Interested in sharing the story of BRAC's success with your students or classmates? Click here to view a list of articles, reports and books about BRAC's work from third-party researchers as well as our research and evaluation division. Below is a list of selected articles and case studies.
Founder and Chairperson
Sir Fazle was born in 1936 in Bangladesh. He studied Accountancy in London, qualifying as a Cost Management Accountant in 1962. While he was working as a senior corporate executive at Pakistan Shell, the 1970 cyclone and 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh dramatically changed the direction of his life. He left his job and moved to London, where he helped initiate Action Bangladesh and HELP Bangladesh in support of the Liberation War.
Early in 1972, after the war was over, he returned to the newly-independent Bangladesh, finding the economy in ruins. The return of 10 million refugees, who had sought shelter in India during the war, called for urgent relief and rehabilitation efforts. Sir Fazle established BRAC to address the needs of refugees in a remote area of north-eastern Bangladesh, guided by a desire to help the poor develop their own capacity to better manage their lives.
Today BRAC is one of the largest NGOs in the world, operating across eleven countries in Africa and Asia. Its primary objectives are to alleviate poverty and empower the poor. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, BRAC was ranked first among the world's top 500 NGOs by Geneva-based 'NGO Advisor' in terms of impact, innovation and sustainability.
Sir Fazle has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the LEGO Prize (2018), Laudato Si' Award (2017), Jose Edgardo Campos Collaborative Leadership Award, South Asia Region (2016), Thomas Francis, Jr. Medal in Global Public Health (2016), World Food Prize (2015), Trust Women Hero Award (2014), Spanish Order of Civil Merit (2014), Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal (2014), CEU Open Society Prize (2013), Inaugural WISE Prize for Education (2011), Entrepreneur for the World Award (2009), David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007), Palli Karma Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) Award for lifetime achievement in social development and poverty alleviation (2007), UNDP Mahbubul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development (2004), Gates Award for Global Health (2004), Gleitsman Foundation International Activist Award (2003), Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurship Award (2003), Olof Palme Prize (2001), InterAction Humanitarian Award (1998) and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980).
He is also recognised by Ashoka as one of the 'global greats' and is a founding member of its prestigious Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2009, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally. Sir Fazle was a member of the Group of Eminent Persons appointed by the UN Secretary-General in 2010 to advise on support for the Least Developed Countries. In both 2014 and 2017, he was named in Fortune Magazine’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
The many honorary degrees received by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed include those from Princeton University (2014), the University of Oxford (2009), Columbia University (2008) and Yale University (2007).
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Ahmed Ataul Hakeem FCMA
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1. All BRAC internship applications should be submitted by the deadline specified in the relevant available internship description.
2. All applications are accepted on the basis of merit and academic/professional records. Any attempt to use unfair means to secure acceptance may lead to the cancellation of the application.
3. Download the application form: http://www.brac.net/sites/default/files/Internship Application Form.doc.
5. Please mention the name of the programme/department in which you are applying for an internship in the subject of your email.
6. Following receipt ofthe completed application form, it is assessed and forwarded to the relevant programme/department with a view to making a placement which will be of benefit and value to both the programme/department and the prospective intern.
7. A decision regarding your application will be communicated to you within 2 weeks of the application deadline expiring, if not before.
In which countries does BRAC offer an internship programme?
The internship programme is only available with the BRAC Bangladesh operations and has not yet been expanded to BRAC’s international ventures in Africa or Asia.
How do I apply for an internship?
Download the application form. The process is described there.
Is there a fee?
There is no processing fee for interns placed into programmes of BRAC. However, in summer, we charge $50 for interns coming from abroad and BDT 1000 for interns from local institutes as processing fee for Summer exposure trip. Please note that, participants of summer exposure trips need to deposit their field expenses as per pre-circulated budget along with the processing fee at the beginning of the programme.
What is the climate like in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate, with a hot and rainy summer and a dry pleasant winter.
I can’t speak Bangla. Do I still qualify for an internship?
Yes you do. BRAC receives foreign interns who have no knowledge of Bangla every year. BRAC also offers translator services if requested by an intern, especially when engaged in field work. Interns have to pay for these translators’ services, as well as for their food and accommodation. Most BRAC staff stationed in the head office can communicate fluently in English.
How do I get a visa and what are the requirements?
Bangladesh requires that most foreign nationals get a visa prior to arrival. The process differs depending on your nationality and country of residence. We are not qualified to give advice on the type of visa you should apply for. Please contact your nearest Bangladesh Embassy or Consulate for further information. However, many interns arrive with a tourist visa with multiple entry permission (if they plan on travelling out of country). When applying for the visa, make sure you ask for enough time to cover your expected duration. It is very difficult, time-consuming and often impossible to apply and get approval for an extension from Bangladesh.
Where will I stay in Dhaka? Will BRAC arrange my accommodations?
