BRAC

BRAC

Sunday, 17 January 2016 00:00

Microfinance for women

 

MF for women


Across the world, women are disproportionately excluded from financial systems and resources needed to manage households, limiting their ability to be self-sufficient, or contribute to the family’s income and decision-making. Furthermore, money in the hands of women is more likely to be invested in the needs of the family, such as nutrition, and education.
BRAC provides women with access to collateral-free credit and savings services. In Bangladesh we call this project dabi, which means ‘demand’ or ‘right’.

Dabi loans are invested in a range of uses according to the need of individual borrowers and their households. Many loans are used to support income-generating activities and micro-enterprises such as cattle-rearing or craft-making. Because BRAC believes that it takes more than just finance to set up a successful enterprise, we also provide clients with access to productive assets, such as resilient farm animals, as well as access to markets to ensure fair prices. Alternatively, many loans are invested in children’s education, land or housing. Loans typically range from USD 160 to 5,000, and are repaid in weekly or monthly instalments over the course of one year.


Dabi products are delivered via ‘village organisations’ (VOs) which are community lending and savings groups of 15-25 women. VOs meet regularly with a BRAC field officer, in a place that is convenient for clients, not far from their doorsteps. Besides making savings deposits and paying loan instalments to BRAC, the meetings offer a valuable opportunity to increase financial literacy, raise awareness about women’s rights, and learn about other BRAC services in health, education, and legal aid services that they can access.

The VO network was and remains an important enabler of BRAC’s success in delivering grassroots development interventions to millions of poor women and households across the country. Today there are nearly 300,000 VOs administered by over 2,000 branches spread across all districts of Bangladesh.

BRAC runs similar projects in Myanmar, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Dabi

Members

9.7 million

Borrowers

3.4 million

Total savings

USD 419 million

Total outstanding

USD 845 million    

Average loan amount

$354

Sunday, 17 January 2016 00:00

Overview

BRAC seeks to understand the heterogeneous needs of the poor and design microfinance services accordingly. BRAC’s microfinance programme offers diversified financial services to poor people unable to access mainstream banking services.

We use our wealth of expertise in other areas such as rural development, education and health to innovate financial services that meet the specific needs of different groups. These include products tailored for poor rural and urban women, landless and land-holding farmers, migrant workers, and small entrepreneurs. With BRAC, clients are able to access savings products and loans from between USD 100 – 10,000.


BRAC’s microfinance products are not suitable for everybody. BRAC operates a separate Targeting the Ultra Poor programme for the most vulnerable.     


BRAC's approach to financial inclusion          
                            

overview infograph bigfont


*Diagram shows products available at different loan amounts and not proportions of clients reached
**Different loan product boundaries are approximate and can overlap


BRAC seeks to ensure that clients can get the most out of our products. To support borrowers, BRAC has invested in supply chains and marketing infrastructure so that supply of products from microenterprises can reach demand. In addition, each microfinance product integrates a set of financial education and client protection measures into its services to help safeguard against risks for clients.

BRAC is committed to a stringent monitoring and evaluation process. All of our microfinance projects are piloted, evaluated and adapted before being scaled up. Today, BRAC operates over 2,000 branches in all 64 districts in Bangladesh.

 

Bangladesh – At a glance (June 2016)

Total borrowers (Bangladesh)

5 million

Outstanding loan (USD)

$1.6 billion

Savings deposits (USD)

$0.5 billion

 


BRAC is a social impact-driven organisation. The success of our microfinance programme is measured according to the effectiveness of our projects in delivering social good. Financial sustainability of our microfinance products enables us to deliver more effective products and services, and offer more benefits to our clients.


BRAC believes that financial services are not enough to achieve sustainable poverty reduction. BRAC’s microfinance programme represents one component of BRAC’s holistic approach to development. It is designed to complement other interventions such as education, healthcare and legal aid, and all microfinance clients are encouraged to make use of these services.


