Download our Annual Report 2011 in PDF formatONGAWA, Engineering for Human Development, is an NGO (Non Gubernamental Organization) of development whose mission is to put technology at the service of human development to build a more just and supportive society.

The organization has a large number of employees bound by a common project of social change that calls for the abolition of poverty and the building of a more just world.

Where do we come from?

In the autumn of 1990, a group of students and professors from the School of Industrial Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid created the Spanish Association of Engineers Without Borders (Articles of Association of April 10, 1991) to put the acquired knowledge to the service of the most needed countries.

Since then, there have been several changes in the corporate name of the Association.  The last one occurred in 2011 from Engineering Without Borders Association for Development to ONGAWA, Engineering for Human Development.

During all these years, ONGAWA have considerably evolved from being a Students Association to an NGO for Development of medium size within the Spanish context, differentiated and specialized.  Five stages mark the evolution of the organization:

  • 1990-1999. Generalist approach.
  • 2000-2002. Orientated towards specialization.
  • 2003-2005. Reorganizing the structure.
  • 2006-2009. Oriented towards growth and activity.

Currently, ONGAWA is defined as a connection, participation and meeting working platform network with a focus on universal access rights to basic services, and always focused on the area of technology for human development.

Where are we going?

In 2010, ONGAWA approved a new 2010 – 2015 strategic framework which marks the advancing lines of the association for the coming years.

These lines redefine our manner of intervention by incorporating a human rights based approach, management achieve- results, ordering our areas of expertise and prioritizing our lines of action.

It also makes a clear commitment to developing partnerships, enhancing strategic alliances while maintaining the rigor and quality commitment and leveraging our innovative capacity.

Work Areas

ONGAWA works primarily in five areas of work (water, ICT, energy, enterprise and agro/food) with an approach based on human rights.

With this perspective in mind, the actions of ONGAWA seek to bring changes, both to achieve and adequate level of knowledge of human rights as well as to explore ways to carry out  our advocacy and defense of these rights.

Another approach starting to be incorporated gradually is the so called results management which are measured in terms of human development and rights.

Therefore, ONGAWA defines its model of intervention from the following four components: supply of basic services, capacity building, political advocacy and an active citizenship strengthening.


Why Engineering for Human Development?