Since the early 1990s the programme expanded on it original scope of undertaking national and regional surveys to also include capacity building in fisheries research and management (institutional strengthening in partner countries), and organization of post-survey meetings to provide fisheries administrations with results of surveys. Regional collaboration and transboundary issues became central in the delivery and FAO provided the following four main services:
Through these activities the Programme has developed extensive experience and a cooperation network with national and regional institutions and programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. With the exception of the early days of the Programme, when it received co-funding from UNDP (e.g. the vessel was assigned on a cost sharing basis to the UNDP/FAO Indian Ocean Programme) the Nansen Programme has been funded by Norad.
The information and data collected through the Nansen Programme, in particular through surveys with the research vessel are used to produce reports on the state of the fishery resources but are also stored in a database managed by IMR for the benefit of all partners. The available archive contains valuable and scientifically unique information and data on species distribution, abundance, species interactions, environmental conditions and ecosystem characteristics, in many cases describing pristine conditions prior to fisheries development. These provide valuable benchmarks for the development of ecosystem indicators.