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Timor-Leste

EWB Australia has worked with communities in Timor-Leste for over a decade to create positive social impact.

EWB Australia is currently supporting the humanitarian emergency response to severe flooding in Timor-Leste. 

Population: 1.3 million
Capital City: Dili
Language: Portuguese and Tetun

Timor-Leste is still in recovery post its fight for independence in the late 1990s, which saw years of conflict that significantly damaged infrastructure and dislocated thousands of its people. It continues to be one of the world’s poorest countries (ranked 147/186 on the UN’s Human Development Index). Health and education remain important challenges and development priorities.

%

Of population uses basic sanitation services 

%

Schools have fully functional toilet facilities

%

Households that use clean energy (electricity and gas) for cooking

%

Women in the labour force (of total working age population) 

* Sources: UNICEF, Asian Development Bank

Our Work

EWB Australia works to improve the quality of life of people living and working in disadvantaged communities in Timor-Leste. Our work is impact-led, with a focus on positive, sustainable and long-term change. We do this within local communities, to ensure we build the capacity of the people who live and work in them. Through this approach, we have established long-term relationships with local organisations with whom we partner, to ensure the solutions developed are evidence-based, relevant and, importantly, approved by each community. 

In Timor-Leste, we work across a specific range of thematic programs, including Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)Education & Training, Professional Skills Development and Women In Engineering 

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Our Impact

EWB Australia in Timor-Leste is currently engaged in a range of technical solutions and sector/systems-strengthening projects.

Our Team


Key to this work are our in-country EWB Australia staff and our volunteer Field Professionals. Our Field Professionals are technical or thematic specialists from Australia and New Zealand who volunteer in Timor-Leste to provide critical expertise, mentoring and capacity-building. These technical professionals are not only skilled in the development of appropriate systems and solutions, but also in community-led design and engagement. Our Field Professionals work closely alongside local counterparts in a mentoring and coaching role, sharing knowledge and bringing innovative approaches to the development of appropriate solutions for communities. 

Jack Nugent
Jack Nugent
Technical Advisor
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Elsa Ximenes
Elsa Ximenes
Program Support Officer
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Dulce Soares
Dulce Soares
Women in Engineering Program Coordinator
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Chandra Ximenes
Chandra Ximenes
Women in Engineering Project Officer
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Our Partners

Our Timor-Leste programs are supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Our current partners in Timor-Leste include:

Other Programs

Alongside our Community Program within Timor-Leste, EWB Australia facilitates a range of education, research and training programs for Australia students and professionals that aim to broaden awareness  about the challenges in Timor-Leste and mobilise expertise to create even more opportunities for impact.

Impact Stories

A collaborative research project is currently underway which seeks to explore this question, and assesses how recent successful initiatives could be implemented in other communities. Spring water successes in Timor-Leste 18 April, 2021 - Protecting spring water is critical to ensure the safe - and sustainable - supply of water in many rural communities of Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste is a beautiful but mountainous country, terrain which makes accessing water through borehole wells impractical. As a result, a significant number of rural households rely on gravity-fed and community-managed water systems which… read more
Seeking solutions to acceptance of female engineers in Timor-Leste 21 January, 2021 - A new report aims to highlight the challenges and explore solutions to the barriers that female engineers face in Timor-Leste – of which there are many. Feto Enginhera was formed in 2014 to support the technical and engineering careers of women in Timor-Leste. Less than one in five Timorese engineering graduates are females and even… read more