Fafo is an independent social science research foundation that develops knowledge on the conditions for participation in working life, organisational life, society and politics, the relationship between politics and living conditions, as well as on democracy, development and value creation.
For them, it is particularly important to highlight the perspectives of employees and those who are excluded from the labour market.
Fafo was founded by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) in 1982 and reorganised to become a non-profit foundation in 1993, with grants from LO, the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, Telenor, Elkem, Orkla, Umoe, Coop and Sparebank.
Fafo has three subsidiary companies: Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Fafo Technology Consulting (Beijing) Co. Ltd, and Economics Norway.
They base their research on high standards of ethics and methodology. They follow the ‘Guidelines for research ethics in the social sciences, law and the humanities’ (see NESH), and they have strict procedures for quality assurance. The Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD) is Fafo’s data protection officer, and all projects that handle personal data must be reported to NSD. They place great emphasis on information security, including correct handling of personal data. Fafo’s procedures for internal control have been prepared according to the requirements of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority and are adapted to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Fafo delivers critical, action-oriented research on working life and welfare policy. Their research covers topics such as: collective organisation and regulation, forms of affiliation in the labour market, integration and exclusion in the labour market, qualification and lifelong learning, further and continuing education, the design of welfare services and benefits, European integration, and globalisation. The institute also conducts research on living conditions and development strategies in conflict-ridden countries, as well as post-conflict transition and development.
Fafo is an outward-looking research institute that works in close contact and dialogue with users and commissioning agencies. They have a large number of collaboration partners and a broad academic network in Norway and abroad. They wish to create interesting meeting places and they are active communicators of the knowledge generated from their projects. In addition to publishing in academic books and journals, Fafo produces a self-published report series. Fafo’s researchers are much in demand as keynote speakers at conferences and seminars, and Fafo is the most frequently cited social science research institute in Norwegian media. They are proud of the fact that key decision makers give credence to Fafo’s research in important decision-making processes.
Each year, the institute receives core funding from the Research Council of Norway, which is used for the strategic development of the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research. Fafo is otherwise financed by commissioned research. Their principle commissioning agencies are the Research Council of Norway, public authorities and the social partners, but they also receive income from international organisations such as the Nordic Council of Ministers, the UN system and the World Bank.
Fafo has a total of 90 employees, 62 of whom constitute the academic staff of the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research. The researchers’ backgrounds include sociology, political science, social anthropology, economics, nutritional physiology, history and law. A total of 13 economists work at Economics Norway.See more