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
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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
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Connecting the dots: Creating an inclusive digital ecosystem in Bangladesh

Connecting the dots: Creating an inclusive digital ecosystem in Bangladesh

How are we progressing on financial inclusion in Bangladesh? Are we successfully bringing financial services to women? In April, BRAC, Access to Information (a2i), fhi360, USAID and IFMR LEAD jointly organised an event named ‘Digital financial inclusion: Innovations from Bangladesh’ to invite local stakeholders to discuss their experiences and emerging solutions (see a recent write-up
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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