BRAC Uganda established its Research and Evaluation Unit in 2007, soon after starting programme implementation in Uganda. The primary responsibility of this Unit is to generate knowledge on the relevance and effectiveness of BRAC’s operations. The vision for this Unit is to go beyond evaluation of BRAC programmes and make significant contributions in the national development agenda through rigorous, relevant and well communicated knowledge.
In Uganda, the very first research project undertaken by the Unit was to evaluate the poverty outreach of BRAC’s microfinance programme. Over the years, a number of rigorous impact evaluations have been added to that list. Through these initiatives, the Unit has been able to build up significant amounts of data with the view to assess changes in the lives of people. Research designs have particular focus on the ability to attribute those changes to the different programmes and initiatives BRAC is implementing.
The research projects are designed to combine rigorous impact assessment methods with participatory tools. The Unit has the capacity to conduct large scale quantitative surveys and is striving to adopt a Q-square approach by incorporating more qualitative research initiatives.
The Unit has not only been focusing on Uganda, but have also extending research support to BRAC research units in Southern Sudan and Tanzania and takes a more regional role across BRAC operations in East Africa.
In order to ensure quality of research, the Unit has started establishing a Research Advisory Group. This Group will provide periodic review of the unit’s work. Apart from seeking reviews on the various research outputs, the Unit has also established research networks with several highly reputed national and international institutes including London School of Economics, University College London, Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI) at the University of Manchester, the World Bank, International Labour Organization, and the various research organisations in Makerere University including the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR).