At BRAC, we believe that “small is beautiful, big is necessary.” Nowhere is
this truer than South Asia, where poverty and inequity remain large-scale
issues. Yet across the region, innovative organizations have found creative ways
to empower and serve poor communities. Often their insights into leveraging
social capital and approaching so-called “beneficiaries” as active partners have
enabled them to be effective with very limited budgets. These frugal innovators
are tackling a broad range of issues, from slum resettlement, to education and
youth skills development, to anti-corruption and more.
The trusted, proven tools and strategies may not be enough for the emerging
forms of social issues that we are observing across South Asia. The gains of the
past few decades have created a new frontier of unfamiliar and complex
challenges. If we giants are to sustain of effectiveness, we must find ways to
learn from and partner with promising new organizations with fresh eyes,
distinct capabilities, and start-up agility.