Organization for Welfare and Development in Action (OWDA) was established in December 1999 to help provide humanitarian assistance to 1999/2000 drought affected population in the region. OWDA started its operation by providing relief program aimed at supporting most affected needy people, however, the organization reshaped its strategic focus on application for development program intended to strengthen local capacity to bring about durable solution for the marginalized pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in Somali region of Ethiopia. In line with Charities Association’s Proclamation No. 0621/2009, the organization was registered by the Charities and Societies Agency (CSA) as Ethiopian Residents Charity in 2012 with the registration No. 0421 and recently renewed it for three years until 2021.

OWDA is an active national humanitarian organization dedicated to bring sustainable human development in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. Through its cooperation with key actors, OWDA feeds, equip and guides the attitude of the community with awareness creation campaigns. OWDA places special emphasis on investing and building the resilience of vulnerable pastoral and agro pastoral communities to help them survive with natural and made shocks.  The organizational age, geographical reach and local knowledge made it possible to gain outstanding experience to deliver effective, appropriate and timely responses to target communities. Over its life span, the organization has grown substantially in the number of projects implemented, districts covered, staff numbers and budgets managed. OWDA is operational in eight of the eleven zones in Somali Region, namely: Fafan, Siti, Dollo, Shabele, Jarar, Dawa, Liban and Korahai zones. Since its establishment, the organization through its work in emergency and development interventions has supported millions of the region’s population, saving lives and providing opportunities for improved livelihoods. Also it has achieved great development in its organizational capacity and management of programs.

Maintain and strengthen strategic capacities and partnerships to bring about sustainable development on the lives of underserved populations in Ethiopia


OWDA aspires to see Ethiopia where all people have attained sustainable human development.


Promote conditions of sustainable human development through implementing programs/projects on basic service delivery, economic opportunities, livelihood diversification, Disaster Risk Management and climate change adaptations as well as advocacy and protection 

                                   Core values:

  • Commitment: We stand firm to our aspirations
  • Integrity: We uphold the high moral ground.
  • Focus on quality: We strive for excellence in what we do
  • Accountability: We are accountable to whom we work with and for
Name of Organization: Organization For Welfare and Development In Action (OWDA)
Type Ethiopian Residents Charity Organization
Date of  Establishment : 15 December, 1999
Main Office Address: Jigjiga, Gode and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Office is located in Meskel Square , Lion Building , 9th floor
Postal Address 1502  A.A
Telephone: +251115537041 Fax: +251115537051
Executive Director Mohamed Abdikadir Ahmed

Tel: +251915320833 or 0911902640

Email: or

Regional Manager Ahmed Mohamed

Tell: +251915320832

Email: or

Board Director Mukhtar Sheikh Omar Adem

Tel: +251915741200



# Full Name Qualification Responsibility
1 Mukhtar Shekhomer Adem BSc( Civil Engineer) Board director
2 Omer Abdulahi Hersi MSc Deputy board director
3 Mohammed Badal Budul MSc Member
4 Fadumo Elmoge BA Member
5 Bashir Ma’alin Hassan PhD Member
6 Mohamed Muhumed Omer MSc Member
# Full Name Qualification Responsibility Field/office Based
1 Mohamed Abdikadir Ahmed MSc Executive Director Addis Ababa/Jigjiga
2 Ahmed Mohamed Abdi MSc Regional Manager Jigjiga
3 Mohamoud Mohamed Husen MSc WASH Sector Coordinator Jigjiga
4 Kedir Mohamed MBA Education Sector Coordinator Jigjiga
5 Mohamud Mohamed Husen MPH Health Sector Coordinator Jigjiga
6 Abubakar Muhumed MSc Livelihood and Food Security Coordinator Jigjiga
7 Abdirahman Mohamed BSc Logistic Coordinator Jigjiga
8 Daweye Moalim BA Finance Coordinator Jigjiga
9 Ayan Abdalla BA Gender Focal person Addis Ababa
10 Abdikadir Ahmed MBA HR Coordinator Jigjiga
11 Abdulkadir Abdulahi BSc Gode Area Manager Gode