Learn more

Microfinance Factsheet as of June 2016
Microfinance Briefing Document & Frequently Asked Questions - English
Microfinance Briefing Document & Frequently Asked Questions - Bangla

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

IDP for Char Development and Settlement

IDP Char Dev Front Image
The char areas, which fall under the Char Development and Settlement Project-IV(CDSP-IV)  are highly vulnerable to sudden and forceful flooding as well as erosion and loss of land; this makes living in the chars both hazardous and insecure. Many char dwellers struggle to produce or buy enough food to eat, thus resulting in malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, which are more common in these areas than the rest of country. BRAC is implementing  CDSP-IV, which is a multi-sectoral project financed by IFAD, Government of Bangladesh and Government of the Netherlands. Launched in January 2012, CDSP-IV targets marginalised people for in four chars, such as Char Ziauddin, Char Nangulia, Noler Char, and Caring Char in Noakhali district.

Specific objectives of IDP CDSP-IV are:
•    Providing essential services to support poverty reduction that cannot be supported by government agencies at this early stage of development in CDSP areas.
•    Providing microfinance services to enable the poor to take advantage of an improved environment and infrastructure.
•    Supporting government agencies implement CDSP IV, including clean water and sanitation. Promoting human rights and legal awareness, especially for women
Components: Water and sanitation; legal and human rights; health and family planning; disaster management and climate change; homestead agriculture and value chain development; group formation, microfinance and capacity building

Geographical coverage
The project covers 80 villages, in four unions. Six branches in Subarnachar and Hatiya sub-districts in Noakhali district provide support to 11,183 households with 61,446 people.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

IDP for Indigenous People

 

 

Bangladesh is a country of different ethnic communities and cultures. Indigenous people with their distinct traditions, livelihood and living have enriched the cultural diversity of the country. But like many other countries in the world, indigenous people in Bangladesh continue to be disproportionately represented in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, experiencing a history of discrimination and marginalization. The situation for indigenous people in plain-land districts of north-western Bangladesh are worse; there remains a very high rate of poverty, landlessness and absence of targeted development interventions. Their livelihood options are very limited, and many indigenous families have been removed from their

ancestral homesteads by locally influential land-grabbers. This situation is further aggravated when the issues of human rights and policy negligence become constant realities in their daily life. BRAC’s integrated development programme for indigenous people aims to empower them through improved livelihood opportunities, protecting and promoting indigenous cultural practices, building leadership capacity and advocating for indigenous peoples’ issues among the wider community.

Goal and Objectives:
The goal of the IDP-IP project is to Empower the poorest and most marginalized communities of indigenous peoples living in the plains of Bangladesh gain greater access to and control over resources, decisions and actions. To achieve the goal, following objectives are envisioned:

  • To improve livelihood conditions of indigenous persons through skill development, relevant entrepreneurship, and other supports (improved socioeconomic condition).
  • To promote greater unity, cultural integrity, organizational capacity, voice and dignity among communities of indigenous peoples (improved social position)
  • To create awareness on and advocate for indigenous peoples’ issues among non-indigenous community, service providers and policy actors at different levels (improved governance/create enabling environment)

 Geographical Coverage:

IDPRegions

http://brac.net/sites/default/files/idp/map-ind.jpgBangladesh is a country of different ethnic communities and cultures. Indigenous people with their distinct traditions, livelihood and living have enriched the cultural diversity of the country. But like many other countries in the world, indigenous people in Bangladesh continue to be disproportionately represented in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, experiencing a history of discrimination and marginalization. The situation for indigenous people in plain-land districts of north-western Bangladesh are worse; there remains a very high rate of poverty, landlessness and absence of targeted development interventions. Their livelihood options are very limited, and many indigenous families have been removed from their ancestral homesteads by locally influential land-grabbers. This situation is further aggravated when the issues of human rights and policy negligence become constant realities in their daily life. BRAC’s integrated development programme for indigenous people aims to empower them through improved livelihood opportunities, protecting and promoting indigenous cultural practices, building leadership capacity and advocating for indigenous peoples’ issues among the wider community.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

