financial inclusion

August 9, 2018

From health to wealth: Sanitation standards shifting in rural Bangladesh

Bangladesh has largely succeeded in providing access to basic sanitation. Using latrines in rural communities is now no longer seen as a luxury reserved for upper-income households, but a necessity at all levels of society.
July 15, 2018

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

With governments and others, increasingly looking to integrate Graduation into national programmes, cost and complexity are major barriers. Yet, practitioners need to be wary of looking for simple solutions to complex problems. Cost-effectiveness is not about finding a lower cost model for graduation but rather, understanding what is optimal in each context to achieve long-term, sustained, positive outcomes.
April 30, 2018

IamBRAC: Money, guns and thugs in Bangladesh

Nazma manages four offices, supervises dozens of people, grants loans, raises a daughter and occasionally rolls up her sleeves to lock horns with gun-wielding thugs.
April 23, 2018

IamBRAC: Women stand strong when the going gets tough

Shahana Akhter spends her days on her little red scooter looking for small businesses. She works in BRAC’s microfinance programme, and has spent seven years distributing loans and collecting repayments to enable all types of entrepreneurship to expand.
April 15, 2018

Women on wheels in rural Bangladesh

Mitali Dhar loves her bike. She has travelled far and wide on her two-wheeler. It has not always been met with respect - she was pushed off her bike once during a visit many years ago to a remote spot in Sylhet. “ I sat beside the tube well and cleaned myself up, wept and went straight back to the office,” says Mitali.
January 2, 2018

Financial inclusion for the ‘missing middle’

The capability to borrow money when needed, whether for short-term or long-term purposes, is a convenience valued by everyone. Access to credit is not only helpful for investing in enterprises, or managing crises, but it also provides the opportunity to access better standards of living.
December 17, 2017

Social enterprises: More than women-friendly spaces

When women have more access to financial as well as physical assets, it provides them with a base of authority that is important in staking her claim for equal or fair treatment.
November 9, 2017

How BRAC Microfinance recovered from the Ebola crisis

How do we build resilience during and after a crisis? A new GDI case study from BRAC offers insight into lessons learned from the West Africa Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015, highlighting what can be done to strengthen organisations responding and with the people they serve.
November 8, 2017

BRAC in Uganda’s transition to a bank and what it means for customers

BRAC in Uganda shares strategy and sustainability insights from its transition from an MFI to a bank.
October 18, 2017

Ploughing the path in a male-dominated turf

Husnaara ran to her house smiling from ear to ear as if she could not get any happier. At that point nothing seemed impossible; she could become a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer, go to a good university. She could not wait to give her father the news about her Secondary School Certificate results and assure him that his daughter would one day be able to provide for them.
October 19, 2016

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

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.
October 17, 2016

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 to recent coverage in The Economist.