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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. 

Lamberto Pinto
Lamberto Pinto
Senior Technical Manager

Lamberto has over 20 years’ experience working on community development projects in Timor-Leste. Since 2004, he has worked with various international NGO partners to deliver DFAT and EU funded WASH projects to support municipal water authority in planning, designing and supervising quality of water infrastructures. He has also worked as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank and provided technical assistance to the Government of Timor-Leste for the development of urban capital water supply system and solid waste management plan.

Since 2015, he has worked in the WASH sector in Timor-Leste to contribute to improved access to water and sanitation for rural communities. He has extensive experience in project management and a strong understanding of development practices in project planning and implementation. Lamberto holds a Bachelor of Social Development Science.

Jack Nugent
Jack Nugent
Technical Advisor
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Elsa Ximenes
Elsa Ximenes
Program Support Officer
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João Soares
João Soares
Mobilisation and Partnership Coordinator

João is an architect with a great passion for designing and building sustainable and affordable projects. After graduating from university, he founded a local training center to train youth in Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings. He has been involved with EWB in a volunteer and work capacity for almost four years. He first joined EWB as an intern in 2017, working with one of the local partners, Community Housing Limited (CHLI).

As Mobilisation and Partnership Coordinator, João works collaboratively with local and international partners, government institutions and local authorities to develop and implement sustainable and appropriate technology solutions.

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

Vikrant, EWB engineering volunteer, travelling in nature Stories from the field – Vikrant Gorasia 23 August, 2021 - ​​One day on his daily commute to primary school, they took a detour. Roadworks lead the school bus through Kibera, a neighbourhood that is home to Kenya’s largest slum. Outside the bus window, sewage was used as a domestic water source and layers of smoke formed a thick smog blanketing Kibera’s streets. Witnessing widespread human… read more
IPPC reply We work in the regions most acutely threatened by climate change 19 August, 2021 - We work in the regions most acutely threatened by climate change. Against a backdrop of  unprecedented global heatwaves, wildfires, retreating ice, record sea level rises and extreme cyclones, we created our 2030 strategy. In it, the impacts of climate change are factored into everything, rather than operate as a standalone program or focus. We need… read more
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