The Norwegian Mapping Authority's International Services Section has two roles:
- to assist in the implementation of Norwegian foreign aid through projects related to mapping, property registration and capacity building.
- to coordinate the Authority's international activities.
Read about our development work below. Read about our other international activities here.
Implementation of foreign aid
The Section assists with Norwegian funded foreign aid projects related to land administration, with emphasis on combating poverty through capacity building. The main themes of our projects are:
- First registration of property rights
- Cadastral surveying and mapping
- Mapping of areas vulnerable to natural disasters
- Distribution of geographical data to users and stakeholders
The Section is financially self-sufficient and the funding comes from different sources on a project basis. Most of our projects are funded by different geographically defined grant mechanisms within the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The funds are generally transferred to the Norwegian Mapping Authority, which enters into contracts with the suppliers for the project. In addition, we participate as partners in several projects financed by the EEA grants mechanism.
Our foreign aid projects
We participate in on-going projects in several countries. See our complete list of ongoing projects.
How we work
In the implementation of projects we work closely with the beneficiary institutions. Depending on the funding mechanism, we can do the supervision, make procurements and provide quality control. We can also provide technical assistance, but goods and consulting services are generally procured from the private sector through local or international tenders.
The Section can draw on the broad expertise of experienced land rights and mapping professionals within our entire organisation for our projects.
Norway is a rich country. This inspires us to perceive our role in relation to aid in a broader perspective, based on socio-ethical responsibility. The Norwegian Mapping Authority should play an active role in regard to relief for poverty-stricken countries, with priorities and frameworks established in a dialogue with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority participates in projects financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). In 2012, this involved projects in four former Yugoslav republics and three countries from the former Soviet Union. The funds are transferred to the Norwegian Mapping Authority, which enters into contracts with various suppliers.
Beyond Europe, the Norwegian Mapping Authority is involved in the establishment of marine borders for seven West African countries. See the project overview for more information about our relief projects.
Private property rights
In the vast majority of developing countries, only the rich elite can afford to register fixed property, secure their property rights and use the property as security for a mortgage. Many poor countries are also in desperate need of better maps for planning, expansion and emergency response.
In the past decade, the Norwegian Mapping Authority has been strongly committed to establishing property registers and geographical information in former socialist republics in Southern and Eastern Europe, particularly in regard to restoring private property rights.
Social inclusion and economic growth
The Norwegian Mapping Authority is also involved in projects to assist developing countries in improving geographical information, maps and other services that can be used in planning, facilitating economic growth, prevention of criminal activity and combating environmental problems.
International marine safety
Norway is committed to improving marine safety worldwide. The Norwegian Mapping Authority works with developing countries to build and strengthen the nautical charts for these countries in cases where Norwegian assistance is relevant. Among other things, Norway has helped to build up nautical charting in Mozambique.
Quality assurance for EEA projects
The Norwegian Mapping Authority contributes on behalf of donor countries to projects financed by the EEA grants scheme. In the case of EEA projects, the funds are allocated to institutions in the beneficiary country. The Norwegian Mapping Authority primarily contributes in terms of quality assurance of the projects and some technical assistance. In 2012, the Norwegian Mapping Authority was involved in projects in five countries.
Supplies of goods and services for projects are procured via the open tender system in Norway, or internationally if the amount exceeds NOK one million. The Norwegian Mapping Authority should not compete with private companies, and therefore mainly concentrates on project management and quality assurance, as well as on training and transfer of competences.
Since 2005, the Norwegian Mapping Authority has had a dedicated unit for aid, the International Services Section. Expertise from other parts of the Norwegian Mapping Authority are brought in as required.