IDP for Haor Dwellers

 

The haor basin in north-eastern Bangladesh is one of the poorest regions of the country. It suffers from extensive annual flooding and devastating flash-floods, which limit livelihood opportunities for the poor, including agricultural production and enterprise growth. Haor dwellers are extremely vulnerable and their suffering is heightened by a lack of proper communication and transportation systems, hindering economic growth, access to markets (ie off-farm employment opportunities), and existing social services (ie health and education). The goal of the project is to “improve the socioeconomic condition and livelihoods of 1 million poor and ultra-poor in the Haor Basin by 2020”

haor-mapSpecific IDP Haor objectives:

  • To improve the condition, participation and influence of women in household and community decision making
  • To ensure quality primary education for all children in the IDP operational area.
  • To enhance access to quality essential health, reproductive care and improved water and sanitation practices for haor dwellers
  • To promote diversified and sustainable livelihoods—agricultural farming and micro-enterprises for the poor and ultra-poor
  • Advocacy for strengthening the haor development efforts by all relevant actors including GOB, through knowledge management and dissemination.

Components

1.   Community mobilization and empowerment

-    Community empowerment
-    Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment
-    Human rights and legal services

2.   Access to quality education for all

-    Pre-primary School
-    Primary School
-    Adolescent development
-    Post Primary and Basic Continuing Education (PACE)

3.   Access to Healthcare and population services, improved water and sanitation facilities

-    Essential healthcare services
-    Maternal health Establish and continuing BRAC Health Centre
-    TB control
-    Water, Sanitation and Hygiene promotion

4.   Livelihood Security and Entrepreneurship Development

-    Agricultural livelihoods—improved agriculture, poultry, livestock and fisheries
-    Microfinance / Financial inclusion
-    Targeting the Ultra-Poor (TUP)
-    Migration
-    Access to natural resources and Government safety net and others Services   

5.  Advocacy, Capacity Building and Knowledge Management

-    Action research
-    Lessons documentation and dissemination
-    Networking and advocacy

 

 

 

 

Geographical coverage
GeoCoverage

Operational strategies

VDOs (Village Development Organizations) will remain as IDP’s core implementation vehicle since the VDOS are viewed by the participants as their solidarity platform and also a one stop service center for all. Each of the VDOs are formed with 25-40 participants living in cluster. One women from each of the households represents their family and participates directly in the project activities.

One Programme Organizer supervises 10 VDOs thus covers about 300-350 Households. Based on the needs of the VDO participants as well as criteria set aside for eligibility for receiving various supports. PO facilitates the whole process of service delivery, training, asset or input transfer, micro-finance support, health support etc. To further strengthen the development efforts of the project as well as to support the VDOs and the VDO members, a Development Support Group (DSG) is formed taking representation from all level of peoples—Local leaders, School Teachers, Opinion leaders, health workers, religious leaders and representative of the VDOs are united together to further push and assist the development of ultra-poor, ensuring project promoted WASH activities, addressing gender related issues like eliminating violence against women and children, women’s participation in development, helping the most poor to receive social protection benefits etc.

While POs are working at the community level, the Area Development Coordinator(ADC), being based at the Union level Area Development Offices, supervises around 15 POs in the area and coordinates all the activities under his disposal. To assist the ADCs, as well as to provide technical support to POs in the field, there are Micro-finance support POs in each of the areas offices. At the apex level of each Upazila under project operation, there is an UDCs (Upazila Development Coordinator) who coordinates the entire activities of the upazila and directly supervises the ADCs, Sector Specialist and a number of trainers based at Upazila. The Sector Specialists are technical experts of their respective discipline and provides technical capacity building supports to POs through formal and on the job training maintaining a matrix-management system with the ADCs. A central team, based at BRAC Head Office, are responsible for providing technical and management support to field team, comprised technical experts, communication specialist, training coordinator, M&E and action research managers. The team is led by the Programme Head who is being supervised by the Programme Director of BRAC. Regular coordination meeting with different tier of staff, field visit, participation in training and sharing events, monthly MIS, Periodic M&E and Action research findings are key tools for IDP project management

 

 

Location-IDP-Haor

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00

Overview

 

Despite significant development and recent economic growth in Bangladesh, haor, char area, and indigenous peoples of plain lands still have a high prevalence of poverty. Various studies have identified these areas as poverty ‘hot-spots’ in the country. Consequently, BRAC has also factored this into their programme strategy as second phase for 2015 through 2020, prioritising the need to reach the most marginalized communities and  contribute to achieve the SDGs  in areas facing extreme deprivation.