Interns are advised to start looking for accommodation in advance of their arrival in Dhaka. BRAC can offer you assistance to secure suitable accommodation. Accommodation options can range from BRAC Learning Centers (BLC) for the field, BRAC Inn, housing with host families, guest houses and hotels in neighborhoods in Dhaka where most foreigners and diplomats reside.
Should I contact my Supervisor before arrival?
We advise you to be in touch with your Supervisor at BRAC from pre-arrival to discuss and fine tune your internship and to have an idea about your role and schedule. You may discuss assignment details, your areas of interest and strengths, field visits and you can also request reading material via email.
What gadgets, if any, will I need for my internship?
All interns are recommended to bring their own laptops as the organization may not be able to provide sufficient resources. Interns usually have a laptop, camera and voice recorder upon them. The camera and voice recorder are helpful for field work.
How will I get an internet connection and a cell phone in Dhaka?
Local telecommunication service providers have their centers at the airport as well as locations all over Dhaka. Both cell phone and internet services may be obtained from them at reasonable prices.
Can I avail any facilities from my embassy as a foreign national in Bangladesh?
We advise our foreign interns to register with their embassies in Bangladesh, as soon as they arrive. Once registered, the intern may be able to use some facilities provided by the embassy, receive updates and alerts about national emergencies and help in case of emergency evacuation etc. You can search the contact details of your country’s embassy here: www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Bangladesh
How much money should I plan to carry for my stay in Bangladesh?
It depends on how long you stay in Bangladesh and where you chose to stay and dine, since Dhaka caters to all levels of spending capacity. On average, interns should be prepared to meet costs of approximately 700 USD per month. It is also recommended that you have access to at least an additional 200 USD for emergency purposes. ATM’s and banks are widely available in Dhaka. Bringing both a debit card and a credit card would be most convenient and interns are advised to own a VISA card (as opposed to Mastercard or any other providers) since it is the most widely accepted card in Dhaka.
Will somebody from BRAC pick me up from the airport?
No. Taxis are available at the airport. Make sure you have the address of your destination written down and explained to the driver with the help of an English-speaking local at the airport.
Where will I exchange currency when I arrive at Dhaka?
Currency exchanging points are available at the airport and also widely available in Dhaka.
What should I know about public transportation in Dhaka?
Rickshaws (tri-cycles with ornate hoods) and CNG’s (green motorized three-wheelers) are convenient, available everywhere and safe public transport options. Details will be provided during orientation.
What is the state of security in Dhaka?
The neighborhoods recommended by BRAC will be suitable and safe areas to live in. However, it is always suggested that you move in groups and avoid traveling after dark. A detailed security plan will be emailed to you before your arrival which you will sign and submit during orientation.
What happens if I find myself in a difficult situation?
The security plan will brief you on how to act in case of an emergency. The internship coordinator will also be available to instruct you in such conditions.
What should I do in case of a medical emergency?
The security plan includes a course of action in case of a medical emergency. Details will be addressed at the orientation. During office hours a doctor at the Health Department within the BRAC Center will be able to assist you. A handout will be provided to all interns/volunteers with important phone numbers of the police and fire departments, hospitals, ambulance etc. if ever needed in case of emergencies outside of office hours.
What is BRAC’s policy about alcohol and drugs?
BRAC operates as per the regulatory laws in Bangladesh. It follows the controlled substance laws. Foreigners are allowed to consume alcohol at their private premises. Details will be provided at the orientation.
Can you recommend a packing list for my trip to Bangladesh?
For the field:
Will BRAC arrange my accommodations when I am out for field work?
Yes, BRAC will. Interns usually stay at the Learning Centers (BLC) and have to pay on a daily basis for food and accommodation. They also have to pay for transportation.
What will be my mode of transportation in the field?
Interns usually move around on foot, in rickshaws and in three-wheeler auto-rickshaws, popularly known as CNGs, when out for field work.
What food will be available to me in the field?
The BLC’s usually serve local Bangladeshi meals which include rice, dal (lentils), fish/chicken curry and curried vegetables. Filtered water will also be available.
What is Bengali cuisine like?
Rice is a staple for Bengalis. Other than that, fish curries, chicken/beef curries, dal (lentil soup), curried vegetables and mashed potatoes make a very basic Bengali meal. A great variety of spices are used in Bengali cuisine and snacks involve lots of deep-fried items such as shingaras and samosas.
Is western cuisine widely available in Dhaka?
Yes it is. Supermarkets in Dhaka offer a large selection of local and international groceries. Many restaurants and bakeries also cater to people with a palate for international cuisines such as Continental, European, Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese, to name a few. A lot of these places will be at a close proximity from the interns’ residence.
Will I have to drink bottled water in Dhaka?
Yes. Interns are advised to drink bottled water.
What is considered appropriate clothing in Bangladesh?
