Portfolio plan Global Development and International Relations

Definition of the Portfolio

The definition of the Global Development and International Relations Portfolio is developed on the understanding that foreign, security and development policy are interrelated.

The pace of international change has increased dramatically in recent years. The world is interconnected to the extent that changes in one geographic area can have significant, instant and lasting consequences in places far removed. Relationships between the major political and economic powers are increasingly characterized by rivalry and competition, rules-based global governance is being tested, and global power structures and relations are changing. The world has become a more unpredictable and, in some respects, a more dangerous place. Because of this, ensuring that decision-making and public debate are informed by research of the highest quality and relevance is an objective of national importance. This calls for inter-disciplinary research and research that invite new ways of thinking about risk, uncertainty and how these relate to development, health, security and international relations.

A robust knowledge base that considers geopolitical shifts is a prerequisite for sound management of Norway's international relations. The country´s international development agenda aims at promoting implementation of human rights, economic development, democratisation and rules-based governance, and action that will address the needs of the most vulnerable people and help reduce world poverty in line with Norway’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

New knowledge is required to understand how climate change, conflict and humanitarian need, health emergencies, poverty and the lack of decent wage employment opportunities, lack of education and poor health are affecting millions of people and all parts of the world both directly and indirectly. There is a need to understand how these global needs and challenges affect foreign, security and development policy, as well as national policy. This Portfolio recognises that these global challenges and developments have political, economic and security ramifications for each individual country as well as for Norway itself.

The Portfolio for Global Development and International Relations is characterised by research in the thematic areas of international relations, foreign and security policy, poverty reduction, climate change, humanitarian assistance, and global health. These thematic areas are inter-related and require a multi-dimensional approach, and it is crucial to understand the interlinkages between these trends in both the 'developed' and 'developing countries'[1]. This will help ensure sustainable economic and social development globally and ensure Norway remains a global leader in the area of global development and international relations.

The Global Development and International Relations Portfolio will include research projects that are funded through both targeted and other efforts. The targeted effort consists of the programmes UTENRIKS, NORGLOBAL2, GLOBVAC and VISJON2030, all of which have dedicated work programmes with detailed thematic priority areas.

The realisation of the Portfolio's goals is also dependent on cooperation with other funding schemes including, but not limited to: the EU framework programmes, Nordic Research Cooperation (NordForsk), Belmont Forum, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLOPID-R), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) and other international R&D-funding organisations and multi- and bilateral initiatives.

The Portfolio seeks to embrace a variety of disciplines including the social sciences, humanities, medicine and health sciences, agriculture and fisheries, natural sciences, education, technology and jurisprudence. The Portfolio will seek to cover the entire range of research: from basic research to innovation and piloting, although with a strong emphasis on applied and implementation research.

The Portfolio is largely financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Health and Care Services with smaller contributions from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the Ministry of Defence as well as a few other ministries. It is anticipated that the Portfolio will expand in the coming years and will include additional financial commitments from both the above mentioned and other ministries.


1 The term 'developing countries' is used in this document to encompass low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and least developed countries (LDCs).

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