Who We Are : Evolution

1972

  • The organisation was known as Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee
  • (BRAC) began relief and rehabilitation operations in Sulla, Sylhet, following the end of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation.

1973

  • Activities transformed from relief and rehabilitation to long term community development
  • BRAC was renamed as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee

1974

  • Relief work started among famine and flood victims of Roumari, Kurigram
  • BRAC began microfinance activities

1975

  • Established BRAC’s research and evaluation division to support its core activities
  • Started the Jamalpur women's project

1976

  • Initiated the Manikganj integrated project
  • Established BRAC’s agriculture and fisheries programmes 

1977

  • Targeted development approach started through the formation of village organisations
  • Started BRAC's community empowerment programme

1978

  • Training staff was given priority and the first BRAC Learning Centre was established in Savar
  • BRAC started its sericulture programme to generate employment for poor women in Manikganj and a handicraft marketing outlet, Aarong, was set up

1979

  • Initiated the rural outreach programme
  • Started the rural credit and training programme

1980

  • BRAC's oral therapy and extension programme was initiated to combat diarrhoea

1983

  • Started poultry vaccination programme

1985

  • Started BRAC's non-formal primary education programme
  • Initiated the livestock programme
  • Started the rural enterprise project
  • Started the income generation for vulnerable group development programme

1986

  • The rural development programme was formed by merging the rural credit and training programme and the outreach programme
  • Started the child survival programme
  • The human rights and legal aid services programme was introduced

1988

1990

  • Started phase II of the rural development programme
  • Started sustainable rural credit programme
  • Set up a management development programme

1991

  • Started women's health development programme
  • Set up a women's advisory committee

1992

  • Established a Centre for Development Management

1993

  • Started phase III of the rural development programme
  • Opened adolescent reading centres

1994

  • BRAC replicated its non-formal primary education programme in countries in Africa

1995

  • Opened adult literacy centres
  • A Gender Quality Action Learning and a Gender Resource Centre were set up
  • Started the continuing education programme
  • Established BRAC health centres (Shushasthyas)

1996

  • Started phase IV of the rural development programme
  • Initiated the micro-enterprise lending and assistance programme

1997

  • Started development programme in urban areas
  • Launched BRAC's Gender Policy

1998

1999

  • Launched the BRAC Information Technology Institute
  • Created the Adolescent Peer Organised Network courses

2000

  • Established BRAC's Limb and Brace Fitting Centre

2001

  • Established BRAC University 
  • Launched BRAC Bank Ltd. 
  • Started the post-primary basic education programme
  • Initiated the adolescent development programme

2002

2003

  • BRAC Tea Estates were established
  • The continuing education programme and post-primary basic education programme were integrated into a single programme called the post-primary basic and continuing education programme
  • Started the employment and livelihood for adolescents programme
  • BRAC's TB programme coverage was expanded nationally

2004

  • Established an office of the Ombudsperson
  • Initiated a microfinance programme for commercial sex workers
  • BRAC University established the James P. Grant School of Public Health and the Institute of Educational Development

2005

  • BRAC University established The Centre for Governance Studies 
  • BRAC started programmes in Sri Lanka following the Asian Tsumani
  • Started the maternal, Neonatal and child health programme in Nilphamari, Bangladesh

2006

  • Started development programmes in Tanzania and Uganda
  • BRAC established BRAC UK and BRAC USA as affiliate organisations
  • Completed phase I of targeting the ultra poor programme
  • Replicated BRAC's targeting the ultra poor programme in Haiti and India
  • Started the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme
  • Started a pilot project to distribute reading glasses
  • Began the leadership for advancing development programme

2007

  • BRAC registered in Pakistan as an NGO and began its programmes
  • BRAC started providing technical assistance to an NGO in Indonesia for post-Tsunami rehabilitation and microfinance

2008

  • BRAC education programme initiated a pilot programme for capacity building of government and registered non-government primary schools in 20 sub-districts
  • BRAC registered in Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • BRAC Africa Loan Fund was created to provide local currency debt financing to BRAC’s microfinance programmes inTanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan

