September 2, 2012

Close encounter of the BRAC kind – II

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.
August 30, 2012

Close encounter of the BRAC kind-I

Couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to witness – for the very first time – a selection of BRAC programmes “in motion”, so to speak, from close quarters, out in a corner of the vast unknown that all of us cooped up at 75 Mohakhali know as the “field”. It must be all the news filling the airwaves about NASA’s latest Mars mission (not to mention the passing away of Neil Armstrong) but as I write this now, I must confess to being struck by some uncanny similarity between NASA missions to outer space being run from a control centre in California and BRAC programmes out in the “field” ultimately being directed from BRAC Centre.
July 30, 2012

Want to create innovations that work? Get out and listen.

On July 22, David Lewis wrote a blog post on "Is Innovation Essential for Development Work?"  Maria May, from BRAC's Social Innovation Lab, reflects on where development practitioners should start.Last week I visited a few families that have taken microfinance loans from BRAC in Sri Lanka.
July 25, 2012

BRAC microfinance borrower wins entrepreneurship award

BRAC Uganda microfinance borrower, Lydia Nojaki Birungi, 43, won the bronze prize in the 2011 Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Awards. Lydia, a BRAC small enterprise borrower since 2009, was recognised by Citibank and The Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) for her entrepreneurial ability. Lydia runs an agrochemicals business in Kasese and also farms a 15-acre plot of land that provides food for a large section of her community. Lydia received a certificate and a prize of 1.5 million UGX ($600) from Citibank. She plans to invest her winnings in her business.
June 4, 2012

Education – the most critical element to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty

This post was written by Francisco M. Varela, Undersecretary, Department of Education, Republic of the Philippines, after his visit to Bangladesh for the launching of BRAC's education programme in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
April 18, 2012

The ‘Poster Boy’ of Microfinance

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, founder of Bandhan, has been considered the “poster boy” of the microfinance industry in India. Many people may be unaware that Gosh actually spent most of his time in Bangladesh.
April 9, 2012

Forceful Eviction of Korail Slum

On April 4, one of the largest forceful slum evictions in Dhaka’s history took place in Korail bustee, located near BRAC’s head office. Households and shops within twenty meters of the road were bulldozed, with approximately 2,000 structures affected.
April 3, 2012

Event: 3ie-LIDC Seminar – Reaching the Poorest: Lessons from the Graduation Model

If you're in London, come see BRAC Development Institute's Syed Hashemi and Anasuya Sangupta discuss an effective model for reaching the very poorest. The Graduation model is based on BRAC's Ultra Poor programme in Bangladesh and is being piloted and scaled up in 10 countries around the world.
March 9, 2012

Rural women miss out on education — and decent jobs

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Pauline Rose, director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, in the World Education Blog.
January 5, 2012

Beyond Microfinance

Access to capital for the poor is absolutely critical if we want to eradicate poverty. It’s why at Whole Planet Foundation, this is what we focus on – raising funds to distribute to microfinance institutions (MFIs) who lend the money out to the poor.
January 4, 2012

Same Continent, Different Worlds

Ow de body! Are Sierra Leone and Rwanda still danger zones? What challenges do Ugandans most commonly face? Kiva Fellows from KF16 bring you another unique perspective from the diverse and vast continent of Africa! We patched together an overview of each of our placement countries that includes
December 29, 2011

The Year in Microfinance

Critics of microfinance have knocked down an army of straw men in recent years, and 2011 was no different. But it’s high time for microfinance practitioners to stop being defensive. We know enough about the perils and potentials of poverty-focused microfinance to address the real needs of the poor.