BORDA Profile


BORDA e.V. (Bremen Overseas Research & Development Association) is a specialist organization active in the fields of poverty alleviation, sustainable protection of natural resources and the strengthening of social structures.

BORDA was established as a non-profit organization in 1977 by concerned citizens from Bremen with assistance from the Bremen Overseas Museum (Überseemuseum), various institutes of Bremen Universities, and trade and industry enterprises as well as with support from Bremen’s Senate.

The goal was to adapt certain forms of renewable energy to better serve poverty alleviation efforts and to facilitate decentralised development projects. Working closely with cooperation partners and specific target groups in order to improve the living conditions and social structures in target areas is also central to this aim.

Since 2001, BORDA has concentrated on development-oriented cooperation projects and services in the field of Basic Needs Services (BNS). These projects, operating within the context of social-structure reform, are geared towards the development and dissemination of sustainable, decentralised service models with the intent of improving the supply of Basic Needs Services.


Mission and Strategic Orientation

The Mission of BORDA is to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged communities and to keep the environment intact through the expansion of Basic Needs Services in the areas of decentralised sanitation, water and energy supply as well as wastewater and solid waste disposal. Due to the particular focus on decentralised sanitation including wastewater treatment and solid waste management BORDA emphasises its efforts with the slogan:

“Improved Sanitation for All”

In addition to the use of environmentally sustainable technology, BORDA’s spectrum of activity spans all socio-political levels (target groups, local, district and national governments), a feature unique to BORDA in the field of development. Other characteristics of BORDA’s work are:

  • Immediate verifiable impact of measures

  • High rate of sustainability of project implementations and services

  • Demand-oriented, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder approach
  • Close cooperation with selected overseas partners
  • Application of proven environmentally friendly technologies

  • Use of renewable energy
  • Focus on the protection of the environment and natural resources in the context of decentralised development projects
  • Applied Quality and Knowledge Management

  • Building of local capacity, competence and expertise

  • Active networking and co-operation with policy makers, civil society
organizations, research institutes and private sector

  • Supporting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals
  • "What cannot be sustained should not be done“

It is BORDA’s belief that the expansion of sector-specific, decentralised service models, in line with the aforementioned objectives, must be embedded into social programmes that address knowledge and quality management; this is necessary to ensure the acceptance, sustainability and widespread appeal of decentralised service models through the formulation and successive implementation of structured service packages. During this process it is not only the pilot phase of the service packages that is of chief concern, but also their dissemination on a large scale through the training of service providers and the involvement of both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders on all levels.

More about BORDA’s strategy

Fields of Activity

BORDA-supported development programmes are aimed at the further dissemination of decentralised Basic Needs Services. They are oriented towards the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDG). As a result of exemplary collaboration between local target groups and relevant local, German and international development-aid policymakers, all of BORDA’s cooperative development projects comply with the policies of the Paris Declaration.

Portfolio of BORDA’s Basic Needs Services:

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment (DEWATS)
Decentralised Wastewater Treatment

Communit Based Sanitation (CBS)
Community Based Sanitation

Decentralised Solid Waste Management (DESWAM)
Decentralised Solid Waste Management

Decentralised Water and Energy Supply
Decentralised Water and Energy Supply

Quality and Knowledge Management
Quality and Knowledge Management

In the past ten years, around 1,000 projects have been developed with partner organisations in Asia and Africa. These project activities were carried out by BORDA in close cooperation with authorities (government ministries and local governments), representatives of low-income settlements, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and public facilities (schools, hospitals, and prisons).

More about BORDA’s Basic Needs Services

Target Areas and Finance Partners

BORDA facilitates projects for the provision of decentralised Basic Needs Services in the following regions and countries:

Latin America and The Caribbean:

Middle East & Central Asia:

Southeast Asia:






PR China


South Asia:




Southern Africa (SADC):


South Africa



Our programs are primarily supported by the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), the CEU (Commission of the European Union), the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, WSP (Water and Sanitation Program) and UNDP.

Partner organisations or networks supported by BORDA are contracted by international donor organisations such as the World Bank, the ADB (Asian Development Bank), the KfW (German Development Bank), the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – the former GTZ), AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development) and the CEU (Commission of the European Union) as well as by national authorities, municipalities, regions and central governments.

BORDA and the BNS Network