A NORDEM secondment usually goes through the following phases:
NORDEM receives requests or screens vacancies from international organisations. For seconded positions MFA must confirm that they are interested in financing the specific position before NORDEM can recruit and nominate candidates.
On the basis of the requirements of the receiving organisation NORDEM contacts qualified persons in the roster and/or recruits externally through vacancy announcements or professional networks. The requirements for long term positions naturally vary considerably from position to position, but a minimum of three to five years' relevant experience is usually required. International experience is desirable and sometimes required. NORDEM seeks to recruit the most qualified candidates and may nominate more than one candidate to one position.
Selection requirements for election observers usually include previous election observation experience or election training, country/regional experience and fluency in the mission language. Apart from English, mission languages may be French, Spanish or Portuguese, depending on the country. Knowledge of Russian and Arabic may be desirable, but ususally not required. Normally, candidates must have participated in two election observation missions as an STO before qualifying to be an LTO. Only Norwegian citizens may go on an EU election observation mission. OSCE missions require citizenship of one of the OSCE member states. NORDEM selects candidates based on the criteria above, as well as gender, professional background and the wish to build capacity for future missions - e.g. by enabling STOs who are proficient in French, Spanish and Portuguese to become LTOs.
Nomination, screening and selection of candidates
Candidates for long term positions, e.g. in the OSCE, normally compete with applicants from other countries. This means that the receiving organisation reviews and short lists applicants before interviewing and sometimes testing them. Most organisations use competency based interviews. Interviews are usually conducted by phone. Tests are conducted by email.
Nominated candidates for election observation missions may also compete with candidates from other states and are selected by the receiving organisation based on their CVs, evaluations from previous assignments and sometimes brief phone interviews.
The receiving organisation selects a candidate and informs the applicant and NORDEM/MFA. For long term assignments the starting date is agreed between the applicant and the organisation.
When the starting date of an assignment is set, NORDEM takes care of the practical arrangements such as plane tickets, visas and vaccinations and informs secondees of their terms of engagement. NORDEM provides the secondees with background information relevant to the assignment and arranges a half day briefing in Oslo shortly before departure. The briefing covers information about the mission and the country, administrative matters, security, reporting and the tasks of the secondees.
Follow up during the deployment
During the assignment the secondees mainly relate to the receiving organisation in their daily work. However, NORDEM wishes to be well informed about the work of the secondees and to provide support when necessary. Secondees communicate regularly with NORDEM through bimonthly reports, emails, phone calls and mid term briefings in Oslo. NORDEM also seeks to visit most long term secondees during their assignment. As the secondees' formal employer during the assignment, NORDEM takes care of all administrative issues such as salaries and benefits, renewal of contracts etc.
A debriefing is arranged shortly after the termination of the assignment. The debriefing covers the substance of the secondees' work, the receiving organisation and NORDEM's follow up. All secondees are required to write a final report after the assignment is completed.
We encourage all former secondees to stay in touch with us after coming home from an assignment and to consider using the offer of support by external psychologists.