About us

Established in December 2013, Alianza Shire is the first Spanish multi-stakeholder partnership experience in the humanitarian field promoted by Spanish Cooperation.

Alianza Shire members are three leading companies in the energy sector (Acciona.org, Iberdrola and Signify), the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (itdUPM), in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Alianza Shire promotes innovative energy access solutions that improve the services and quality of life of the inhabitants in refugee camps, working in collaboration with partners and implementers. itdUPM as facilitating entity is in charge of coordinating the partnership and managing the project.

In the project taking place in Ethiopia, Alianza Shire works in collaboration with the Dutch NGO ZOA and the Administration for Refugee and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), the Ethiopian government body in charge of refugee issues.

After a first pilot project that benefited more than 8,000 people in northern Ethiopia, Alianza Shire was severely affected by the conflict (March 2021) in the Shire region.

Currently, Alianza Shire is developing a new project in Dollo Ado refugee camps, located in southeastern Ethiopia and close to the border with Somalia and Kenya.


Since its creation in 2013, Alianza Shire has been consolidating a transformative character that is characterized by:

  • Scaling up from a prototype in a single camp to a project in 4 refugee camps with the introduction of new technologies and management models.
  • The evolution of the dynamics of the Alianza Shire with an increase in the level of participation, alignment and trust of the partners over time.
  • The importance given by the partners to the role of the facilitator in their role to generate a context of collaboration, co-creation and joint design, and the promotion of other transversal aspects such as communication.
  • The institutionalization in the Alianza Shire of the processes of innovation and knowledge management.

Alianza Shire members:


The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is the bilateral agency for development in Spain. AECID currently works in 30 countries through a network of Technical Cooperation Offices, Cultural and Training Centres.

In Ethiopia, AECID has a Technical Cooperation Office in Addis Ababa that has been in operation since 2007. In this partnership, AECID will provide institutional support as well as partial project funding.


acciona.org, The Energy & Water Foundation
acciona.org is ACCIONA's foundation. ACCIONA is a global company providing solutions for energy, water and other services and infrastructures with a business model based on sustainability.

acciona.org meets those needs at the base of the pyramid, through innovative service delivery models adapted to the development cooperation setting. Thus it mitigates inequalities and poverty and it improves health, education, work, environment, etc, for thousands of people, while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.



Iberdrola is a world leader in wind energy and one of the world’s top energy suppliers. The largest social development project in which Iberdrola has participated is “Luz para todos” (Light for All) in Brazil.

Iberdrola’s participation in the project is based upon its organisational, technical, logistics and purchasing capacities.



The Innovation and Technology for Development Centre (itdUPM) is the research centre leading the project. Acting as a partnership broker among the parties involved, itdUPM will work throughout the project to: provide members of the University staff as focal points in the field in the Shire region when necessary, offer different skills from the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) through their longstanding tradition of conducting collaborative research within the industry, as well as providing appropriate facilities for testing and calibrating equipment.


Signify, the global leader in lighting products, systems and services, delivers innovations that unlock business value, providing rich user experiences that help improve lives. Serving professional and consumer markets, Signify lead the industry in leveraging the Internet of Things to transform homes, buildings and urban spaces. In 2016 they invested 5% of revenue, providing innovation in lighting. At the same time, green products comprised 78% of total Signify sales.

In collaboration with:


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
UNHCR is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

UNHCR’s role within the partnership will be to provide a problem diagnosis and evaluate the pilot project. UNHCR will support the partnership in applying for further funding from institutions such as the Humanitarian Innovation Fund in order to scale-up and replicate the work of the partnership.

Alianza Shire adopts the World Refugee Pact from December 2018, the New York Declaration of September 2016 and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) as a theoretical framework. 

Logos pie ENG

Logotipos de los miembros de la Alianza Shire

AECID Inglés

This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)


Its contents are the sole responsibility of Alianza Shire and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.