Norwegian People’s Aid international development work is founded on a political tenet: A prerequisite for just distribution is that people have the opportunity to participate in, and influence decision making. . Development is not just about economic growth, knowledge or proper technical solutions. The most important factor is how power and resources are controlled and distributed. Therefore, the Norwegian People’s Aid International Strategy is about strengthening people’s opportunities to organise. Mobilisation and public debate are crucial in a democracy.
Norwegian People’s Aid focuses on the actors because we believe that mobilisation is the driving force behind social, economic and political change. The issues that mobilise people may differ from country to country but focusing on the actors remains key to our work. Therefore we work in partnership with organisations and popular movements in civil society. Norwegian People’s Aid aims to strengthen people’s own organisations in their struggle for democracy and greater political influence. We are committed to organisational development and to strengthen our partners’ ability to play a role in their societies. Norwegian People’s Aid also undertakes active lobbying, both in Norway and internationally, based on the experiences and issues pursued by our partners in their respective countries.
Women’s rights and gender equality also play a key role in the Norwegian People’s Aid strategy. Gender is an important factor regarding inequality and power in society. It is thus important for us to support women’s right to organise and challenge traditional gender roles. Norwegian People’s Aid cooperates with the Labour Party women’s network on the Women Can Do It project. This is a training programme and awareness-raising strategy for women who wish to participate in public life and in organisations or political parties.
A just distribution and access to land and natural resources is a prerequisite for those living from small-scale agriculture, animal husbandry or trading, to have food security and opportunities for economic development. Moreover, access to, and control over land is key to people’s social and cultural identity.
Cooperation with our partners obliges Norwegian People’s Aid to raise our political views on democracy and just distribution of resources with Norwegian authorities and the Norwegian public. The partnerships also oblige us to speak on behalf of our partners in national and international conflicts where Norwegian People’s Aid has adopted a political position.
In accordance with the principles and value basis adopted by the General Assembly in August 2015, Norwegian People’s Aid should:
Norwegian People’s Aid is working for Norwegian development policy to focus more on the distribution of power and resources, including the imbalance between women and men ( International strategy 2012–2015 ). An unequal distribution of power influences who is listened to and what decisions are taken. In this work our partners in over 20 countries, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, play a key role.
Norwegian People’s Aid cooperates with a number of LO (The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions) associations in political lobbying of Norwegian authorities. We also work closely together with other political groupings and organisations in Norway on various issues.
Solidarity also encompasses responding to situations of crisis. We organise our response on the basis of the following criteria:
We must ensure that our response targets specific needs in the affected areas and our efforts must therefore be based on gender analyses. It is important not to duplicate the work of others and to ensure that the assistance we provide does not undermine local humanitarian efforts. As a general rule, local response is rapid, flexible and better placed to determine the immediate needs of those affected.
Our humanitarian efforts are based on the principle of do no harm. In situations of conflict, our efforts are to be based on a conflict analysis. Norwegian People’s Aid will participate in any relevant coordination mechanisms.