# Project Name Donor Location
Zone Woreda (s)
1  Improve Reproductive Health  and Economic Condition of Women and Girls Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)  Shabeelle  Berano, Denan and Gode
2  Denan  Primary Health Care The Denan Project Inc.  Shabeelle  Denan
3 Polio Prevention and Vaccination Campaign USAID through CRDA Dollo Zone Geladi, Danot, Bokh, Warder and Daratole
4 Drought  Recovery and  Climate  Resilience The Development Fund (DF)- Norway  Shabeelle Gode
5  Emergency Wash Response OXFAM/ECHO  Dollo  Warder,  Danod, Bokh  and Galadi
6  Ethiopian Social Accountability 2 Cooperation VNG International U.A (ESAP2)  Shabeelle  and Siti Zone  Denan, Adadle, Erer,  Afdem, Aysha and Shinile
7  Orphans Support Program  IHH-Holland  Fafan Jigjiga
8 Polio Prevention and Vaccination Campaign USAID through CCRDA All Zones Berano, Kalafo, Adadle, Gode, Mustahil,
12 Reading For Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed (READ) Community Outreach USAID through Save the Children International Fafan Jijiga, Awbare, Kabribeyah and Tuliguled
13 Education for Drought and Conflict affected children (EiE) UNICEF Dawa Hudet
14 Education for Drought and Conflict affected children (EiE) NRC Dawa Dekasuftu, Karsadula, Moyale
15 Protection Project UNICEF Dawa Guradamole, Dekasuftu, Karsadula, Moyale
16 Emergency WASH Reponses Arche Nova Korehey and Shabeelle Goglo and Kelafo
17 Regional Development Protection Project EU through NRC Liban Dollo Ado and Bokolmayo
18 Regional Development Protection Project EU through SCI Fafan Awbare and Kabribayah





  1. OWDA’s Value addition

OWDA has been successfully delivering high quality service with well-earned reputation since 1999.  It enjoys strong and cordial relationships with the different stakeholders, with particular emphasis on communities that it serves as well as regional government’s line bureaus and donor community. These relationships are based on mutual interest and shared commitments to poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable development. OWDA developed and maintained these relationships through a range of networking and partnership opportunities, and through a thorough understanding of socio-economic, cultural, and other sensitivities in the region.  Service delivery is usually done by the involvement of local communities, woreda administration, regional and other government organs. Appropriate Identification of community needs and prioritizing areas of interventions helped OWDA to gain the confidence and the goodwill of both government and local communities. OWDA has following added value

  1. Sustainability, coordination and Networking

OWDA defines sustainability as delivery of program service consistently support target communities both during and after program phase out, by strengthening the capacity of government institutions, facilities and community based committees through community engagement and create sense of ownership. OWDA understands the local constraints, a fact that helped its programs to effectively prioritize needs within the context. OWDA is understood and viewed by its target community as part of them and initiate actions in ways that are socially accepted, economically sound, environmentally friendly and culturally deemed appropriate and suitable. OWDA is uniquely positioned to initiate and establish close-working relationships with other locally based groups in the public, private, and voluntary sectors. Partnerships and collaborations among different institutions allow OWDA encourage networking, sharing best practices, and thus inspire more local ownership. OWDA does closely coordinate its operation with concerned government line bureaus and Woreda administration, which makes facilitate for it to handover its accomplishments to both communities and government bodies. Following are key principles and strategies are used to effectively sustain programs:

  • Working closely with the government mandated structure at various levels to strengthen the existing structures to engage and own the programme.
  • Integration of sectors for enhanced efficiency and addressing beneficiaries’ needs for sustainable development.
  • Strengthening community structures for health, education and WASH through capacity development support on leadership, management, planning, reporting, documentation, financial management and community mobilization.
  • Establishment of complain response mechanism to encourage community’s participation and get timely community feedback
  • Joint supervision with government sector office and key stakeholders
  • Updating targeted community on program progress and challenges to build trust among target communities
  • Technical and Financial sustainability– target pastoral women are given opportunity to develop their own action or business plan through capacitating, training and giving them start-up fund. Establishment of groups and committees among the target people to help manage and control results. The capacity of the community is strengthened by giving them training, workshops and conferences.
  • Social and institutional sustainability– OWDA intends to use techniques that are culturally acceptable, economically sound, socially sustainable and environmentally friendly. The existing community structures are importantly used and strengthened. Program management committee are set up to actively participate starting from the planning, implementation as well as monitoring and finally take over task from the implementing staffs
  1. Cost effectiveness

OWDA is often embedded within local communities and economies in such a way that it can provide services and assistance at a fraction of the cost that would be needed. All OWDA Staffs are locally based staffs with no expatriate thus, has less administration cost.  Activities targeted at individuals and families are often efficiently implemented by linking complementary services at different levels.

