BRAC

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Recognized as a top International Microfinance nonprofit in the following years:
Medal-big-2009
Medal-big-2012
26 Thumbsup 1 Thumbsdown   Info-sm
"Up" is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. "Down" is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in field.
Brac
Headquarters Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Founded: 1972


Mission: BRAC's mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programmes that enable men and women to realise their potential.


Tags: 2012, international, microfinance, ultra-poor, poverty, health, education, financial services

This organization has offices located worldwide. As the majority of our users are based in the U.S., the donation link is connected to the U.S. office.


Brac
Story: Annet was forced to drop out of school in 5th grade because her parents couldn't afford her school fees. But with the help of BRAC and supporters like you, she is now a successful business woman.

Annet and her… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
BRAC has an impressive history of growth, as well as a deep impact on the many clients they serve. They excel at replicating their operations, and now exist in 10 Asian and African countries with many branches. They offer integrated financial and non-financial services that benefit clients holistically. The support that they offer outside of their lending programs runs a ride gambit. They have started thousands of schools, built an impressive network of community health workers, and more. BRAC has a long standing commitment to serving the poorest of the poor. They have developed the Targeting the Ultra Poor program, now being replicated in several countries, to target outreach to very poor women and clients in rural areas.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Brac Mahabub Hossain. Mahabub Hossain is an internationally renowned development economist. Prior to joining BRAC, Dr. Hossain was the Head of the Social Sciences Division and Programme Leader, Rainfed Ecosystems Programme of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. He was also the Director General of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Hossain, is known for his substantial… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data for US Office
Charity Navigator Rating: 1stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$7,580,890


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT brac.net
Phone:
880-2-9881265      
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
75 Mohakhali
 
Dhaka, Bangladesh 1212,
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Contact Info in the US
E-Mail:
info AT brac.net
Phone:
212 808 5615
Address:
110 William Street, 29th Floor
 
New York, NY, 10038 USA


Brac Story: Annet was forced to drop out of school in 5th grade because her parents couldn't afford her school fees. But with the help of BRAC and supporters like you, she is now a successful business woman.

Annet and her parents struggled to survive on their meager income in the Kasakoso village in Uganda. She tried to help out by getting a waitressing job at a local restaurant, which paid about 50 cents a day.

Frustrated with he situation, Annet became interested in energy saving charcoal stoves. "This clay stove consumes very little charcoal compared to the ordinary charcoal stove," she explains. "With this stove, UGX 500 (25 cents) of charcoal can last for three days of cooking, which goes a long way to save both the trees and money for users."

Annet joined one of BRAC's clubs for adolescent girls, where one of our trained mentors provided her with life skills and financial literacy training that helped her build her business. We also gave her an $80 loan to expand her business.

Today, Annet employs four people who help her make more than 200 stoves a week.

"The BRAC adolescent program and loan have developed me financially," says Annet. "I have become more responsible after gaining business and finance management skills."
With a safe space, training, and a small loan, BRAC gave Annet the tools she needed to start a successful business that creates jobs and protects the environment.

Expert Reviews of BRAC

Evidence of Impact Summary:

BRAC has an impressive history of growth, as well as a deep impact on the many clients they serve. They excel at replicating their operations, and now exist in 10 Asian and African countries with many branches. They offer integrated financial and non-financial services that benefit clients holistically. The support that they offer outside of their lending programs runs a ride gambit. They have started thousands of schools, built an impressive network of community health workers, and more. BRAC has a long standing commitment to serving the poorest of the poor. They have developed the Targeting the Ultra Poor program, now being replicated in several countries, to target outreach to very poor women and clients in rural areas.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

BRAC is fortunate to be led by a dynamic CEO who has done a good deal to push the organization and the sector forward. Likewise, the organization as a whole is considered a thought leader in the microfinance community. The organization has an excellent research and evaluation department. They take care to assess many different aspects of their work, including a rubric to determine the level of poverty they are reaching. BRAC is constantly innovating to make their programs better as they expand.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

The recent passing of BRAC’s former head has been hard on the organization’s operations. They are having new-found communication trouble. BRAC may want to consider expansion and replicating their model into other regions, specifically Latin America. Experts would also like to see BRAC engage in more collaboration with other organizations. Lastly, the interest rate charged on their loans may be too costly for their clients.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Wide Range of Strategies

O
Building on the enormous success of their micro-lending program in Bangladesh, they have made a significant commitment to improving the lives of the poor in Africa, not only by importing their micro-loan operations to five African countries (in Uganda they now operate over 125 branches), but also by bringing in other programs to address poverty. In Uganda, they have started thousands of schools, built an impressive network of community health workers, and provided services to improve agriculture output and livestock rearing.
R
They do more than loans, which lacks strong evidence for donors to support the fight against poverty.

Targeted Outreach

O
BRAC has always been highly focused on targeting the poorest of the poor. They also have an extensive impact research program.
R
BRAC has been an industry pioneer for decades. Beyond the sheer volume of their outreach, they have developed the Targeting the Ultra Poor program, which is now being replicated in several countries. They also established market linkages to enable the poor to sell dairy products, chickens, handicrafts, etc.
N
BRAC's outreach program targets the poor, those in rural areas, and women. They also provide services in addition to credit.

