The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), has signed an agreement with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), to provide the institution with annual core funding.
Core funding is financial support made to institutions to produce global public goods, and to support of general operations, research, management and administration costs. Such resources ensure smooth day-to-day functions and contribute to stronger organisations that have greater impact, as they enable the improvement of processes, innovations and in-depth, systems-approach impact, thus enhancing productivity and efficiency.
For research and development institutions like icipe, core funds safeguard resilience and capacity for innovation through long-term, visionary planning.
They allow infrastructural upgrades of important physical and intellectual infrastructure and scientific equipment, as well as staff capacity strengthening, communication, finance and research innovation dockets. Significantly, core funds support the exploratory phases of novel research areas, helping to generate the evidence base needed to attract project investments. The funds also serve as a bridge for researchers and projects between funding phases. Indeed, without core funds it would be difficult for research and development institutions to effectively undertake their main business.
The core support by Norad to icipe is in line with Norway’s commitment to strengthen food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Within this vision, Norad intends to boost research that contributes to: increased local climate-resilient food production; increased local value creation and incomes for food producers; reduced malnutrition and under nutrition; and reduced hunger crises.
“Norad aimed to support an African-led research institution that works on the above-mentioned topics, which has significant activity in the region – including Norway’s five priority countries; Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan and Ghana – and has a mandate for capacity development,” says Solbjørg Sjøveian, Head of Higher Education and Research in Norad. “The decision to provide core support to icipe was based on several factors, including icipe’s outstanding results on recent agreements* with Norad, as well as the Centre’s solid administrative system,” Sjøveian adds.
“Norad was one of the earliest supporters of icipe right from the founding of the Centre more than 50 years ago and has remained central to the execution of the vision and strategies of using insect science to transform livelihoods in Africa. The core support will significantly strengthen icipe and greatly benefit the constituencies that we serve,” stated icipe Director General & CEO, Dr Segenet Kelemu.
The core funding agreement will strengthen the partnership between Norad and icipe in boosting research and capacity development for food security, thus contributing to the aspirations of Agenda 2063 of the African Union and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all the member states of the United Nations.
“Norad and icipe mark the beginning of a new and exciting phase; a model of strategic investment and partnership for a greener, more sustainable, knowledge-based, innovation-driven, prosperous world. This is a vision that both our institutions cherish and share,” added Dr Kjersti Thorkildsen, Senior Adviser, Section for Higher Education and Research, in Norad.
Norad joins a list of icipe core donors that includes: the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida); the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and the Government of the Republic of Kenya.