Photo: DLL/Eivind Senneset
17 Jan 2024

New helpdesk for more effective aid

The Development Learning Lab has established a helpdesk that will make it easier for NGOs to access research-based knowledge.  The service is offered to organisations working toward a renewed agreement with Norad.

Norad is the main provider of funds for many NGOs. Recently, Norad increased its expectations to the organisations to document the knowledge base for the interventions they propose and make plans for how to generate relevant knowledge when it is lacking.  This is where a new helpdesk service from the Development Learning Lab (DLL) comes into play.

DLL aims to make research-based knowledge about the effectiveness of aid interventions available and accessible to NGOs, and DLL director Ottar Mæstad thinks their new helpdesk can provide valuable input to organisations preparing applications to Norad.

-Finding relevant research is a time-consuming and challenging task. Our helpdesk will help NGOs maneuver in this vast landscape. We will review existing research and identify knowledge gaps. We will also discuss with the organisations which interventions are backed up by research and which have proven to be less effective, he says.

DLL has thematic expertise in areas like climate adaptation, food security, health, education, women’s empowerment and economic development. Mæstad sees the cooperation with NGOs through the helpdesk service as an opportunity to develop a more effective knowledge system in the aid sector.

-Many organisations are working on the same topics, and there is need for a coordination mechanism to avoid double-work. DLL can serve this role and gradually build a knowledge base on a wide range of topics, says Mæstad.


Facts about DLL

  • DLL is a research and learning centre, based in Bergen, Norway.
  • DLL was established in 2021 as a collaboration between CMI, the University of Bergen (UiB), the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and its Centre for Applied Research (SNF).