Innovation

June 14, 2015
BLOG General

Drones for development

Unmanned aerial vehicles have populated both the imagination and nightmares of people around the world in recent years. In April, the United States Navy announced an experimental programme called LOCUST (Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology), which officials promise will “autonomously overwhelm an adversary” and thus “provide Sailors and Marines a decisive tactical advantage.”
June 7, 2015

Beyond pilots: 7 innovative ways BRAC will use mobile money to transform systems

While not without challenges and surprises, our experiences indicated that we should be thinking bigger, about how we could significantly scale the use of mobile money in our operations.
April 9, 2015

5 ways BRAC approaches disaster preparedness

During the summer and monsoon seasons, Bangladesh is prone to nor’westers, floods, tidal surges, cyclones, and tornados. These can be extremely destructive and therefore preparedness is crucial for risk reduction. Understanding this, BRAC has been addressing disaster preparedness in several ways within its programmes. Here’s how.
April 2, 2015
BLOG General

Frugal innovation – the secret to scaling sustainably

In the changing landscape of development, long standing boundaries between non-profit and for profit models are merging while social enterprises are emerging. Even the most generous aid models are not enough to provide basic services to the 1.2 billion poor people living in middle income countries. In this context, the third Frugal Innovation Forum hosted by the BRAC Social Innovation Lab explored how we can serve millions in a sustainable manner. Under the theme ‘pushing the boundaries of development’, several speakers from the development sector, multinational corporations and social enterprises expressed that we need frugal innovations that can create more impact with less resources and institutions that can scale sustainably.
March 29, 2015

Lessons in revolutionising drinking water systems in saline areas

Sutarkhali is located in Khulna, next to the mangrove forests of Sundarbans. Climate change in this southern region has seen cyclones with more damaging effects. The sea level is rising, and loss of land through erosion and saltwater intrusion makes it hard to find safe drinking water. There are 40 million people living in the coastal belt of Bangladesh who rely on natural water sources to sustain their livelihoods and daily needs.
March 19, 2015
BLOG General

Mapping innovation across BRAC International

What comes to your mind when you think about innovation? Most of us relate innovation to places like Silicon Valley. However, there are incredible social innovations happening in the global South; starting from Sudanese villages to Afghan classrooms and in many other not-so-known places, where you least expect anything related to innovation.
March 12, 2014

Wanted: Mobile money ideas

Mobile money is creating new ways to work with the poor and help them manage their money. Already in four countries, there are more mobile money accounts than bank accounts.  Innovative development approaches are appearing around the world.  Bangladesh is the fastest growing mobile money market in the world, and organisations like Oxfam, FHI 360, Chars Livelihood Programme and others are experimenting with it.
June 18, 2013
BLOG General

Technology that works for the poor

As BRAC continues piloting and scaling up its own products and services targeted at the world’s poorest, it’s useful to see and learn from a growing cadre of others doing the same.
May 22, 2013

The world’s biggest family

One of the newest additions to BRAC's family worldwide tells her story of discovering what BRAC really is. Originally published at The Huffington Post.
April 2, 2013

Frugal Innovation Forum Day 2: Ambition without borders

A week before the Frugal Innovation Forum, I came across the Ted Talk by Dan Palotta that criticized development for rewarding frugality (i.e. low rates of overhead) instead of ambition and big ideas. This is one reason why, in his opinion, progress has been slow to find solutions to address social issues.
February 5, 2013
BLOG General

Let’s make stone soup: Introducing BRAC’s Frugal Innovation Forum

As a child, I was fed a healthy supply of fairy tales and fables. One of my favorites was that of “stone soup.” In the version I know, it’s about a community facing extremely harsh times during a war. Food was in short supply, and hope even shorter. A hungry traveller came to town and in the village center, put a big pot with water and a stone on a fire. Curious villagers came and asked what he was doing. “Making a tasty stone soup!” he would explain.
October 23, 2012
BLOG General

Creativity is not enough for the world’s poor

Innovation means more than creativity. It means creativity that reaches millions. When BRAC founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed spoke last month to the World Affairs Council of Northeastern California, creative solutions that reach millions were at the heart of his message to the audience.