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July 15, 2018

Eliminating extreme poverty: How can we make Graduation more cost-effective?

The Graduation approach to tackling ultra poverty is a necessarily complex approach to the intractable challenge of extreme poverty. Recognising that simple solutions and single interventions have a track record of failing to provide sustainable change, the approach represents a ‘big push’ through a holistic, sequenced, and time-bound methodology. This helps participants build sustainable livelihoods, improve their health and nutrition, educate their children, and creates an upward trajectory out of poverty. Results across Asia, Africa and Latin America are promising, with rigorous research demonstrating positive change for the vast majority of participants across multiple dimensions, as well as emerging evidence

July 12, 2018

10 summer sizzlers from BRAC USA

Everyone loves a great summer read, but what makes a book beach ready, and what banishes it to the bedside table? We asked BRAC USA staff to recommend some of their favorite summer sizzlers – and you may be surprised by what we got back. From fiction to memoirs, and even a guide for nonprofits, these books are sure to introduce you to different eras, places, and ideas, all while keeping the pages turning. Dig in, and be sure to let us know what you think on Facebook and Twitter!

 

The House at Sugar Beach, Helene Cooper

July 11, 2018
BLOG Health

World Population Day: A pill a day keeps a baby away

17-year-old Mitu is married, and thankful she is not a mother. Along with one-third of Bangladeshi girls, Mitu got married before the age of 15.

She was only 12 when she moved to Dhaka with her parents, who were in search of a better livelihood. She soon started work at a garments factory, and a short while later, fell in love with a colleague. At just 13, she was married. Unlike many other adolescent married couples in Bangladesh, Mitu and her husband knew they were not ready to be parents. And unlike 53% of adolescents who don’t have access to

July 10, 2018

Farmers in control make a better world

Anjuman Ara, 30, recalls spending many days waking up to bad news – constantly surrounded by financial uncertainties. Her husband, Bokul Hossain, used make-do by running a small tea stall in their neighbourhood within Chatmohar sub-district of Pabna, north-central Bangladesh. However, Bokul was having a hard time paying rent for the space. The landlord eventually put a stop to his only source of income.

Bokul, desperate to support his family of four, was convinced by an acquaintance to seek work as a migrant worker. On a warm sunny afternoon, Bokul rushed home to declare that he secured an opportunity in …

July 4, 2018

Infrastructure development or the peril of our children?

Driving through a road undergoing construction from Hoima to Kagadi, I felt a sense of excitement and pride seeing the opportunities that the establishment of Uganda’s first oil refinery was promising to bring- not only to this region, but to the country as a whole.

Suddenly, the car screeched to a quick halt as two school children ran playfully across the road. I was quickly reminded of the reason for my trip, an unfortunate incident that had befallen a child, a near fatal incident, unlike the ones that are supposed to be gleefully on their way.

She was only 10

July 3, 2018

The inside out of Shohochor: Challenging Dhaka traffic the BRAC way

There is no dedicated time for inspiration.

It started with a casual conversation between two colleagues: a comparison of how much time we spend stuck in traffic daily. We were fed up with Dhaka’s traffic. We were fed up complaining about it. And so, we decided to find a solution for it.

We quickly brainstormed, and identified the core reasons contributing to traffic congestion: an increasing number of private cars, lack of adherence to traffic laws and low penalisation for traffic law-breakers. While these problems seemed to require policy level interventions, we looked inward: stimulating change on an

July 2, 2018
BLOG Health

2+6=17? Leveraging water & sanitation for nutrition

The vicious cycle of undernutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is well documented.  Studies have found remarkable reduction in undernutrition when the WASH situation improves. This is particularly true for stunting, which is an indicator of chronic undernutrition. The mechanism is rather straightforward – better WASH conditions help reduce transmission of infections and intestinal parasites leading to better nutrition.

Diarrhoea, a water-borne disease caused by poor WASH, alone is responsible for up to 50% of undernutrition in low-income settings. Over 9% of the global disease burden and 6.3% of all deaths are associated with poor WASH conditions. Worldwide, 844

June 28, 2018

How BRAC uses field data for continuous improvement

The programme enables women and men from disadvantaged communities to have better jobs by improving their skills, their income and their workplaces. It focuses on apprenticeship and entrepreneurship based interventions for the informal economy, enterprise development in the light engineering sector and building a pool of skilled professionals for Bangladesh’s increasingly capital intensive formal sector. As of 2018, over 60,000 youth, business owners and migrants have been reached, with the goal of reaching half a million over the next few years. To achieve the goal, SDP needs to analyse their operations and results in a smart way to encourage continuous

June 20, 2018

A change taking place in Kiryandongo

When I entered the settlement of Kiryandongo on 25 May 2018, I felt butterflies in my stomach. I was expecting an overcrowded crunched settlement of more than 550,000 people in a small place, almost as I had seen in Cox’s Bazar of Bangladesh. But I was surprised to see the settlement. It was not crowded, not even crunched. Houses had their own spaces for toilets, kitchens and even small granaries for maize.

In Uganda, there are no refugee camps. The Government of Uganda calls them settlements as refugees from Congo, Burundi, Kenya or South Sudan live with the host community.

June 16, 2018

Eid wishes from our little learners in Cox’s Bazar

Eid Mubarak, from our family to yours.

These following four stories and drawings belong to the little learners in the Hazem Rasta child-friendly space mainly attended by children living in the host community of Ukhia. The space normally sees around 40 to 50 children every day, usually before or after their school hours. Most of them live close by.

 

Fatema (learner, BRAC Child Friendly Space, Ukhia)

I visit my family, especially my grandparents, on Eid day. I am excited to go to my sister’s house. She has two boys. I love Eid because I get to play with them.

June 14, 2018

Leaving no one behind: Disability-inclusive disaster risk management

More than 700 participants from 32 countries gathered in Dhaka this May to attend the 2nd International Conference on Disability and Disaster Risk Management. The global platform brings together persons with disabilities, policy makers, activists, experts, and various other stakeholders to find practical ways and means to ensure disability inclusion in all disaster risk management efforts.

We live in a world that is seeing an increasing number of disasters, both natural and human-made. In the last decade, disasters have cost the global economy USD 520 billion and pushed 26 million people into poverty. Certain groups, such as people with disabilities, …

June 12, 2018

Weapons of mass pathogen destruction: Health workers combat TB and malaria

An epidemic might be on the rise. Two of the world’s most lethal infectious diseases are mostly being overlooked in the makeshift settlements of Cox’s Bazar, demanding immediate attention to prevent any possible outbreaks in the future.

After nine months since the crisis rapidly unfolded, more people are coming out with the symptoms of cough and uncontrolled fever. Well-coordinated teams of health workers are working round the clock to ensure that these numbers do not rise any further.

Shahina Akhter visits at least 40 homes a day, working tirelessly under the intense humidity of tarpaulin roofs and bamboo walls. She