World Toilet Day: Celebrating achievements and preparing for the journey ahead

World Toilet Day: Celebrating achievements and preparing for the journey ahead

Last year WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation reported that Bangladesh had made significant progress in reducing the proportion of people practising open defecation –to just 1 per cent, down from 34 per cent in 1990. The report also lauded Bangladesh for being the only country in South Asia which
read more

Your big NGO isn’t a big brand. So what should be your brand strategy?

Your big NGO isn’t a big brand. So what should be your brand strategy?

Originally appeared on Devex. Most people have probably never heard of the world’s largest non-governmental organisation. BRAC, with a workforce of over 100,000 people and projects reaching 1 in every 55 people, is the biggest development organisation operating today. But compared with groups such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, Red Cross, UNICEF and World Vision, BRAC is hardly
read more

Her hands trembled when she borrowed her first $64; Now she’s giving advice to BRAC

Her hands trembled when she borrowed her first $64; Now she’s giving advice to BRAC

Originally appeared on NextBillion.  The integration of mobile money into microfinance operations is one of the most exciting yet challenging prospects facing microfinance providers today. Mobile money presents a fast, cost-efficient and flexible alternative delivery channel through which money can be transferred, loans can be repaid and savings can be deposited. Yet, globally, active usage
read more

What ever happened to microfinance?

What ever happened to microfinance?

You’d be forgiven for thinking microfinance has gone wildly out of fashion. The “development caravan”—defined as the wagon train of poverty interventions that excite donors—has pulled away from micro-lending, drawn to more powerful things like BRAC-style graduation programmes (which aim to “graduate” people from extreme poverty into a sustainable livelihood) and bKash-like mobile money, according
read more

Korail slum’s karate queens

Korail slum’s karate queens

Today is International Day of the Girl Child, and the karate girls of Korail in Bangladesh are screaming – as they are most days. Standing tall, and bellowing from the bottom of their lungs as they kick and punch, the girls are decked out in their dark blue gi (the traditional uniform used for karate
read more

Starting strong together: An Asian regional dialogue on SDGs

Starting strong together: An Asian regional dialogue on SDGs

Originally appeared on Southern Voice.   Ms Ishita Islam from BRAC attended the SV-ODI regional dialogue on Starting Strong – the first 1000 days of the SDGs – Asian Regional Dialogue in Sri Lanka. She shares her experience in this blog. BRAC was graciously invited by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) to join the Asian regional
read more

Can good service design build customer trust?

Can good service design build customer trust?

For several years now, we have seen Dhaka repeatedly ranked as one of the least livable cities in the world.  One major factor is our transport system. A city of 20 million people, no metro system and an inadequate number of buses create a traffic nightmare. Those who depend on buses suffer the most: drivers
read more

Avoiding the supposedly unavoidable

Avoiding the supposedly unavoidable

The resilience of Bangladeshis is again being tested. Over 685,000 families across 16 districts have been affected by the recent flooding. Government sources say that 60 people have died, over 1,000 schools have been affected and 15,000 people have lost their homes due to river erosion. Women have to carry drinking water from miles away,
read more

Ending early marriage in Bangladesh and Uganda

Ending early marriage in Bangladesh and Uganda

The practice of child marriage adversely affects the lives of millions of girls in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, nearly one in every two girls is married before reaching their 18th birthday. The situation is worse in Bangladesh where two out of every three women aged between 20 and 24 marry young. While
read more

Post-disaster recovery: Don’t forget the children

Post-disaster recovery: Don’t forget the children

  We met three boys on the docks of Pekua, midway between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar, as we waited for our boat to Kutubdia. We asked them, “What were you doing during the cyclone? Were you scared?” “What’s there to be afraid of?” they shot back, shrugging their shoulders with cheeky smiles. This was their
read more