Download:

IDP fact sheet

IDP-IP Impact Assesment

IDP-IP Mapping Book

Action Research IDP-Haor

Maneuvering and Escape from the Poverty Trap

IDP Working Paper - Report on the Rapid Assessment

 

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

New initiatives

In 2012, the following are the two new initiatives being taken:

A. Sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) programme:
Sexual and reproductive health rights programme started from July 2012 with the consortium of six partners as Oxfam Novib, BNPS, CAMPE, FPAB, HASAB and BRAC. It is a campaign based programme funded by Oxfam Novib, which aims to contribute to the significant reduction of the number of adolescent girls suffering from avoidable maternal deaths and the prevention of other major sexual and reproductive health hazards in both adolescent girls and boys. As the acceptance of contraception in adolescent girls and boys increases, pregnancies are delayed and maternal mortality decreases.

B. Violence against women (VAW):
The violence against women project started from September 2012 in Khulna with the consortium of We Can and Steps towards Development. This capacity building project, with contribution from United Nation Trust Fund (UNTF), aims to enhance the prevention of sexual harassment in public place.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Publications

GJD developed six docu-dramas on gender discrimination and violence against women; published a booklet on BRAC’s role to end violence against women and children, and GQAL case studies; three pocket books on sexual harassment and a Bengali version on CEDAW and early marriage; a study report titled “From Action Learning, To Learning To Act: Lessons from GQAL by Farah Ghuznavi”; three brochures on sexual harassment in public place, Fatwa and High Court judgment on sexual harassment elimination for the educational institutions and workplaces; and seven posters on different gender issues. GJD has initiated a quarterly publication named `Gender barta’, and also launched an in-depth study on GQAL change assessment.

IEC materials published by gender justice and diversity

Docudrama

SL

Name of the Docudrama

Year of production

1.

Swapnochara (access and control over the property)

2009

 

Protigga (domestic violence)

2009

3.

Agiecholo (sexual harassment)

2010

4.

Alokkhi (discrimination and torture)

2010

5.

Alorpothe (food and nutrition)

2010

6.

Andhobishwas (health and treatment)

2010

7.

Swapnopuron (education)

2010

8.

Dinbodolerdak (work division, recreation and rest)

2010

 

Other publications

Brochure

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

 

Against sexual harassment

2010

1.

High court direction on sexual harassment (Bengali)

2011

2.

High court direction on sexual harassment (English)

2011

3.

Fotoya

2011

. 4.

GJD brief

2012

 

Leaflet

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

1.

VAW, 16 days campaign

2010

2.

Leaflet against sexual harassment

(for MEJNIN Project)

2011

3.

CEDAW

2011

4.

 International Women’s day 

2012

 

Booklet/Pocket Book

SL

Name of the Publications

Year of production

1.

Booklet on GQAL study report From Action Learning, To Learning to Act: Lessons From GQAL

2009

2.

Booklet on BRAC’s role on violence against women

2010

3.

Booklet on GQAL success stories/cases

2010

4.

Pocket Book on sexual harassment

2011

5.

Pocket Book on CEDAW

2011

6.

Pocket book against early marriage

2012

 

Poster

SL

Theme

Year of production

1.

Work division

2010

2.

Domestic violence

2010

3.

Sexual harassment/teasing

2010

4.

Health and treatment

2010

6.

Education

2010

7.

GQAL main messages

2010

8.

C4D main messages

2011

9.

