Every year millions of adolescent girls marry young in South Asia. They are burdened with responsibilities as young wives and teenage mothers. In most cases, girls are coerced into marriage in varying circumstances. Research indicates that child brides face greater physical violence and a number of health risks. However, evidence is also building up on another more serious consequence of early marriage.
Gathering and organizing data is one thing; using data effectively is another. Thanks to new technology, as Bill Gates writes in his 2013 annual letter, people can gather and organize data with more speed and accuracy than ever before. That's great news, particularly for the social sector around the world, which badly needs more and better feedback loops to improve its performance. But gathering and organizing data is just one half of the loop. The other half--actually using data to inform program design and decision-making--can be a generational challenge to infuse into the culture of an organization.
It's the second time around for The Global Journal's ranking of the Top 100 NGOs worldwide. Needless to say this has generated equal parts pride and enthusiasm in the BRAC family of organizations. We are gratified at the recognition, and at the same time know we're part of a larger family of civil society groups looking for solutions to the world's most pressing problems.
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.