100,000 in 1990 to just 194 in 2010, while other indicators like neonatal and under-five mortality have also fallen.
While those numbers are still too high (in many developed countries, the rates for all are in single digits), the change is still staggering. Bangladesh is close to reaching the fourth and fifth of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals regarding child and maternal mortality.
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.
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.
It can seem so easy. Give a slum-dweller a three-wheeled vehicle. She creates a mobile tea business. Income increases from 100 Bangladeshi taka to 400 taka per day. She leaves her backbreaking job as a brick-maker, quadruples her income, preserves her health, restores her dignity. Rinse, repeat.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post on 26 January 2013.
The world has made impressive progress in health over the past few decades, leading to untold lives being saved. This has been possible due to deliberate efforts in providing prevention and healthcare, and improving the various social determinants of health. Yet, nearly ten million children die before reaching their ﬁfth birthday and half a million women die each year in child birth.
The BRAC birthing kit is a small packet wrapped in plastic, about the size of a Pop-Tart, and it’s saving lives. This packet is an excellent example of jugaad, one of the buzzwords making the rounds in the business world.
Jugaad is a colloquial term in Hindi for an innovative fix or improvised solution – a frugal innovation.
Bangladesh, Malawi and Nepal have been highlighted in a new UNICEF report as three countries on track to meet their child survival targets, incorporated in MDG 4 that aims to reduce under-5 deaths worldwide to a third of their 1990 levels by 2015.
Innovate frugally, scale up, and remain a learning organization: Those are the three lessons BRAC founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed delivered to an audience at the World Affairs Council of Northern California last night, as part of a speaking tour sponsored by the Asia Foundation.
Some of you may have read the first of these two back-to-back posts recounting my first field visit since taking up what must be officially the world’s most cumbersome job title – Knowledge Management & Strategic Communications Specialist – at BRAC. People have been asking for my card over the past month, as you do.
Having a child can be one happiest event in a woman's life. While life with a new baby can be enthralling and worthwhile, it can also be difficult and stressful at times. A woman goes though many physical, social and emotional changes when she is expecting, and after she gives birth
The pervasive torrential rains in the Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet, Chittagong, & Feni district of Bangladesh have left a significant number of people homeless and distressed in the past one week. Roads and railways communication network are left in devastating conditions which has made any kind of aid or assistance impossible to reach. Under such circumstances, BRAC’s Disaster, Management and Climate Change (DMCC) programme has geared up to challenge the extremes and reach out to those in dire need.
With democracy comes freedom entailing the power and right to equality, legality, mobility, and essentially to live a healthy life. In the western part, one does not have to think twice about their ability to endeavor in good health. However, in other parts of the world including Bangladesh, citizens from the rural areas