What is Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA)?

Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) is a registered charity organization according to the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Proclamation number 621/2009, article 68 (with a registration Number 0607).

ORDA was established by voluntary and committed individuals in 1984 in response to the famine caused by drought and civil war in the northern part of Ethiopia in 1985. Then, it continued working as a subordinate of the Ethiopian People Democratic Movement (EPDM) with a special mission of handling relief and emergency incidents in areas where the existing government was unable to reach. Originally named as Ethiopian Relief Organization (ERO), it was mainly engaged in relief and rehabilitation works to rescue thousands of people suffering from malnutrition, migration and death while it was so hard to obtain a little food a day.

Then, being renamed as ORDA since April, 1997, it has been evolving overtime incorporating a wide array of activities encapsulating under the main thematic areas of natural resource development, water resource development (for drinking and small scale irrigation), food security and agricultural development. The implementations of projects are supported with institutional capacity building endeavors and cross cutting interventions (gender, HIV/AIDS and Harmful Traditional Practices/HTP/) to benefit millions.

ORDA has been unreserved for the last 28 years in contributing its part for the betterment of the livelihood of people and environment in Amhara region. Particularly, addressing the felt-need of desperate communities living in remote and often marginalized areas has been amongst the priorities and the distinctive features of ORDA.

In the initial strategic plan of the organization, it implemented various projects  in few districts of the Amhara National Region. Then, we have further expanded our efforts in varied areas of development in the region. For instance, in 2011, collaborating with a total of 26 funding organizations and partnering with a variety of organizations of similar objectives, the people and the regional government, ORDA has been intervening in different areas of interventions in 81 districts to contribute to up-rooting the unfathomable problems of food insecurity, poverty and backwardness through natural resources, water resources, food security and agricultural development programs. For further information on what it is, please click on the ‘About us’ tab.

What are ORDA’s distinctive qualities and features (comparative advantages)?

The historical evolution of ORDA, starting from a scratch in remote areas where social and economic overhead capitals were unthinkable, has conferred it a special experience of living in and working with people up on their conviction and effective participation. This rout of its evolution passing through gloomy hardships has also given it a passion of learning-by-doing, working in and tackling hardships, holding people as a pillar.

Its expanding developmental endeavors and experience of working with partners have also been enabling ORDA not only to attain its modern institutional setup but also to sustain its comparative advantages/strengths and then to emerge as a reliable/qualified competitor for partnership. Among the comparative advantages/strengths of ORDA enabling it to implement what it wants to do in a timely manner, some are unique and worth mentioning, i.e., its strong bondage with government, its respect for and recognition by the people, its accumulated wealth of experiences of implementing diverse developmental activities, its passion of working under harsh circumstances, its network and partnership with a variety of NGOs and donors, and its organizational structure stretched into district levels fleshed with capable, committed and dedicated staff are among the distinctive features of ORDA.

Why does ORDA come into existence?

ORDA was established by voluntary and committed individuals in 1984 in the response to the famine caused by drought and civil war in the northern part of the Amhara National Region. It was mainly engaging in relief and rehabilitation works to rescue hundred thousands of people of the region suffering from lack of food, migration and death while it was so hard to obtain a little food a day. Because of the pervasiveness of such deep-rooted and pathetic situations in Amhara, ORDA has come into existence, in the first instance with abounded mission of relief and rehabilitation, and then it evolved towards a developmental NGO to support the poverty eradication struggle of Amhara people.

Where does ORDA work?

ORDA works in Ethiopia, particularly in Amhara National Region. So long as its resource base allows, ORDA is ready to work in any part of the region and even out of the region. However, due to the prevailing limit of resources, ORDA has developed a set of criteria to guide its interventions so as to meet the greatest need and achieve the greatest impact. For detail information on our current projects, please click on the ‘Projects’ tab. You may also see the location map that shows where each of our projects is located.

What are the major Developmental programs that ORDA focuses?

At its current status, ORDA focuses on natural resource development, water resource development (for drinking and small scale irrigation), food security and agricultural development engendered with institutional capacity building endeavors and cross cutting interventions (gender, HIV/AIDS and HTP) to benefit millions.

Who benefits from ORDA's work?

Favoring the poor and supporting their anti-poverty struggle are at the heart of all ORDA’s initiatives. For instance, in 2011 alone, the execution of 85 projects operated in 53 districts of Amhara region has benefited about 1.65 million needy beneficiaries. In 2012, ORDA has been benefiting around 1.6 people in 64 districts of the region.

Does ORDA have success stories to be shared?

ORDA has a lot to share with others. Its experiences accumulated overtime and its learning-by-doing approaches are among its wealth that ORDA needs to share with others, for their pervasive applications and further advancements.  ORDA possesses immense success stories synthesized from different conspicuous grass root projects implemented in partnership with a number of developmental organizations, communities and groups.  Despite a little from the vast, some of the success stories of ORDA have been documented so that an interested reader could access them easily, simply by clicking the ‘Success stories’ tab.

How does ORDA work?

