NORHED is an abbreviation for the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development. The programme was 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) pays off in the form of strong academic institutions and their societal engagement. Some of the envisioned benefits are 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.

SEARCWL as a Higher Education Institute, a department within the faculty of Law University of Zimbabwe started receiving funding from NORHED from 2014 having successfully responded to a call for Proposals. This funding has been and still is for Masters, PhD as well as Post Doc, for capacity building in the Law faculties of the 4 LMIC Partners which are Chancellor College University of Malawi, School of Law University of Nairobi Kenya, University of Zambia (UNZA) as well as SEARCWL. The Norwegian partner is the University of Oslo. The funding for SEARCWL and its partners has the theme Engendering human rights and law in Southern and Eastern Africa. It runs up to 2018. The funding has helped the partners as follows:

  • Funding marginalised students to study for their Masters either in Women's Law or in Women's Socio-Legal studies.
  • Funding PhD candidates through the 3 year full time study
  • Providing experts from the University of Oslo to come and teach on the Masters Programme i.e. Professor and Director of the Institute of women's Law Prof  Anne Hellum who has been involved in cooperation, teaching and research and will be coming in to co-teach Human Rights, Ingunn Ikdahl an Associate Professor who will be coming to teach the economic and social rights module of the Human Rights Masters course, Prof Aslak Syse an expert in Disability Rights who chaired the Norwegian Equality and Anti-discrimination Tribunal in the years 2006-2009 and was Director for the Department of Public and International Law in the years 2010-2013 and Prof Kirsten Sandberg once Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the child and now sits on the committee.  
  • Providing experts from the region namely Prof Margaret Munalula now High court Judge in Zambia, Prof Patricia Kameri-Mbote from the University of Nairobi, Dr Ngeyi Kanyongolo from Chancellor College University of Malawi, Dr Sarah Kinyanjui from University of Nairobi.
  • Facilitating curriculum review processes at all the partner universities to engender syllabi
  • Facilitating equipment procurement and Library material
  • Facilitating research, workshops and publications