Have you thought about how many practical things must work in order for a company or an agency to function?

At Norec we have a group of staff who ensure that Norec’s workplace operations operate smoothly and seamlessly. 

These staff perform a number of tasks that only they can do, and which are essential so that staff in other sections can do their jobs. We speak of course of Norec’s governance team. 

 – To be a bit simplistic, you could say that we “serve” the rest of the office. Our team has quite a lot of expertise and training in a number of fields, and each member of our team plays a key role in the company, says Head of Section Anne Lise Bekjorden. 

Many of the essential tasks are the same ones that make any workplace function. Someone has to make sure that our salaries are paid at the right time, someone has to balance the books, and someone has to ensure that the staff are treated fairly and are enjoying themselves at work. 

Someone must ensure that our archives are organized correctly, that our computers get the help they need when they suddenly go on strike, that we follow all governing rules and regulations, and last but not least, that our partners receive their grant funds and use them as planned. 

And if that all weren’t enough, this team also takes responsibility for highlighting available positions at the UN, as well as monitoring and evaluation of the effects of staff exchange for our collaborative partners and their participants.  

If you make contact with Norec, there’s a good chance that someone in the governance section will be the first to receive your inquiry. Here are some of the key players in the section, so that you can get to know them even better. 

Norec’s Governance Section 

Anne Lise Bekjorden

Position: Head of Section, Governance 

– I’m trained as an editor and a teacher, and have lived here in Førde for over 30 years. Norec’s central values like reciprocity and equality were important reasons that I applied to work with Norec. I’m also glad to have had the opportunity to work with people who lead truly inspiring and meaningful lives. 

What does your job entail? 

– My job is divided between management responsibilities and everything that falls under the umbrella of accounting and economics. In a department with expertise in so many diverse fields, one can’t be an expert in everything. So my main competence lies in accounting, payroll, and internal controls. In addition, I ensure that all of our partners receive their payments on time, so that they have the funds they need to achieve their goals.  

Helge Espe

Position: Senior Adviser, UN and International Networks 

– I’m trained in sociology and in social planning and I started my career with the Oslo Office of Urban Planning. In the 1980s I entered the world of aid and development policy during the famine in Ethiopia, and I worked in Ethiopia for 11 years as a representative of Save the Children. The relaunch of the new Peace Corps in 2001 gave me the opportunity to combine my expertise in exchange programs, societal analysis, administration, and leadership experience. 

– What does your job entail? 

– Today my job can probably best be summed up by saying that I try to position Norec and Norwegian development policy advantageously within international and multilateral networks. I contribute with Norec’s knowledge, experience, and viewpoints in these networks, and in addition I try to bring a bit of what’s going on in “the outside world” back to Norec, especially on the research front. 

The key idea here is outreach and communication, especially strengthening Norec as a centre of competence. One crucial strength is our expertise with South-South and triangular cooperation, in which Norec takes a leadership role internationally, and another is in international volunteerism. The work can vary from day to day, from participating and contributing in international conferences and webinars, to writing articles, to following-up with research. 

Linn Helen Evensen

Position: Document Controller and Archive Manager 

– My career with Norec began as soon as the company moved to Førde in August 2018. I applied here because I liked the social mission of Norec, and I wanted to be a part of (hopefully) making a difference. Earlier in my career I had experience as a case manager at Helse Førde.  

What does your job entail? 

– As a state agency, we are subject to the Archive Act, which has strict rules about everything that we must archive. As the Archive Manager I ensure the operation and management of our archive system. Norec wants to be “best in class” in digital archiving. We were therefore first to integrate Microsoft Teams with our archive, to ensure that our work within Teams would also be archived. In addition, I am responsible for Norec’s governing documents and goals. You could say that I ensure that all of our routines, procedures, and policies are up to date.  

Øivind Arnando Reinertsen

Position: Compliance Officer 

I actually come from Kristiansand, but I had lived in Bergen for 13 years before I moved to Førde in 2021. In terms of my education, I have a bachelor’s degree in political economy and law, both from the University of Bergen. Earlier I had worked in privacy protection research in the health sector. With three small children, Førde is a great place to live. Norec is a workplace which gives a good balance between exciting work assignments and a good work environment, with plenty of time for family obligations as well. 

What does your job entail? 

– I have responsibility over internal controls. You could say that I make sure that Norec follows the requirements and guidelines that we are required to follow. In addition, I conduct quality assurance checks, making sure that our routines, contracts, and official procurement procedures are all operating by the book, and I conduct risk assessments.  I am also the one who handles and suspicions of malpractice.  

Kari Lindemann

Position: Senior Adviser, Monitoring and Evaluation 

– My master’s degree in international development really came in handy once I began to work at Norec. Before I started here, I had worked with many international organisations in Norway, Uganda, and Tanzania.  

– What does your job entail? 

