Cost-benefit analyses: Still a long way to go

Cost-benefit analyses: Still a long way to go

Originally appeared on the Financial Access Initiative blog. BRAC examines the limitations of cost-benefit analyses and how to improve research methodologies for more informed policy and investment decisions. In the last ten years, we have seen a push from investors, foundations, governments and concerned citizens for better impact evaluations to prove which development programmes work
read more

World Refugee Day 2016: Renewing our commitment

World Refugee Day 2016: Renewing our commitment

On this World Refugee Day, people all over the world will affirm their commitment to humanity, from the global to the local level. Refugees are the most vulnerable people on earth and experience every suffering that is possible. Perhaps the greatest pain is that they left a home behind and have no land to call
read more

Digital finance in Bangladesh: Empowering or excluding women?

Digital finance in Bangladesh: Empowering or excluding women?

Originally appeared on Development Outlook. To read the full version of the blog, click here. This blog draws from discussions on the progress of digital financial services, during a seminar  in Dhaka in April 2016. The seminar was organised by BRAC Social Innovation Lab, Access to Information (a2i) and USAID’s mSTAR project implemented by FHI 360. IFMR LEAD was the
read more

Salaried and unbanked: A new frontier for microfinance

Salaried and unbanked: A new frontier for microfinance

What comes to your mind when you think of microfinance? To me it’s ‘easy access’- a key factor that has enabled the sector to reach 34 million poor people in Bangladesh, essentially bringing financial services to their doorstep. Microfinance institutions are working on financial inclusion: ensuring that the ‘unbanked’ can access the full range of
read more

A tribute to a champion of the deprived

A tribute to a champion of the deprived

On 27 April, our founder and chairperson, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed- our very own Abed bhai- will turn 80. Leading economist and freedom fighter, Dr Rehman Sobhan, shared this tribute to one of his most cherished friends.    I can think of few people who have done more for the world’s deprived population than Fazle
read more

How do we empower the next generation of girls? With girls.

How do we empower the next generation of girls? With girls.

When Sa’a jumped from the moving truck, she wasn’t thinking about her education that had just been cut short. She was fleeing for her life. One of the more than 250 girls kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, two years ago, Sa’a recounted the heartbreaking story to members of Congress last week, renewing calls
read more

Helping smallholders grow a pharmacy on their farms

Helping smallholders grow a pharmacy on their farms

Originally appeared on NextBillion. Albrecht Dürer’s masterful woodcut, ’Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ is drawn from the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible’s New Testament. In it, the horsemen ride on red, black, white and pale horses, symbolising war, famine, conquest and death. The black horse symbolises famine ­– its darkness depicting the brute force
read more

Resilience: The secret super power of South Asia

Resilience: The secret super power of South Asia

Many perceive South Asia as home to poverty, population explosion and disasters.However, this is only one side of the coin. The other side shows indomitable spirit of resilience that can be seen in grassroots communities across South Asia. From sunflower cultivation in coastal areas to mobilising volunteers after a building collapse through social media, numerous
read more

From disaster victims to frugal innovators: Learning from communities how to build resiliency

From disaster victims to frugal innovators: Learning from communities how to build resiliency

What are some of the most effective innovations taking place in South Asia, the region most vulnerable to climate change? What do we know about strengthening livelihoods, financial and social protections to increase resilience for the poorest? This post is the fourth in a series of blogs that will share BRAC’s lessons on building and scaling
read more

March 1971: “I want to help young Bangladeshis with vision for the future”

March 1971: “I want to help young Bangladeshis with vision for the future”

The month of March remains as a reminder of courage. 1971- Bangladesh embarked on a war that would bring about its liberation. Fast forward to March of the following year, BRAC emerged as a small relief operation faced with huge challenges- a broken economy and abject poverty. As we celebrate 44 years of BRAC and
read more