SHRC main messages

2012

 

Bulletin

SL

Theme

Year of production

1.

SHRC

2012

2.

Gender barta

2012

 

Other documents/report

  1. Mahmud et. al. (2012), Gender Norms and Behaviours in CFPR areas: Assessing the Performance of GQAL in Three Districts, BDI, BRAC University, Dhaka
  2. BRAC (2012a, draft), Narrative Report on Meyeder Jonny Nirapod Nagorikotto (MEJNIN), Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  3. BRAC (2012b, draft), A Journey to Zero Tolerance: Combating Sexual Harassment in BRAC, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  4. BRAC (2011a, memo), Concepts and Practices: experiences of sexual harassment in BRAC—a survey report, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  5. BRAC (2011b, memo), Factual Analysis of Sexual Harassment Cases: Year 2006-2010, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  6. Start, R (2011), BRAC Gender Audit: Final Report, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  7. Hafiza, S (2011), Engendering BRAC, paper presented at the BRAC Board Gender Retreat in December 2011, Dhaka
  8. BRAC (2011, draft), Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: BRAC Strategy 2011-2015, BRAC, Dhaka
  9. BRAC (2010), Shaking Embedded Gender Roles and Relations: an evaluation of Gender Quality Action Learning program, Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC, Dhaka
  10. BRAC (2010, draft), MEJNIN baseline report, Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC, Dhaka
  11. BRAC (2008), From Action Learning, to Learning to Act: Lessons from GQAL by Farah Ghuznavi, Gender Justice and Diversity, BRAC, Dhaka
  12. BRAC (2008), Sexual Harassment Elimination Policy, BRAC, Dhaka
  13. BRAC (2008, memo), Discussion report on dropped-out female staff in BRAC, Gender Justice and Diversity (GJD), BRAC, Dhaka
  14. BRAC (2007), BRAC Gender Policy: Towards Gender Equality, BRAC, Dhaka
Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Network and alliance

GJD is working with different alliances and forums to influence policy makers to formulate and revise laws, rules and regulations against all types of gender based violence, and also for policy advocacy.

•    At the invitation of the Ministry of Planning, BRAC reviewed the national sixth five-year plan with a gender focus, and made specific recommendations for improving the plan, as well as for the implementation strategy.

•    The GJD team reviewed the Microfinance Regularity Authority (MRA) Act from a gender perspective which has now been accepted as government policy.

•    The GJD team also worked actively to help the government enact the National Women’s Development Policy 2011, the sexual harassment guidelines, and the National Education Policy.

•    In the past year, BRAC participated in a number of national and international networks and meetings geared towards building stronger solidarity around gender and human rights issues, including CEDAW conference in Geneva, South Asian social forum in Bangladesh, South Asian human rights alliance, World Social Forum (WSF), South Asian Network to Address Masculinity (SANAM), Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR), South Asia Partnership international (SAP).

•    GJD is also an active member of Social Action Committee (a platform consisting of 67 development organisations), citizen’s initiative on CEADAW, Bangladesh (a national platform of 38 rights organisation, working on CEDAW and international treaties); WE CAN CAMPAIGN (working to end domestic violence against women and children), National Girl Child Advocacy Forum (working on different girl child issues), and Campaign for Popular Education, a national coalition of NGOs working towards the implementation of programme interventions in the education sector including the education curriculum.

•    In 2012, BRAC initiated to form and lead a new platform to combat against child marriage with other organisations (Care, Plan, population council, icddr,b, BLAST, LAMP, FPAB, white ribbon alliance Bangladesh, Marie Stopes etc.)

Saturday, 16 January 2016 18:00

Gender training unit

GJ&D is conducting gender training for professional development and amity among male and female staff through attitudinal and behavioural change. Gender Sensitisation Training (GST) and Gender Awareness and Analysis Course (GAAC) are such courses being offered for the staff.  In addition, the section is organising specialised gender training by the external trainer for higher management.

GJ&D also provides training to external organisations on different gender aspect on the basis of their demand.