– My work ensures that Norec will have good information about what the exchange participants have learned and contributed to their host organisations. Internally within Norec we refer to this as evaluation, monitoring, and learning. By documenting the work over time, we see that many organisations develop and learn entirely new things by hosting people from other countries and cultures.   

Trine Lise Sagmo

Position: Controller

– Originally I’m from northern Norway, but 17 years ago I ended up on a farm in Sunnfjord. I studied geography and agricultural economics, finishing my education with a master’s degree in Social Economics. My work life began with seven years as an auditor, and then eight years as a controller within public transportation in the municipality. Ever since I had moved to Førde, Norec had been on my radar, and I was waiting for the right position to apply for. In the fall of 2020, the perfect position came up, and now I have worked here for a little over a year.  

– What does your job entail? 

– As a controller at Norec, I help the program advisers to understand and evaluate the audits and accounting information that comes as part of the application decision process. In addition, I help with the same tasks when projects we support, which are underway, file their interim reports. If a project has unused funds, I am the one who claims them back when the project is finished. Øyvind and I make up Norec’s notification team. This means that we follow up if there is a notification of suspicion of objectionable conditions or malpractice. Apart from this, I work with budgets and forecasts linked to recruitment for international organisations. 

Tormod Nuland

Position: Senior Adviser and Project Coordinator for International Recruiting 

I’m actually trained as a journalist, and have many years of experience from working abroad. I have worked outside of Norway for 10 years, both for different Norwegian organisations and embassies. I have also held different positions at the UN in Ethiopia, Niger, Mali, and Sweden.  

What does your job entail? 

Each year Norway finances a few jobs which are reserved for Norwegians in the UN system and at the World Bank. In this way, Norway supports the UN directly with people, and at the same time gives Norwegians a way to get professional experience through the UN system. I hope this will lead to a few more Norwegians becoming interested in international organisations, so that Norway can make more of an impact internationally. My job is to serve as a liaison between Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which decides what the positions should be, and Norec, which transfers funds to the UN, so that the UN can conduct the hiring. It’s an exciting job where I make good use of everything I learned during my time at the UN. I also have a lot of contact with the people who are hired into the positions, and give them tips and advice about how they can make the most out of working for the UN. 

Heidi Fluge

Position: Senior Administration Consultant 

With an education in textile arts and regenerative cultivation, you might wonder how I ended up with Norec. Throughout my work life I have acquired extensive experience in administrative work. When Norec advertised the position for an administration consultant, I knew in the blink of an eye it was the right job for me. 

What does your job entail? 

Mainly I work with paying out grants to all of our partner projects which Norec supports around the world. In addition I help the archive team with tasks like record keeping, case closures, and electronic inspections. I also take care of Norec’s mail and switchboard. If you call us or send us mail, there’s a good chance it will come to me. As office manager, I am also in charge of repairs when things break, and in-house purchasing. 

Miriam Haugsbø

Position: Senior Adviser, Monitoring and Evaluation 

From the University of Oslo I have a Master’s degree in political science. Earlier I worked in the environment and transportation field as a consultant. In addition I have worked in the Ministry of Climate and the Environment. In January I moved from Oslo to Førde to begin as a senior adviser at Norec.  

– What does your job entail? 

As an analyst adviser in the governance section, it’s my job to collect and use information about Norec’s work. We do this so that we can become even better at the work we do. We collect the information through questionnaires which are sent out to participants and partner organisations. We then commission reports from external consultants, in addition to making internal analyses. 

Camilla Valvik

Position: Senior Adviser, HR 

Even though I have a master’s degree in comparative politics, after I got the master’s I chose to continue my studies within the field of HR. The last ten years I’ve worked in HR both at Eviny (formerly BKK) and Fjaler municipality. When Norec advertised the position for a senior adviser in HR, I couldn’t resist applying. Norec’s mission, and the opportunity to work in an international work environment, were essential reasons that I applied. 

What does your job entail? 

The HR job is varied and rewarding. My work assignments have a lot to do with providing good service within the professional areas of payroll and personnel. I also contribute by advising the management team about HR questions. In addition, recruiting is an important part of the job, both for the positions here at Norec and with the team that works with positions at international organisations like the UN and the World Bank. 

Thomas Viken

Position: ICT manager

I have a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Even though I come from Vestlandet, I moved to Oslo for my education, and it was there that I began my career. After 7 years I wanted to move back to Vestlandet. Luckily enough, I got the job at Norec as I was moving back from Oslo to Førde, and I got the opportunity to try my luck in my old stomping grounds. 

What does your job entail? 

When the technology stops working, I’m the one to call. As an ICT specialist I’m responsible for administering all of our ICT systems, for example our monitors, keyboards, and computers. This includes both the purchase and maintenance of the equipment, and follow-up with our suppliers and contracted consultants. I also participate in various projects and specialized processes where I can contribute my expertise.