14 June 2012, London. On 13th June Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, Australian High Commissioner, Mr John Dauth and Sir Fazle Abed, Founder and Chairman of BRAC, strengthened their joint commitment to supporting the livelihoods of some of the poorest and most marginalised people in Bangladesh through a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between DFID, AusAID and BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs.
The partnership will maximise opportunities for learning across BRAC programmes, and between BRAC, AusAID and other DFID programmes in Bangladesh, and is based on shared goals, clear results and mutual accountability. It will support continued innovation and best practice by BRAC, and will provide opportunities for DFID, AusAID and BRAC to collaborate on new areas of strategic focus such as climate change. In addition, the partnership will strengthen BRAC’s institutional capacity and long term sustainability.
Over 5 years, the partnership will deliver results that include:
- Lifting 340,000 women and their families (over 1.3 million people) out of extreme poverty;
- Supporting 680,000 children (60% girls) to receive a high standard of primary education;
- Providing contraceptive services to over 15 million couples;
- Ensuring that 2.9 million women are seen by skilled attendants during childbirth.
Speaking during the launch event, Mr Mitchell said:
"The British Government and BRAC have worked together for many years to lift some of the very poorest people in Bangladesh out of extreme poverty. BRAC has a proven track record of delivering results and value for money, and has robust financial management systems which enable it to account effectively for donor funds.
"Through this agreement, we are re-affirming our commitment to work together to tackle the causes of poverty - focus our effort where the need is greatest, not only saving but transforming millions of lives by providing access to food, clean drinking water, basic healthcare and education”
Bob Carr said:
“The work of the last 40 years by BRAC – fighting poverty in Bangladesh and beyond – is quite literally changing lives and providing opportunities for an estimated 110 million people.
“And Bangladesh is seeing the results. The under-five mortality rate has declined by more than half since 1990, literacy rates have risen steadily in the same period and equal numbers of girls and boys are now enrolled in school.
“This partnership will enable BRAC to help many more of the poorest and most disadvantaged in Bangladesh – including giving more children a primary education and ensuring millions of pregnant mothers give birth with the support of skilled attendants.”
Sir Fazle Abed said:
"This partnership is a strengthening of the deep bonds and commitment that exists between Bangladesh, the UK and Australia. At BRAC, we feel this partnership is a reflection of the confidence that development partners have in our ability to deliver sustainable results and achieve ambitious targets."
BRAC, established in 1972 in the aftermath of Bangladesh’s war of independence, has been widely credited as making a significant contribution to the country’s progress to date and has built up an impressive track record of highly effective development activities working with a DFID and AusAID since the 1980s. This new partnership arrangement is a maturing of those long-standing relationships away from a funder-implementer relationship to one of equal partnership based on mutual trust, shared commitment to results, and common objectives. BRAC has a clear focus on the poor, and its key strengths include its emphasis on support for women and girls allied with its scale, coverage and cost effectiveness.