January 6, 2014

Realigning the stars for Bangladesh’s adolescent girls

Even after her father hacked at her mother’s foot with a kitchen knife in an alcohol fuelled rage, Merina, 16, did not want to abandon her father. “He wasn’t always like this,” she says. “His addiction turned him into a crazy person.”
October 3, 2013

The hidden dimensions of scale

When assessing pilots, people often talk about a program or organization’s potential to scale. Certainly there are factors that make some models easier to scale than others. At BRAC, the world’s largest nonprofit organization, there is a relentless focus on making models that are not only effective, but also efficient and scalable. But our current research initiative, called the Doing While Learning: Collaborative Models for Scaling Innovation project, is revealing the importance of factors beyond the model, such as organizational capabilities and social capital in the pilot’s environment.
August 5, 2013

Replicating BRAC’s model via partnerships

Many development organizations struggle with achieving scale—should more NGO’s consider partnerships to achieve their aims? BRAC usually scales primarily through their infrastructure, but the success of their educational support program offers an inspiring example of the power of scaling through others.
July 12, 2013

No one else at home can read or write

In this BRAC Bottom-Up Storytelling video, meet Sabina Yasmin, age 11. Visiting one of BRAC’s one-room schoolhouses is a near magical experience, as children from poor backgrounds show they have what it takes to lift their families out of poverty.
May 26, 2013

Want to change the world? Apply to be one of Teach for Bangladesh’s first fellows

My former roommate, Nina, was a Teach for America fellow in the South Side of Chicago. Dropouts, teenage pregnancies, drugs, violence--she had plenty of stories about her students along these lines. But she had another one that was tragic in another way that stays in my mind: one of her students had been incredible bright, resourceful, committed.
April 3, 2013

Literacy and legal empowerment in the workplace for Aarong artisans

The fashion and garments industry of Bangladesh, employing the largest labour force, has become a national pride. A huge fraction of the labour force is women, which has brought about a revolutionary change in the concept of women’s empowerment and economic independence. But a few of the recent garments and fashion house fire incidents have changed this whole notion of national pride into death traps.
April 2, 2013

Paying attention to the early years pays off

Everyone, from Save the Children, Plan International, and UNICEF, to BRAC, agrees that the early years are critical to a child’s overall development. How best to invest in those early years is a fertile topic for exploration and debate among academics, scientists, and policymakers. What if early childhood and adolescent development was also seen as a potential career path for women?
March 22, 2013

A difficult headcount in South Sudan

The simple brick building offered a cool reprieve from midday temperatures approaching 120F (50C). Inside, amid laughter and song, I was drawn to boy’s face outside the window of this BRAC primary school in Rumbek, South Sudan, clutching the wire screen to peer inside. He along with four other children had just been asked to leave the classroom.  
March 21, 2013

BRAC celebrates Global Money Week in Bangladesh

BRAC's youth-focused programmes celebrated the Global Money Week in Bangladesh with three-day training on financial literacy for adolescents. The training was arranged by our 'Adolescent Development Programme' and 'Social and Financial Empowerment of Adolescent (SoFEA)' programme. With an objective to empower the adolescent girls financially, the training's key focus-areas include, financial planning, savings, money management, budgeting and introduction to formal banking.
March 20, 2013

Sporting their way to financial empowerment

Financial freedom brings empowerment, a slogan that riveted the streets of Dhaka as an energized group of adolescent girls rallied with colourful banners and posters advocating social awareness messages. The component of BRAC’s education programme that deals with adolescent girls highly stresses economic independence as it gives them the power to fight against the discriminations they face in the society.
March 15, 2013

It takes a woman to raise a village

This blog post is an abridged version of a case study featured in Problem or Promise: Harnessing Youth Potential in Uganda, recently published by BRAC and The MasterCard Foundation.
February 25, 2013

Deepshikha Grand Finale 2012

Deepshikha, a cultural competition for the BRAC pre-primary and primary students, is the latest of BRAC’s efforts to incorporate more experiential and kinaesthetic learning into traditional education in order to promote the holistic development of its students.