Background

Public registers containing information about people, businesses and properties are fundamental to good governance and economic development. Such registers are necessary for efficient collection of taxes and for statistical production, ensuring rights for the population, are the basis for business development and investment, provide opportunities for borrowing and make everyday life easier for people and businesses. Most developing countries lack all or part of such registries, or they work poorly and only include parts of the population and business.

Basic public registries are required to meet several of the UN Sustainable Development Objectives for 2030 and related indicators, such as Interim Objective 16.9 on the right to legal identity for all including birth registration. Public basic registers support several of the priority areas for Norwegian assistance, including good governance, business development and job creation.

The parties to this agreement have noted the priorities in the Parliament’s whitepaper  on Norway’s response to the Sustainable Development  Goals, including for Norwegian development aid. .

Norway is recognized for having good solutions for basic public registries as well as for use of registers for collection and calculation of taxes and for production of register-based statistics. The parties to the agreement are responsible for the basic Norwegian public registers and are as well important users of them:

  1. The Tax Directorate is responsible for the Population Register and uses the public basic registers for collection and calculation of taxes
  2. The Mapping Authority  is responsible for the property register and address register
  3. The Brønnøysund Register is responsible for the Register of Business Enterprises, the Unit Register and a number of other rights registers
  4. Statistics Norway produces important statistics by retrieving information from the public registers

The partners to the Agreement record increasing demand from partner countries for assistance in improving their basic registers. The partners have all been involved in assistance, as single contributors and to a slightly different extent and under various Norwegian support  programs. The parties to the Agreement believe that assistance can be more effective with increased cooperation. Goal The co-operation aims at coordinating Norwegian assistance to establishing public basic registers in  partner countries. Furthermore, to create a greater understanding of the importance of establishing and operating high quality registers.

Activities

The cooperation will be realized through the following activities:

  • Exchange information and experience between the partners on development cooperation
  • Map potential areas of cooperation and assistance projects
  • Promote the benefits of developing and using administrative registers for development both in Norway and internationally
  • Simplify the exchange of experts between institutions
  • Work for a stronger and more coordinated effort within Norwegian aid for the development and use of public base registers in partner countries
  • Establish a working group for development of public basic registers in development cooperation The parties' responsibility for implementing the cooperation
  • The parties will inform each other about relevant projects and activities
  • The parties will initiate cooperation on the planning and execution of projects where relevant and appropriate
  • The parties will inform the Norwegian aid agency, other donors and partners in the partner countries about the parties' respective competencies and the need for a comprehensive effort
  • The parties aim at becoming active partners to the “Knowledge Bank”, which Norad has established for transfer of knowledge from Norwegian public institutions to sister organizations in developing countries  

Activities thus far have included cooperation in development projects in Sudan, as well as a presentation for the 50th Session of the UN Statistical Commission.