Range of Interventions

F
I base my recommendation on the scale, depth, and diversity of client impact.
N
BRAC has made a significant impact in rural areas. Their work has reached many through credit, health, education, and training.

Impressive Growth

N
Their impact is evident in their scale. BRAC is operating in 10 countries. The level of operations in Bangladesh, where they started, and the replications in other countries, are clear evidence that their integrated services are critical to addressing their clients’ needs in a way that gives them the opportunity to take action in their own development and well-being in their fight against poverty. BRAC’s impact has been recognized by all kind of institutions, local and international. They have seen the changes in the lives of BRAC’s clients; for instance, in the change in the levels of education of the clients and their children.
R
They are one of the leading programs in Asia, and are now expanding to African countries.
O
Located in Bangladesh and around the world, BRAC is a leading development agency. The evidence of their impact is very strong as they have been evaluated over and over. The leadership is excellent though many of the original leadership are elderly now. I am especially impressed with their program for the Ultra-Poor. My institution has replicated it in Haiti. What makes them so unique is that they are able to reach everyone from the poorest through small and medium enterprises and actually link them together by building their own sustainable enterprises that provide jobs, etc. There is no other institution like them in the world.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

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X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Evaluation, Strong Performance

O
They have a strong commitment to evaluating all aspects of their program and working to improve, as well as measuring client outcomes. They have developed a Poverty Scorecard in Uganda to help monitor client outreach and measure the levels of poverty they are reaching. They have a strong commitment to addressing poverty across the various aspects that affect it, such as education, health, livelihood, and development. BRAC is an innovator. They are clearly an industry leader.
R
They have an exceptional research and evaluation department.
R
In Africa, they have shown it is possible to push the boundaries of efficiency and scale in markets where no other outsider NGO has succeeded.

Excellent Leadership

O
BRAC is a respected leader of the microfinance movement.
F
They have great leadership in an expanding number of sectors and geographies.
N
They have a strong overall management. Also, their leadership and social objectives are excellent.
O
Their leadership is the best in the world. They do a great job of combining microfinance with the creation of new industries that provide jobs, as well.

Innovative Approach

N
Their strengths are their constant innovation and international expansion.
N
With no money, one of BRAC’s greatest strengths is the leadership of the founder and CEO. His vision and commitment to BRAC’s mission has made it possible to have the success they have achieved, as well as to have the human capital needed to take BRAC to this level. The fact that they have successfully replicated in 10 countries is clear evidence that their model is working well for clients. Their combination of financial and non-financial services are essential to responding to their clients’ needs. Also, the model is flexible and can be adjusted to the different geographical and cultural regions where they operate. Their model of cross-subsidizing the non-financial service with the proceeds from the financial service is very innovative, and assures that the clients have access to services that otherwise they would not have. They are very deliberate and clear in managing their social performance in the best way possible.

Exemplary Model

N
BRAC is strong mainly in offering an inspiring example of microfinance in action, and they have replicated this example in other countries outside South Asia, notably in Africa.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Collaborate More

O
They have started collaborating with other organizations, such as Living Goods in Uganda, and probably could benefit the sector by doing more of this kind of collaboration. They are not as well known as other organizations, but my understanding is that their Bangladesh operations is profitable enough to fund their expansion into multiple countries in Africa, and to reach out beyond lending.
R
They could interact more with the international community.

High Costs for Clients

N
The interest rate they charge is a burden for clients.

Replicate in Latin America

N
They should improve the quality and sustainability of their non-financial services. They may also want to analyze the possibility of replicating the model in Latin America.
R
It would be great if they could expand their model to other regions, including Latin America.

Tough Transition

O
Within the last year or so, the former head of BRAC died. Since that time they have been having some problems in managing their far-flung operations. BRAC is now all over the world, though I believe in some countries they have had some problems.

Engage More in Policy

N
BRAC has not been a prominent voice in global policy debates.


Leadership

Brac
Mahabub Hossain
Executive Director
Mahabub Hossain is an internationally renowned development economist. Prior to joining BRAC, Dr. Hossain was the Head of the Social Sciences Division and Programme Leader, Rainfed Ecosystems Programme of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines. He was also the Director General of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Hossain, is known for his substantial contributions to research on development economics and agriculture policy in South and Southeast Asia. Dr. Hossain obtained his Masters in Economics in 1969 from Dhaka University and his PhD in Economics in 1977 from Cambridge University, UK. Throughout his distinguished career, he has authored/co-authored eleven books and research monographs and contributed more than 140 papers in refereed journals and edited books. He was awarded the first Gold Medal from the Bangladesh Agricultural Economist Association (in 1985) in recognition of outstanding contribution to understanding the operation of rural economy in Bangladesh. Dr. Hossain, a Bangladeshi national, was born in 1945 in Nadia, West Bengal, India.

From the Nonprofit

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