  1. Community Participation

OWDA always consult with its targeted communities to ensure that their involvement is continuous throughout the life of the project in action. In connection to this, OWDA make use of the existing community structures to ensure regular feedback, consultation and open lines of communication. OWDA uses a technique known as Community Conversations to ensure that OWDA does continually engage with the communities and hear what their priorities and proposed solutions are, resulting in strong interactive participation throughout its projects. Community Conversations is best described as a series of community wide meetings. Community does actively participate in almost every activity implemented by OWDA such as livelihood, water point construction, education and health. OWDA establish committee representing the entire target community to mitigate conflicts and sustain achievements.

  1. Neutrality, transparency and the pursuit of human good

OWDA operates in Somali Region where droughts and civil insecurity combined, denied people to have access to food and livelihoods. OWDA has an extensive understanding of the socio-economic development of the region and execute its programs effectively and with minimal interruptions.  Neutrality and the pursuit of only human good and transparency in its program implementation as well as the involvement of government institutions and communities have been the cornerstones of OWDA’s operating principles which have assured its success in working some of the remotest and difficult to reach parts of the Somali Regional State.




OWDA’s Capacity in managing Program

OWDA has extensive understanding of the socio-economic and cultural dynamics of the population in Somali Region. OWDA has geographical reach, experience in project implementation, and managements of funds. Moreover, OWDA has good acceptance from the community, government and donors. It has been working for both pastoral agro-pastoral communities in Somali region since its establishment in 1999. Having gained more than 19-years of experience in delivering development, relief and rehabilitation assistance to the most under-privileged parts of the Somali Region, and having gained a deep understanding of the population’s livelihoods and needs, OWDA is very confident to successfully implement programs related to WASH, Livelihood, food security, Education, Protection, Health and nutrition as well as social and environmental programs

Over its life span, the organization has grown substantially in the number of projects implemented, Woredas covered, staff numbers and budgets managed. OWDA is operated in almost all Zones of Somali region and carried out various development and humanitarian projects in partnership with different international NGOs as well as UN agencies. The organization is vividly taking a vital part in the enhancement of the region through inclusive development. The organization through its work in emergency and development interventions has supported millions of the region’s population during emergencies, saving lives and providing opportunities for improved livelihoods. Likewise, OWDA has achieved great development in its organizational capacity and management of programs. Currently, OWDA is implementing more than 18 projects and has more than 185 staffs. OWDA has the ability to provide expanded coverage, given the fact that it is community-focused and has a wide population reach, particularly the hard to reach rural communities.


OWDA in its existence worked to secure gender balanced intervention among the pastoral community in the region, prepare women to be active participants in development, inspire girls to attend schools, provide services that reduces burden from women such as water development which reduces women from fetching water in long distance.  Moreover, women friendly projects such as micro-loan projects that give women opportunity to generate income and lead their lives independently. The best way to handle gender inequality in OWDA’s implemented activities is to mainstream it in all projects implemented.

Important consideration must be given to gender equality when delivering services such as developing water points, increasing educational institutions, providing access to health service, supporting orphans, empowering women and improving environment utilization. OWDA delivers the above mentioned tasks in a well balance gender equity and equality.

OWDA Staffs

OWDA is run by competent staffs headed by executive director who is elected the board members. Currently OWDA has more than 185 staffs located in different parts of the region mainly Jijiga, Gode, Addis Ababa, Denan, kabridahar, Warder, Kelafo, Dolloado, Filtu etc. OWDA has ten Offices in the region including Regional Office and Field Offices.