"Norec as it is today represents the very best of global partnerships — in spirit and in practice," says former Director General of Norec (FK Norway), Nita Kapoor.

Happy Anniversary, Norec! I have been privileged to be part of the Norec journey for eleven of your sixty years, and for me Norec as it is today represents the very best of global partnerships — in spirit and in practice. You establish and cultivate partnerships for capacity building and development, and not least: for increasing cross-border ties, friendships and solidarity!

Read More: The Minister of Development marked Norec’s 60th anniversary by visiting flagship project

Many years ahead of its time

In the year 2000, Norec transformed itself to materialise a vision which I feel was many years ahead of its time. It did so through its model of reciprocal partnership and exchange. I first joined Norec, or “FK Norway” as it was then called, in 2001 as member of the Board. Already then, this institution was applauded for representing a paradigm shift within international exchange of volunteers and professionals.

Norec’s uniqueness lies in that rather than just facilitating the traditional one-sided exchanges going only from the North to the South, Norec has promoted mutual partnerships. Since 2000, the exchange of professionals and volunteers go in both directions of North-to-South and South-to-North at the same time. Among very few actors within the world of international volunteering and development cooperation, Norec also supports South-South and triangular exchanges.

Equal partnerships makes for better results

This model is based on the belief that there is no one side that has all the answers and solutions. Through the principle of reciprocity and equal partnerships, it is possible to develop capacity and achieve results together which we would not have managed alone.

Since 2009, I had the honour to serve Norec/FK Norway as director general for eight years. Along with dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate partners, volunteers and staff, we hopefully continued to progress this unique part of Norwegian development cooperation during my tenure.

Former Director General of FK Norway Nita Kapoor poses in front of a group of young people.
Former Director General of FK Norway Nita Kapoor in front of a group of FK participants in 2017.

Increasingly recognised

From the perspective of a retiree now, I see how Norec has continued to refine and advance its unique model of exchange. In addition, Norec has evolved by expanding its operations and strengthen its position strategically as well as in quality and effectiveness. Through several decades now, the Norec organisation is recognised for its expertise within cross-border capacity-building. Such people-to-people collaboration is both powerful and empowering.

The Norec staff team continues to nurture the principles which the partners and participants demonstrate in real-life: That multi-sided, reciprocal, and equitable partnerships are truly the sustainable ones. In addition, we see that they are also very cost-effective since Norec projects keep delivering to the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve outstanding results through quite small financial means seen in a context of development cooperation.

Outstanding agent for the betterment of our world

Congratulations to all Norec partners, participants and volunteers, staff and friends who have made this possible! Our world needs sustainable partnerships and people-to-people cooperation more than ever.

I look forward to seeing Norec progressing ahead so that you can increase the strength of your footprint even further. Your experience and expertise make you an outstanding agent of (ex) change for the betterment of our world!