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Gender Equality for Development (GEfD)

A group of colleagues from the institutional cooperation programme GEfD

Gender Equality for Development (GEfD) is an institutional cooperation programme that twins equality government institutions with the aim of supporting strong state institutions and good governance.

About the collaboration

The Norwegian Agency for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) coordinates the programme in collaboration with ministries responsible for equality and national statistics agencies in Uganda and Nepal.

The Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Equality and Statistics Norway are key partners in the programme. In the GEfD programme, Bufdir also contributes to gender mainstreaming in other institutional cooperation programmes funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). Fish, Tax, Energy and Oceans - for development - are examples of such programmes.

The delivery of the GEfD programme takes a long-term time perspective, and a national institutional cooperation programme can go over several years. Bufdir, jointly with Norad, started planning the GEfD programme in 2017.

Aims of the programme

The programme's overall aim is to reduce poverty and discrimination.

Sustainable development goal (SDG) five: The programme aims to contribute to the UN's sustainability goal number five. This goal is about achieving equality and strengthening the position of girls and women in society.

Sustainable development goals 16 and 17: SDGs 16 and 17, about building well-functioning, responsible and inclusive institutions and renewing global partnerships for sustainable development, are also targeted by the programme.

Country programmes in Ethiopia, Nepal and Uganda: In the country programmes, in Ethiopia, Nepal and Uganda, we have goals related to:

  • Strengthening the role of the Ministry of Gender Equality in cross-sectoral coordination.
  • Building capacity in managing the equality knowledge base.
  • Strengthening the role of the equality ministries and agencies to utilize the knowledge base in developing and following up good equality policies.

Background for the programme

The programme initiative was established as a result of the Norwegian government's action plan for women's rights and equality in foreign and development policy 2016-2020. In 2019 and 2020 two country programmes, in Ethiopia and Nepal, started up.

In 2021, planning for a new cooperation began with the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD). Due to civil unrest in Ethiopia, the programme has been paused for the time being.

Read more about the background for Equality for development on Norad's pages.

Responsibility for the programme

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has overall responsibility, and Norad is the secretariat for the programme. Bufdir is responsible for coordinating the program with actors both in the partner countries and in Norway.

Bufdir coordinates planning and reporting, and contributes with national equality experts, facilitating technical cooperation, and acts as a driving force more generally for the delivery of the programme in cooperation with all partners.

Target groups

The target group for the collaboration is institutions at government level in low- and middle-income countries that request capacity development in the field of equality.


In Nepal, we collaborate with the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

In Uganda, we work with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics.

In both countries we include several sectors, as equality occurs in working life, such as in education, the health sector and so on.

Measures and activities

The measures and activities under the GEfD programme are requested by the countries' authorities and are continuously under development.

In Ethiopia and Nepal, an equality statistics and knowledge publication has been a starting point for the collaborations. The publication has an inherent value, at the same time the process of developing the publication is a valuable tool to improve cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms and to increase skills and competence in compiling and publishing equality knowledge.

Ethiopia, Uganda and Nepal request support to set up national databases to coordinate equality statistics and knowledge. The GEfD collaboration is following this up in a long-term perspective.

Nepal requests knowledge on how to reduce violence in close relationships. Uganda requests expertise in equality statistics and in developing a research agenda for equality, to follow up aims and policies connected to Uganda’s national long-term plan.

Areas of cooperation requested by the countries include education and kindergartens, climate and environment, leadership training and women's economic rights.


Gender Equality for Development is financed over the state aid budget. In 2023, the grant to GEfD was NOK 9 million. The grants are managed by Norad.

Results of the programme

  • Increased competence to compile, analyze and produce equality statistics and knowledge.
  • Strengthened user-producer dialogue between the Statistics Office and the Ministry of Equality.

Video: How to achieve equality in the labour market

Video: Violence in close relationships in Norway


Marianne Holden
Email: marianne.holden@bufdir.no