The connection between Zakia and Firoza becomes instantly evident when you see them talk to each other. Firoza listens intently as Zakia speaks in a soft, empathetic tone. For Firoza, Zakia is not only a manager apa (sister) from BRAC - she is the only person who she trusts completely.
Bangladesh, the birthplace of microfinance and many other successful pro-poor strategies has been acknowledged as the model of development for many years. Once again, the country is recognised to have found the most effective solution to one of the most complex problems of the world - extreme poverty.
Inside the packed National Theatre Carré in the heart of Amsterdam, the red carpet was rolled out for celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Rafael Nadal, along with leaders of some of the best known international charities. A unique event called the Goed Geld Gala (good money gala) was underway, involving 2.9 million lottery players who were making a different kind of bet - on organisations they thought could improve the world.
It is a weekday afternoon in Moulvibazar, Rangpur, and the melody of children chanting times tables is wafting through the trees. School is over, but students are gathered under shady trees in the village courtyards for another round of lessons.
“When it would rain, we did not have a dry area to sleep… I used old and torn rags to cover my children.” The video speaks for itself. A self-told story about how Chobi Rani, with the assistance of BRAC, brought herself out of the harshest forms of poverty, to feed and send her children to school, live in a comfortable home and maintain successful enterprises in farming.
Amplifier Strategies and BRAC USA traveled to Bangladesh in March to meet with the BRAC International leadership team and discuss our ongoing partnership for Amplifier’s latest Collaborative Initiative. We built the Initiative as a special opportunity to engage family and individual philanthropists in a global partnership to end extreme poverty.
On October 20, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. GMT, Rabeya Yasmin, the director of BRAC's graduation program targeting the ultra-poor will take and answer questions via Twitter. We invite you to participate and submit questions ahead of time using the hashtag #BRACultrapoor.
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.
After a few years of trail and error, BRAC figured out a way to make sure those living in poverty and those living around poverty are "in the room," or in other words they play a major role in deciding which household among them really is the neediest.
Nazia Moqueet is a Research Associate at BRAC Development Institute and is currently based out of BRAC USA. In March 2013, she was in Yemen to conduct a process evaluation of the CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Pilot. She conducted several participant and staff interviews and focus group discussions over a period of two weeks. In this post, originally published at the CGAP-Ford Graduation Pilot program blog, She recalls an encounter with a pilot participant in Taiz.
Variously called targeting the ultra-poor, just TUP, or more famously the graduation program (which we're not always sure is the right title), BRAC's work with the ultra-poor is officially titled Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction - Targeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR-TUP). A mouthful yes, but not nearly as many mouthfuls as there have been recently about the effectiveness -- or lack thereof -- of a core component in the program: livelihoods training.