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April 16, 2018

A complete solution for smallholder farmers in Tanzania

In Tanzania, poverty is concentrated in rural areas. Of the 13 million Tanzanians living in poverty, 85% live in rural areas. These people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods for both income and food security.

It is important to address the challenges that rural agricultural farmers face to address the issues of food insecurity. These include the dependence on rain, poor access to information, imperfect markets, transportation constraints, lack of proper storage facilities, not enough capital to invest, and high input cost – all of which result in low rates of technology adoption, and low production and income. BRAC started

April 15, 2018

Women on wheels in rural Bangladesh

Mitali still remembers the exact date she joined BRAC, back in 1993. She had just completed her masters, and found herself stationed at Habiganj riding a bicycle, sometimes a motorbike, to work. This was a locality where people had never seen women riding bikes.

She once had an accident one monsoon season and needed to get stitches. The doctor ordered weeks of rest. Accident or not, frowned upon or not, her love for her work saw her back on the bike.  “There were no roads at all in some places, but only narrow tracks which would get slippery when it …

April 11, 2018

How do you confront taboos in a humanitarian crisis?

Noor Hasina–a Rohingya refugee and new mother–spent a good part of her morning at one of BRAC’s primary healthcare centres with her six-month-old daughter, Israa. First, they saw a doctor for a diaper rash Israa was having, and then, Noor had her second breast feeding counseling session with one of the nutritional counselors. She finished her time at the centre passing by a midwife to request a pregnancy test. As she moved from the nutritional corner with Israa to the midwife room, I got to learn more about her story.

Noor Hasina with her daughter, Israa.

Before Noor Hasina and

April 5, 2018

IamBRAC: Putting the law to work in remote Bangladesh

“What is the minimum age that your daughter can get married at?”

“18!” A group echoes in unison.

“If you marry off your daughter even a day before, what will it be?”

“Child marriage.” The group answers.

“Do we support child marriage?”


“Say it out loud. We do not support child marriage,” Sufia Begum tells the group.

A manager in the human rights and legal services programme in Nilphamari, Sufia is no stranger to the trauma of child marriage. She herself was married at 16.

There are more concerted efforts to prevent child marriage than ever before, but the

April 5, 2018

Violence Against Women campaigns: Is raising awareness alone enough?

One Billion Rising (OBR) was first launched on Valentine’s Day in 2012 as a “call to action” to end violence against women. The name reflects the statistic that 1 in 3 women worldwide have been beaten or raped during their lifetime, according to a publication by the World Health Organisation.

The theme of the 2018 campaign was “Solidarity Against the Exploitation of Women”, and on the 14 February 2018, BRAC in Uganda, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan, and other organisations, groups and individuals all over the world participated in events to raise awareness of violence against women (VAW).

Members of

March 27, 2018

“The idea behind BRAC is to change systems of inequity” says Sir Fazle

This interview was originally posted on NGO Advisor.

Jean-Christophe Nothias (JCN): Being ranked #1 (again in 2018) is an achievement and a fantastic recognition, but it is also challenging. Is there a “too big to fail” risk associated with BRAC?

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (Sir Fazle): First, on behalf of the entire BRAC family, allow me to express my deepest gratitude for NGO Advisor’s recognition. There are many civil society organisations in the world today working diligently to bring about change in their societies. For BRAC to be placed at or near the top of such a list

March 22, 2018

Localisation of humanitarian response: A proven frontier for BRAC

The idea of localisation was first reinforced at the first World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, when government delegates, donors, philanthropists and civil society organisations committed to a package of reforms to strengthen humanitarian financing. In what is the known as the Grand Bargain, civil society organisations demanded that at least 25% of humanitarian funding should directly go towards local and national organisations.  

Localisation, very simply, means strengthening systems, procedures and capacities of local governments, the first responders (which include volunteers, fire service, civil defense and armed forces), civil society organisations and state authorities, so that they can respond to disasters,

March 22, 2018

When nature gives you resources, store it

Abdus Salam Sheikh is one of 4.3 million people in Bangladesh without access to safe drinking water. The 58-year-old man lives alone with his wife in a remote village in Mongla of Bagherhat in south-western Bangladesh. Salam speaks up about the many years he spent in the struggle of collecting water, stressing on how he did not want his children to live there – an area where the water crisis governs their lives. Apart from arsenic and salinity in water, pond water riddled with pathogens has already caused many episodes of diseases in his family.

The nearest water collection

March 19, 2018

Boot camp to fight global poverty: On location with BRAC in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

The solution, known as the ‘Graduation approach’,  has proved to be successful in ‘graduating’ extreme poor households onto a pathway towards socioeconomic resilience and sustainable livelihoods.

And the approach works in international contexts as well. In 2007, CGAP and the Ford Foundation took BRAC’s model and launched 10 pilot programmes in eight countries. The results from that replication show that 75% to 95% of participants in at least six of those countries meet the stipulated graduation criteria. In Bangladesh, the results of a randomised control trial released in 2013 showed substantial rise in household wellbeing, sustaining years after

March 11, 2018

77% of violence against women is perpetrated by family members

One woman experiences violence every 50 minutes.

One woman is physically tortured every 65 minutes.

One woman commits suicide every 6 hours.

One woman is raped every 12 hours.

One woman is murdered every day.

Bangladesh. Our motherland. No place for women.

The most recent statistics from BRAC’s Community Empowerment Programme show a 41% rise in violence against women and children. 77% of the perpetrators are family members –  husbands, fathers, father-in-laws, brothers, uncles.

The acts are increasingly brutal and violent. Gang rape has doubled in the last year.

Cyber bullying is continuing to play a big role. Perpetrators

March 7, 2018

A letter from Sir Fazle for International Women’s Day


8 March is International Women’s Day and, as in previous years, the day brings certain messages to us all. The theme for this year is ‘Now is the time to change the lives of rural and urban women’.

Changing the lives of women is not an easy task, since it involves changing many different values and behaviours. Our biggest enemy in this process is patriarchal values, which are harmful to both men and women. Patriarchy leads to controlling behaviour among men, which holds women back as well as preventing the proper and positive development of men’s personalities. Patriarchy thus

March 6, 2018

Keeping the kids in school: 200 learning centres for Rohingya children

“Today we formed a train with our hands on each other shoulders and sang a song before starting lessons,” he says, “I enjoyed it very much. I also enjoy the English classes!”

Abdullah is one of 21,000 children attending our temporary learning centres in the four camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Almost 688,000 forcibly-displaced Myanmar nationals (FDMN) have been reported to enter Bangladesh since the attacks in August 2017 in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Around 60% of the population are children. These children were already educationally marginalised before the crisis. Now the crisis has marginalised them further, disrupting their access