As a foreigner going to a Muslim country, you would be expected to show respect for the cultural differences in Bangladesh. Interns are thus advised to conform to social norms when in the country. Men are advised to wear full length pants (shorts should not be worn to the field, nor at the head office) paired with t-shirts, shirts or panjabis (long, traditional shirts for men). Women are advised to dress in local wear (shalwar kameez/fotuas with a long scarf) especially when out at the field. As long as the clothing is made of light material like cotton, covers the arms and legs and isn't tight fitting, you should be comfortable moving around.
What recreation options does Dhaka offer?
There are several restaurants, hotels, clubs and museums that offer recreation options. The internship coordinator will be able to advise you upon arrival.
What facilities can I expect to avail as a BRAC intern?
To date, BRAC has hosted interns from all over the world and facilitated various kinds of support and assistance for them. These facilities include:
Interns should note however, that all internships at BRAC are unpaid and that they need to meet their own costs.
What is the expected output from the internship?
the ToR will specify the expected output from the interns specifically. Depending on conversations with the supervisor, most interns involved in research projects are expected to produce a report highlighting their research analysis and results. You can also offer a presentation to your department to explain your findings and foster discussion.
Will I get a recommendation letter or a certificate upon completion of my placement?
A Letter of Appreciation will be given to you upon completion of your assignment. Your direct supervisor may also be willing to write a personal recommendation.
BRAC welcomes visitors from around the world to experience firsthand its wide range of actions and innovations that continues to improve the condition of the marginalised people. BRAC’s visitors unit is dedicated to support the national & international government officials, donor agencies, prospective partners, academia and individual practitioners in facilitating their visit. The unit aims to provide ample opportunity to observe BRAC’s micro level field activities as well as share views and thoughts with BRAC practitioners. Visiting experiences are customised according to the visitors’ interest and field of work to ensure the highest convenience in learning.
If you are planning to visit BRAC, the first step is to send us a completed Checklist Form. You can download the form here. Based on your given information and your fields of interest, we will provide you with tentative itineraries of the visit by coordinating with the respective programmes, as well as an approximate budget. We also provide support in reservation of accommodation, transportation, and logistics. Here is a general template of the visit procedure:
Things to keep in mind when making arrangements and filling out profile and logistics forms:
The following sample itineraries give an idea of what a general BRAC visit covers.
|Private individuals||1-5 person/s: $35/person/day
6 > persons: $30/person/day
(National & International)
|1-5 person/s: $25/person/day
6 > persons: $20/person/day
(National & International)
|1-5 person/s: $25/person/day
6 > persons: $20/person/day
|Ministry & Secretariat:
(National & International)
|List of Factsheets (Division-Wise)|
BRAC Centre (19th Floor)
75 Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212
Tel: 880-2-9881265 Ext. 3105
Agronomy guides for Bangladesh
BRAC's finance and accounts department is responsible for financial planning and record-keeping, managing costs, assets and liabilities, financing investments, analysing cash-flow and profitability, and preparing budgets and financial frameworks for the development programmes. The department is accountable for donor grants, property, provident funds, employee gratuity, salary, tax and loans. It produces annual and monthly consolidated financial statements and fulfils the rules and regulations of the NGO Affairs Bureau, Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) and other regulatory bodies. Through this department we ensure effective financial control and transparency of the financial data of our projects and enterprises, garnering the trust and confidence from all those with whom we work.
BRAC was awarded the ‘AAA’ by Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Ltd. (CRAB). (The ‘AAA’ means Extremely Strong Capacity and Highest Quality.) BRAC has been receiving ‘AAA’ rating consecutively for the last five years.
BRAC became a full charter member of the INGO Accountability Charter in December 2013. The INGO Accountability Charter was incorporated in 2008. It is registered as a company in the UK and having its secretariat in Berlin, Germany. The objective is to create and develop a charter relating to the accountability of non-governmental organisations. The Accountability Reports submitted by BRAC are available in the website of INGO Accountability Charter at this link: http://www.ingoaccountabilitycharter.org/home/charter-members/brac.
BRAC received many awards in the field of financial transparency in different times. In 2014, BRAC received the following awards:
Traditional hospital-based services are not able to reach some of the world’s poorest and most remote villages. Over one billion people globally, including 400 million Africans, lack access to health services because they live too far from a health facility. Rural communities know that if a child becomes ill, the long walk for treatment could potentially turn a minor ailment into a serious health problem.
As the World Education Forum meets in Incheon, South Korea, it is time to confront some unsettling facts about the state of education in the world today. More than 91 per cent of children of primary school age are now enrolled in school, but progress on educating the remaining 9 per cent has slowed to a near standstill. The numbers have barely moved since 2005, and girls are still disproportionately left behind.
This month, the results from six randomised control trials (RCTs), published in Science magazine highlighted a model of development that is an adaptable and exportable solution able to raise households from the worst forms of destitution and put them onto a pathway of self-reliance. The graduation approach – financial services integrated within a broader set of wrap-around services – is gaining steady recognition for its astonishing ability to transform the lives of the poorest.