The Catalan Association of Engineering Without Borders (EWB Catalonia) is an association of development cooperation. We are formed by professionals, teachers and students, mainly volunteers, who work to guarantee universal access to basic services, accompanying social change and strengthening of the populations, always respecting the cultural and technical characteristics. We work to build a fair and united global society and to put technology at the service of human development.
At EWB Catalonia, we work on the interrelationship between engineering and cooperation, through training and awareness-raising activities at the university environment or professional level, cooperation projects for the development of the South or campaigns of advocacy campaigns in the North.
EWB Catalonia in 10 points
- EWB Catalonia was born in Barcelona in 1992 and is an association registered as such with the number 16363 in the Registry of Associations of the Department of Justice and declared of Public Utility on May 13, 2008.
- We bet on a technology for human development. We understand technical aspect in the cultural, political, social, economic and environmental context in which they are generated and not as an isolated or neutral phenomenon. We incorporate autochthonous technical projects and appropriate technologies to not develop dependencies.
- In Catalonia we are part of Lafede.cat and, at the state level, we are part of the Spanish Federation of Engineering Associations Without Borders that coordinates the efforts of the various member associations and is represented in most of the autonomous communities of Spain. In addition, the Federation is a member of the “Spanish Coordinator of NGOs for Development“.
- In the South, we always work in collaboration with a counterpart: a local not-for-profit organization with whom we jointly diagnose the needs of the area and the best way to solve them. Moreover, together, we adapt the interventions in the field to the cultural peculiarities in accordance to sustainable development demands. In addition to the projects, we understand the relationship with counterparts as a common commitment to political and social transformation.
- We denounce and provides help to unjust situations of our society, working to achieve a fair and solidary international society.
- We promote and defend environmental sustainability and we are committed to a development model that respects the environment and puts people and communities first.
- We are non-denominational, independent towards political parties or other entities and we have no profit motivations.
- We are a feminist association that strives to achieve gender equality and is committed to the inclusion of cross-cutting gender perspective policies, both in the internal functioning of the organization and in our public work with other groups.
- We are an association with an internationalist vocation, which may be based in different countries and that works together with other associations in global alliances.
- We understand cooperation as an exchange based on solidarity, with the consequent mutual benefit, and development as an evolving, interdependent and sustainable process that cannot impose limitations on different cultures and that should contribute to increasing citizen participation and role of civil society.
How are we organized?
Engineering Without Borders Catalonia is an organization formed mainly by volunteering, with an associative character based on the active and democratic participation of its members.
The main organ of the association is the general assembly of partners, which is held twice a year. This is where the objectives to be achieved are set and the Board of Directors is chosen, who will be responsible for ensuring its execution. For the daily work of the association, we also have hired personnel.
The main body of the association is the general meeting of members, which is held twice a year. This is when the objectives to be achieved are defined and the Board of Directors is chosen, who will be responsible for ensuring its execution. For the association’s daily work, we also hire staff.
Board of Directors
The current Board of Directors is composed of the following volunteers from Engineering Without Borders Catalonia:
Irene González Pijuan – Volunteer of the association since 2004, she participated in the project groups of southern Cameroon and Argentina, acting as Expatriation Coordinator of the last between 2009 and 2011. She participated in two publications Spheres of the entity (Debt in exchange Inequality of Water and Gender and Energy Poverty). She currently participates in the Gender group and Incidence The Price of Abundance Campaign and shares her time between motherhood, ESF, and work as a secondary school teacher.
The functions of the presidency are:
- Direct and legally represent the Association, by delegation of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors.
- Preside and direct the debates, of both General Assembly and Board of Directors.
- Issue a quality decisive vote in the cases of a tie.
- Establish the convening of meetings of the General Assembly and the Board of Directors.
- Visits the minutes and certificates made by the secretary of the Association.
- The remaining attributions of the position and those for which the General Assembly or the Board of Directors delegates it.
Ivan Menal Llorca – The desire to look for the most humane aspect of civil engineering was the trigger to get involved as a volunteer with the Mozambique group in 2007, and to work as an expatriate for just over a year. He also collaborates with the Habitat group since 2011 and beyond ESF has been in Ethiopia with the Lleida Solidarity Foundation as a project technician.
The functions of the vice-presidency are:
- Ensure the good coexistence and respect within the Association. Convene meetings, send e-mails, make calls to clarify any topic that remains undefined.
- Mediate in personal conflicts, between Contracted, Volunteers or between both (call for meetings).
- In the absence of the presidency, sign contracts, agreements, notaries, bank accounts.
- Be in contact with General Coordination for the topics that refer to his position.
- Participate in the proposal of Themes and Agenda of the Assembly.
- To ensure the coherence and internal knowledge of the Association and to look for a common path to advance in the mission, within the different points of view and visions of volunteers, contracted and partners….
