My tenure as director of FK Norway is fast coming to its end, and it is with humility I present some reflections on our achievements as a tool for development. When I joined FK Norway in 2009, what met me was a wonderful organisation based upon ideals of solidarity, equity and reciprocity. In 2000, the Norwegian Parliament had taken the bold move to abolish a one-sided, donor-driven approach in order to re-create FK as an agency promoting mutual, partnership-driven exchange. By 2009 when I came on board, FK Norway had grown from zero to an impressive and colourful portfolio of projects in 55 countries.
Along with a dedicated staff, it was my privilege to direct us further – towards increased thematic and geographic concentration, in order to achieve stronger results on the ground. I’m happy to see that we have through these years also managed to document and systematize our knowledge base even further, and to professionalize our administrative systems and routines without losing our passion or foothold within inclusive development. We have conceptualized our exchanges into two clear and strong programs, and we have strengthened and sharpened our training outcomes.
Along with our partners, it is a great pleasure to see how the FK Norway family is delivering strongly to the sustainable development goals – as we did to the millennium development goals. Our fundamental ideals about mutual partnerships for development and the inclusion of young people as the agents of change is entirely in line with Agenda 2030. FK Norway’s directionality South-South, South-North and North-South underscores universality and the fact that we are all in the same boat and need to find common solutions to global challenges. And it is truly gratifying to see that FK Norway’s approach and methodology have a strong standing among our peers and friends internationally.
As many of you have observed, FK Norway’s strategic approach has been “AND”, not “OR”. We have aspired to values which are flexible and dynamic, working and balancing together. We have wanted to challenge and be respectful. To be passionate and professional. To develop individual and institutional capacity, perspectives and knowledge, change on the ground and in our minds. It is my hope that we have delivered on these ambitions.
Towards the end of my tenure, the Norwegian Government decided that as a part of regional policy, the head office of FK Norway will be relocated from Oslo to Førde on the west-coast of Norway during the course of 2018. The move will provide challenges for the organization, especially in a transitional phase during the transfer of competency. At the same time, this decision opens up a number of new opportunities for our programmatic work as well as our outreach. It is my hope that FK Norway localized in Førde will continue to be a strong, innovative, vibrant and visible institution promoting people-centred development for many years to come.
Thank you for eight fascinating and inspiring years. My best wishes are with you all who make up the movement of minds, capacities and human relationships through this unique and marvelous organisation called FK Norway.
Director General of FK Norway