2009

  • BRAC continued supporting the long-term rehabilitation of the cyclone Aila victims
  • A foundation called Stichting BRAC International formed at The Hague, in the Netherlands
  • BRAC launched a groundbreaking credit scheme for sharecroppers
  • BRAC developed Alive and Thrive programme to increase exclusive breastfeeding

2010

  • The chairperson of BRAC was knighted at Buckingham Palace in London, UK
  • BRAC set up a community radio station in Bangladesh
  • BRAC explored further opportunities to contribute to the rehabilitation and development work in Haiti
  • Completed a rebranding process
  • Established an in-house legal counsel
  • BRAC launched its new website

2011

  • Sir Fazle Hasan Abed received the WISE Prize for outstanding achievement in the education sector
  • Launched boat schools to provide primary education to children living in remote and/or waterlogged areas
  • Designed a model of Disaster Resilient Habitat (DRH) in the southern part of Bangladesh
  • Launched iCRESS, a technological intervention to deliver human rights services better

2012


Innovations over the Decades

1970s
Functional education - The life skills development education for adults help to build solidarity, create a savings mentality and prepare people for new income generation
Village organisations (VO)s - The most effective medium for catalysing change in disadvantaged communities
Para-professionals - Pioneering models for vaccinators, community health workers and ‘barefoot lawyers’ that provide incentive-based jobs for the people who are ready to serve their own communities

1980s
Homemade Oral Rehydration Solution Campaign - A groundbreaking campaign, in which 13 million households in Bangladesh learned how to make oral saline at home – a lesson that continues to save millions of lives from diarrhoea
Incentive Salary System - A result oriented incentive package that measures effectiveness of and compensates our community workers and volunteers accordingly
Education for dropouts and non-entrants - Our primary schools help disadvantaged children to successfully transitions to formal schools
Enterprises for value chain support - The integrated network of our development programmes, enterprises and investments result in a unique synergy that supports our holistic approach to alleviate poverty
Directly observed treatment (DOT) for tuberculosis control - An effective treatment method for tuberculosis ─ a result of our incentive-based salary system for community health workers  ensuring patients’ daily intake of medicine for six months or more
Credit ++ approach - An integrated set of services for the landless poor, marginal farmers and small entrepreneurs working together to strengthen the supply chain of the enterprises in which our microfinance borrowers invest

1990s
Empowerment and livelihood for adolescents – A range of initiatives to empower adolescents, including skills training, social development and microloans, for their future business
Adolescent clubs - Safe spaces where peer-driven intervention for adolescents enhance their personal growth and social skills
Pre-primary schools - Our pre-primary schools where we prepare underprivileged children to enter mainstream primary schools
Hybrid maize - A pioneer venture to commercialise corn harvesting, which plays a key role in making farmers shift from traditional single-cropping to multiple-cropping, to maximise land usage during idle seasons
Popular theatre - A traditional platform which became an effective communication medium to advocate for social changes in rural communities, particularly to the illiterate
Artificial inseminators - We transformed over 2,000 rural poor into entrepreneurs with an innovative livelihood opportunity: providing fee-based ‘door-to-door’ artificial insemination and education services to livestock farmers

2000s
Sharecroppers’ scheme - A phenomenal initiative to offer soft loans for tenant farmers (sharecroppers) with a specially tailored recovery plan
Challenging the frontiers of poverty reduction - A unique model focusing on extremely deprived women to improve their economic and social situations ─ allowing ultra poor households to graduate from extreme poverty and enter mainstream development programmes
Birthing huts - Safe and culturally accepted childbirth places with appropriate services for mothers in urban slums
M-health services - A mobile-based platform that community health workers use to collect data and provide a range of real-time automated services such as storing patient records, categorising and assessing medical risks, prioritising medical responses and monitoring referrals
Unique management model - A unique management model that focuses on internal control without suffocating creativity, runs our large scale interventions cost effectively, and enables us to constantly learn from the communities we serve across the world