Raül Cambeiro Gutiérrez – member since 2003, he has participated in projects of water supply, ICT, food sovereignty and strengthening grassroots movements in Argentina and Paraguay; It is also part of the advocacy campaign: The price of abundance and the training team of the entity. Dedicated professionally to telematics and free software, lately he is looking for how to migrate EWB towards free technologies.
The functions of a secretary are:
- Make and keep the minute book of the Board.
- Ensure compliance with established protocols and circuits (Groups, Commissions, Board, relationship contracted-volunteers, etc.).
- Participate in the improvement of the internal organization of EWB Catalonia, promote initiatives.
- Manage bank accounts.
- Be in contact with Coordination Area and Responsible for the OiP topics related to their position.
Chair of the North Projects
Volunteering for ESF since 2016 focused on the Energy and Extractivism Campaign, always looking for establishing synergies between groups such as with the Peru group and the projects derived from the fight against mining, or with the campaign of Water and the defense of the universal access to the basic services. She has worked to promote intergroup spaces to collaborate in Defense of Defenders.
Chair of Gender
Irene Garcia – has been a volunteer in EWB since 2015, initially in the University group in the ETSEIB, and currently in the El Salvador group and in the Gender group, that intends to create a space for the socialization of experiences, internal training and mainstreaming of gender in the entity and its projects.
The functions of the chair of gender are:
- Ensure the internal feminist care of the entity.
- Support the gender vision in the projects of the entity.
- Sensitize the members of the organization in a feminist vision.
Miquel Carrillo Ponce – Chemical Engineer by the Chemical Institute of Sarriá, postgraduate in Environmental Management of Enterprise by the Pompeu Fabra University, and Master in Public Management and Sustainable Development by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, with more than 15 years of experience in projects of cooperation. He has been Coordinator of Areas of the Cat. Of Engineering Without Borders Association, and has participated in the identification, execution and evaluation of the projects of the entity, as well as in technical consultancies in water and sanitation, renewable energies in Latin America and Africa, besides external evaluations. He has coordinated several publications on water, natural resources, cooperation and human rights, having made different documentaries on cooperation and development issues. He is currently an international consultant on communication, fundraising, cooperation strategies and education for development, as well as president of the Spanish Federation of Engineering Without Borders. Collaborates with different media (Ara, El Periódico de Catalunya, Solidaris de Catalunya Ràdio, Critic, ONGC, etc.).
Expert member of the Catalan Council of Cooperation and the Catalan Council for the Promotion of Peace of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
The treasury has the following functions:
- Economic follow-up: update information on the forecast of project income, internal expenses structure (monthly) and EWB general expenses (quarterly).
- Monitoring of the annual closing and audit.
- Coordinate the elaboration of the internal structure budget and EWB general budget.
- Prepare the information for the annual report.
- Update of the salary table.
- Manage the bank accounts.
- Be in contact with the General Coordination for the subjects related to his position, or the person in charge of the accounting in his case.
General duties regarding all positions of the Board of Directors:
- Participate proposing themes and Agenda of the Assembly, prepare workshops and promote the two annual Assemblies.
- Be on the distribution list of e-mails, invigorate the topics of your own responsibility and respond at least weekly.
- Participate in the validation of the Strategic Plans of EWB.
- Participate defining and prioritizing important issues for the advancement of the Association.
- Representation of the association by delegation of the Presidency.
The working groups are the tool that the association has to carry out the activities that are contemplated in the different projects, which we include in Programs, that are approved, reviewed and evaluated by the EWB board of directors. In turn, the working groups are coordinated by committees and, while the Internal Structure team, with hired personnel, ensures the management of the day-to-day tasks of the association, complementing the work of the volunteers.
The areas in which we work (Cooperation for Development, Training and Research in Technologies for Human Development, and Sensitization and Advocacy) are all linked among them, forming a continuum that allows us to improve our own technical intervention, systematize experiences and offer them to all cooperation actors. Also, it allows them to be introduced into the training spaces, regulated and not regulated, both from the technical and political point of view, linking the citizen action and the cooperation policies that are being worked in the North, with the problems that are tackled when intervening in the south.
Area of Territorial Action
Our areas of action range from impoverished South countries, where we develop international cooperation projects, to more local, national or European areas with our political advocacy campaigns in the north. In addition to this, in Barcelona we also work in the surrounding environment, opening up to the neighbourhood and participating in local activities.
The Catalan Association of Engineering Without Borders was born in 1992 because of the interest of a group of students of the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering of Barcelona to carry out identification trips and technical assistance, as well as awareness and complaints activities in the university world.
The cooperation projects carried out at the beginning of the entity evolve towards comprehensive intervention programs for development. For its part, the educational aspect takes as a common reference the promotion of technology for human development in different engineering schools and universities to transmit the experience and knowledge of EWB in the field of international cooperation and to promote awareness, participation and volunteering.