ORDA is loyal to the regional people. Hence, in principle, ORDA is delighted to work with any developmental organization that wants to take part in the process of livelihood betterment and life enlightenment in Amhara region.  Ensuring this fundamental principle, ORDA has been working in partnership with the regional people, international funding organizations, local NGOs, Community Based Organizations (CBOs), communities, governmental institutions at all levels and other interested groups including universities, research institutions and the private sector in order to meet the ultimate objectives of ORDA: Working for and with the poor to assist their effort to get out of poverty.

Are there NGOs, CBOs, interested groups or communities that ORDA will not work with for political reasons?

ORDA seeks collaboration with any organization or group irrespective of their political ideology. ORDA foresees how much this collaboration can add value in sparking hope for the poor and deliver a long-lasting impact over the attitude, action and effectiveness of the efforts of a community. Working towards building the spirit of the public to make them self-confident is one of basic directions of ORDA targeting the public to come out with a motto of “we can do it”! Following this line of doing things, ORDA will continue to collaborate with other organizations of similar objective.  That is why its leading motto is crafted to be “Livelihood Transformation Through Collaboration!”

How does ORDA finance its projects?

Basically, ORDA adopts a proposal-based search for financing projects. Owing to this approach, ORDA has been winning competitions and securing funds to finance projects under its thematic areas and other cross-cutting concerns. It also receives funding from a variety of sources, including the regional government, funding organizations, etc. For more information on ORDA’s sources of funds, please click on the ‘Donors and partners’ tab.

How does ORDA spend the fund mobilized from different sources?

ORDA uses resources mobilized from various sources based on the agreements and its own financial management manual. ORDA takes project agreements as the ultimate binding documents to guide the flow of financial resources. It respects its promises and strives to meet the requirements of partners as well as donors. It also works diligently to settle compliance issues at the time when they arise. Generally, ORDA follows a cycle of annual planning, implanting, monitoring, evaluating, reporting and learning. Therefore, expenditures are subject to regular checks against the budget that could lead into necessary revisions and amendments. To learn more about how ORDA administers its financial resource, please click on “Plan and Report” tab.

Is ORDA involved in emergency work?

ORDA has also been engaged in disaster management related activities. However, since it operates in remote and often marginalized areas, the possibility for ORDA to be the only NGO available around when an emergency strikes is high. Hence, ORDA looks itself as well placed in raising alarms and advocating rapid responses from specialist relief agencies.

When involved in emergency situations, ORDA always integrates development principles into relief works to ensure the greatest possible long-lasting impact for the stricken communities.

How do I find out what jobs are available? Can I work for/volunteer for ORDA?

ORDA recruits staff for different posts available in Bahir Dar Head Office, Liaison Office in Addis Ababa and project coordination offices at zonal and district levels in addition to recruitments for newly launching projects on the basis of a project life. For vacant posts, anyone can consult the organizational website www.orda.org.et and notice boards in the Head Office. If necessary, vacancies can also be advertised in the regional and national print or broadcast media.

ORDA cannot respond to unsolicited/not asked for/ requests and applications for employment or volunteer opportunities.

I have applied for a job but I have not heard back. How can I find the status of the application?

Regretfully, we are unable to respond to each applicant-beyond the initial acknowledgement of receipt of the resume-and we cannot provide updates on the status of the application. However, applicants who have been shortlisted will be contacted directly.

Does ORDA sponsor research works?

It is not possible to link up with ORDA as part of your research dependant on different area of research and the capacity within our project teams. However, it might be good to make a request for collaboration and send a letter explaining the purpose of your research to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Our Business Development and Action Research staff will provide apporporaite response timely to your requests.

Apart from this, the organization is open to all who have a desire to conduct studies on its various development issues and willing to support her or him by providing adequate information on the matter. 

Can I contact a member of staff at ORDA regarding a product or service the organization might be interested in?

If you want to tell us about a product or service that you think ORDA might be interested in, please do contact us via addresses available in our website, providing as much information as possible but precisely. The information will be directed to relevant colleagues within ORDA who will contact you. Make sure you have given your correct contact address.

Who are Friends of ORDA and what is expected from them?

ORDA has Friends who support it on a more committed and regular basis. Its staff has strong attachment with ORDA. They are still commenting, advising and supporting their organization (ORDA) in many dimensions. ORDA also takes all the sons and daughters of Amhara and all others who are supportive of positive changes in Amhara as its friends. Friends of ORDA provide information, ideas, comments and suggestions, and even raise funds to support our work and get involved in all sorts of activities.

Any comments, suggestions or complaints?

ORDA strives to provide best service possible to anyone who comes in contact with the organization. We always value any feedback from our supporters, in the form of comments, suggestions or complaints. All such feedbacks are recorded and reviewed regularly as we believe and endeavor to learn from feedbacks and address issues raised fairly.

Once we have received your complaint, you will receive an initial acknowledgement within two working days; and, after investigating the issue at hand, you will receive an initial response within 5 working days.

For any further queries about ORDA, please contact us via our addresses available in our website, or send your enquiry via the following:


P.O.Box: 132,

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Last Updated (Wednesday, 24 October 2012 07:21)