funding for this portfolio, and an acute need to increase non-ODA funding, to achieve the goals set by the Government and the various ministries. This would ensure an adequate and balanced R&D-effort and provide opportunities to fund more research that cut across 'global development' research and 'international, foreign and security'-related research.
The latter point is particularly important to meet the challenges ahead. As stated in the Governments white paper Meld. St. 14 (2020 – 2021) Long-term Perspectives on the Norwegian Economy 2021, global challenges require cooperation and joint efforts: "A change in international relations towards more rivalry and less cooperation between countries is cause for concern in a time when it is more important than ever for the world to stand united in solving joint challenges." Although the paper has a national motivation, the interconnectedness through global economy, global value chains, international relations, etc. necessitates a continuous knowledge-production related to international and global matters and development trends.
The portfolio sets out a number of structural criteria which impact funding decisions. A priority in the portfolio is to encourage international collaboration and calls within the portfolio will often demand international partners. The projects all have extensive collaboration; however, they converge around a handful of countries.
The portfolio promotes fair and equitable research partnerships between Norwegian research institutions and research and other institutions in LMICs. GLOBVAC has come the furthest in implementing principles for ensuring equitable partnerships, but other funding schemes are following suit.
An important prerequisite for obtaining funding is that researchers must abide by national, European, and international standards for research integrity. Research must be conducted in accordance with ethical, legal, and professional frameworks, obligations, and standards. This includes seeking ethical approval for research where appropriate.
The Research Council aims at promoting gender balance within research projects both in projects managers, in senior academic positions and in recruitment positions. This portfolio has an excellent gender balance on all levels, and further actions to ensure better balance is deemed unnecessary.
Messages at time of print 4 December 2022, 03:50 CET