Contact FAQ Help News Page index Search Site map


Supras provides services in these areas of concern and expertise: (1) Projects and operations, (2) Research, (3) Natural resource management, (4) Capacity building, (5) Civil society, culture, institutions and social organization, (6) Governance, (7) Risk and conflict management, (8) Networks and networking, (9) Information and communication technology and development, (10) Knowledge management, and (11) Strategic communication.

There is overlap and feedback between these service areas. Likewise, they are related causally. This applies, in particular, to the relationships between, on the one hand, “Projects and operations” and “Research” and, on the other hand, the other service areas.

This pages contain more details about the Service areas. See also the Sources.


The Service areas should be understood as operationalizations of the Profile, and the Competencies (see below). Activities within each Service area are available in the Portfolio. Cf. also Supras’ Capability statement.


The starting point is Supras’ “Competencies”. They reflect Supras’ capabilities and responsibilities within a comprehensive project team, and constitute a logical unit. The Service area are operationalizations of the Competencies. The Competencies are:

1  Environmental management
Focuses on natural resources and sustainable management of such resources, as found in, specifically, agriculture, coastal zone management, fisheries, and forestry. The emphasis is on the relations between people and the local resources they utilize, that is, the culture, values and social organization of resource appropriation.
Service area: “Natural resource management” (see below).
2  Capacity building
Comprises organization of and participation in capacity-building and training activities, organization of seminars and workshops, and lecturing. Takes place in connection with development projects and investment operations, and developmental activities in general, but also as free-standing activities, including in developed countries.
Service areas: “Capacity building”, “Civil society, culture, institutions and social organization”, and “Governance” (see below).
3  Risk and conflict management
Concerned with analyzing complex micro- and macro-situations that often undergo fast change, engage in proposing optimal development scenarios, and work to achieve the preferred scenarios. There is a focus on livelihoods and natural resource management, and on the interface between environmental sustainability and social sustainability.
Service area: “Risk and conflict management” (see below).
4  Communication
Concerned with communication, intra-culturally and inter-culturally, between people as well as between organizations. Special focus on the content and effectiveness of communication under situations of social change, as well as when parties to a communication exchange represent very different backgrounds, culturally and/or organizationally.
Service areas: “Networks and networking”, “Information and communication technology and development”, “Knowledge management”, and “Strategic communication” (see below).

Service areas

The Service areas are operationalizations of one or more of the Competencies (see above). The basic service areas are: (1) Projects and operations and (2) Research, in terms of importance as well as how they draw upon and integrate the other Service areas (see below).

Projects and operations and research

1  Projects and operations
Operational work, covering the complete project cycle, and investment operations more generally. The project cycle consists of some or all of these phases: Country assistance strategy, Identification, Preparation, Appraisal, Negotiation, Approval, Implementation and supervision, Completion, and Evaluation. Typically, several of the Profile’s “Competencies”, which may cover one or more “Service area”, are addressed in specific operational activities.
2  Research
Addresses a number of separate but interrelated areas of concern. The overarching context is globalization and its impacts at various organizational and societal levels. Applicable to a host of concerns and activities, including, for example, property rights. Typically, several of the Profile’s “Competencies”, which may cover one or more “Service area”, are addressed in specific research activities. The “Competencies” also feed into, as well as are informed by, research activities.

Other service areas

For definitions of these Service areas, cf. CBNRM Net’s Terminology page. Some are identical with the Portfolio’s Issues.

3  Natural resource management
Supras works on natural resource management (NRM) in various ways, including operational work, capacity building, networking, publishing, and research. Use of the practices, models, and approaches inherent in Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) has proven useful, as has a concern with common property resources and legal title to natural resources ... [more]
4  Capacity building
Comprises organization of and participation in capacity-building and training activities, organization of seminars and workshops, and lecturing. It often takes place in connection with project implementation. Capacity building is also done in developed countries. Capacity building is a broad term that includes training ... [more]
5  Civil society, culture, institutions, and social organization
These terms represent the broad facts, patterns of organization, and values that are necessary for conceptualizing and understanding livelihoods at various societal levels. Culture, civil society (including NGOs), institutions and organizations have to be understood as positive aspects of the local setting that should be utilized ... [more]
6  Governance
Governance is understood as the process of decision-making, including who is involved, and how and by whom decisions are implemented. The ideal governance system is often referred to as good governance, and adheres to strict standards of abuse, corruption, and the rule of law. A practical approach to involving and relating with stakeholders that are dissimilar in various respects, and that are located on different levels, is co-management ... [more]
7  Risk and conflict management
In the context of NRM conflicts are to a large extent part of everyday life. This applies to traditional cultures, and increasingly to all cultures undergoing rapid social change, where values of different ethnic groups, often with differing livelihoods, are pitted against each other. This occurs, for example, with increasing frequency in situations of internal migration and population growth, which often results in increasing competition over finite natural resources. Conflicts are appropriately addressed through governance, transparency and networking ... [more]
8  Networks and networking
As the number of involved stakeholders increase, the challenges to creating and maintaining communication also increase. While social networks that facilitate such communication is a part of social organization and everyday life, at higher levels they have to be created and managed. The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) is proving to be a watershed for networks and networking. Networks in general are in the business of knowledge management. Networks can contribute greatly to creating transparency ... [more]
9  Information and communication technology and development
The goal is to present a broad and result-oriented approach to knowledge management that enables a more realistic assessment of the incentives and constraints involved in using information and communication technology (ICT) in development cooperation, thus aligning the needs at the local level with the ICT means at disposal ... [more]
10  Knowledge management
Knowledge management is a broad and applied context for communication within development cooperation, understood as a structured approach to identifying, collecting, managing, producing, disseminating, and using appropriate knowledge about NRM and development. Public consultation and public involvement are key contributing factors to what has been referred to as a new mode of knowledge production. The emphasis on networks in NRM, backed by use of ICT, is contributing in an important way to realizing this new mode of knowledge production ... [more]
11  Strategic communication
Strategic communication follows from, as well as integrates, several of the above Service areas. Furthermore, it often functions as an overall guide in the implementation of an activity, a project or a process. It implies thinking strategically about communication, and it deals with effective communication. All communication situations are different. As an aid to understanding the essence of each communication situation, asking simple questions can be of help ... [more]