The Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) is a programme launched by Norad in 2012. 


The aim of the programme is to strengthen capacity of higher education institutions in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) to educate more and better qualified candidates, and to increase quality and quantity of research conducted by the countries’ own researchers.

Higher education and research are priority areas of Norway’s development cooperation policy. Norad believes that sound, strategic investments in higher education and research in low and middle income countries (LMICs) pay off in the form of strong academic institutions and their societal engagement.

Such investments have many benefits, not least that they contribute to development of their countries’ intellectual resources, competent workforces, visionary leaders, gender equality and human rights. In the long run it also contributes to evidence-based policies and decisions that enhance sustainable economic, social and environmental development in low and middle income countries.

Six areas

The NORHED programme aims at strengthening the capacity of higher education institutions in low and middle income countries within six identified areas:

  • Education and training
  • Health
  • Natural resource management, climate change and environment
  • Democratic and economic governance
  • Humanities, culture, media and communication
  • Capacity development in South Sudan