What does Research & Development mean for BORDA?

Being a technically driven expert organization, BORDA is seeking an active role in sanitation and environment-related research. Our aim is to improve the understanding of scientific processes & engineered solutions in the context of BORDAs portfolio via our work on the ground. Moreover, we want to advance sanitation related knowledge by doing scientifically sound research. Lastly, we would like to bridge the gap between academia, institutions and practitioners alike by disseminating our knowledge and experience from the field into the WASH sector.

Most current R&D efforts focus on technical, engineering and biological processes. These aim at the maturation of DEWATS technology/decentralized sanitation solutions for becoming (a) well-established technological alternatives during the global wastewater crisis.

Furthermore, our R&D team is supporting all regional programs by guiding regional research and lab-related efforts, enhancing scientific exchange to build up regional capacities, supporting quality control systems for our regional hubs and by contributing to scientific publications.


Using – or developing – appropriate scientific methodologies is key for BORDA R&D to gather empirical evidence on topics of either technical, social or economic nature. The improved understanding of processes, e.g. re the anaerobic digestion of feacal sludge or the variable treatment performance of waste water under different climatic conditions, is of key interest. Also, scientific results shall validate technical design assumptions for our engineerd solutions, or, correlate to the performance of O&M activities after implementation of DEWATS systems.

In the case of regionally conducted research, the teams are collecting long-term data to evaluate the performance of DEWATS systems under real, i.e. field conditions. Here, different climatic, social and environmental aspects strongly influence the performance of systems which is why a standardized data collection is of utmost importance to identify shortcomings and benefits of distinct treatment modules or O&M activities.


Besides research activities, BORDA R&D is also driving the development of new or improved engineered decentralized sanitation solutions. Current examples are the development of an improved waste- and rain water discharge system and an additional treatment step for the oxygenation of waste water via Vortex technology (Download Factsheet SWD)Often, development activities go hand in hand with applied research at BORDA, for example during the investigation of low-pressure membrane filtration technology to improve the effluent quality of DEWATS systems.

Always, development activities are driven by the direct need for improved design or the potential to introduce a new product to the market.

Cooperation Partners


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Project Partners

AiT – Afghan Institute of Technology, Kabul, Afghanistan
AIT – Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand
ATVI – Afghan Technical vocational Institute, Kabul, Afghanistan
CDD – Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination Society, Bangalore, India
CPM – Centre Père Michel, Bamako, Mali
DUT – Durban University of Technology, South Africa
FSF – Formation sans Frontières, Bamako, Mali
IHI – Ifakara Health Institute, Daressalaam, Tanzania
IIT Madras – Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India
Instiper – Institut Pertanian Stiper, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
ITC – Institut de technologie du Cambodge, Pnom Penh, Cambodia
NMAIST – The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania
UAS – University for Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India
UDSM – University of Daressalam, Daressalaam, Tanzania
ULSA – Universidad La Salle, Léon, Nicaragua
Umeå – University, Umeå, Sweden
UNI – Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Managua, Nicaragua
VAWR – Vietnamese Academy of Water resources, Vietnam

Strategic Partners

AIT – Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand
BMGF –  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA
Eawag – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
HCU – HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany
ISF – Institue for Sustainable Futures, Sydney, Australia
TCD – University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Northern Ireland
TUD – Dresden University of Technology, Germany
UKZN – University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Durban, South Africa

Financing Partners

BMGF – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA
HB – Bremen Development Cooperation, Bremen, Germany
BMZ – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Berlin, Germany
EU – European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
GIZ – German Society for International Cooperation, Bonn-Eschborn, Germany


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