Brac A Micro Finance Institution

Who We Are : Evolution

1972
– The Organisation then known as Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee
– (BRAC) begins relief and rehabilitation operations in Sulla, Sylhet, following the end of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation.

1973
– Activities transform from relief and rehabilitation to long term community development
– BRAC is renamed Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee

1974
– Relief work is started among famine and flood victims of Roumari, Kurigram
– BRAC begins microfinance activities

1975
– BRAC’s Research and Evaluation Division is established to support its core activitie
– The Jamalpur Women’s Project commences

1976
– The Manikganj Integrated Project is initiated
– BRAC’s Agriculture and Fisheries Programmes are established

1977
– Targeted Development Approach commences through the formation of Village Organisations
– BRAC’s Community Empowerment (CEP) Programme is launched

1978
– Emphasis is placed on staff training and the first Learning Centre (BLC) is established in Savar
– The Sericulture Programme is started to generate employment for poor women in Manikganj and a handicraft marketing outlet, Aarong, is set up

1979
– The Rural Outreach Programme is initiated
– The Rural Credit and Training Programme is launched

1980
– The Oral Therapy Extension Programme is launched to combat diarrhoea

1983
– The Poultry Vaccination Programme is initiated

1985
– BRAC’s Non Formal Primary Education Programme (NFPE) is started
– The Livestock Programme is initiated
– The Rural Enterprise Project is launched
– The Income Generation for Vulnerable Group Development (IGVGD) programme is launched

1986
– The Rural Development Programme is formed by merging the Rural Credit and Training Programme and the Outreach Programme
– The Child Survival Programme commences
– The Human Rights and Legal Aid Services programme is introduced

1988
– BRAC’s Monitoring department is set up

1990
– Phase II of the Rural Development Programme commences
– The Sustainable Rural Credit Programme is initiated
– A Management Development Programme is set up

1991
– The Women’s Health Development Programme commences
– A Women’s Advisory Committee is set up

1992
– A Centre for Development Management (CDM) is established

1993
– Phase 3 of the Rural Development Programme commences.
– Adolescent Reading Centres are opened

1994
– BRAC’s Non Formal Primary Education Programme is replicated in Africa

1995
– BRAC Adult Literacy Centres are opened
– A Gender Quality Action Learning (GQAL) and a Gender Resource Centre (GRC) are set up
– The Continuing Education (CE) programme is started.
– BRAC Health Centres (Shushasthyas) are established

1996
– Phase IV of the Rural Development Programme commences
– The Micro Enterprise Lending and Assistance (MELA) programme is launched

1997
– Development programme started in urban areas
– BRAC’s Gender Policy is launched.

1998
– BRAC Legal Aid Clinics are established
– The BRAC Dairy and Food Project is commissioned
– BRAC’s Chittagong Hill Tracts Development programme is started

1999
– The BRAC Information Technology Institute is launched
– The Adolescent Peer Organised Network (APON) courses are created

2000
– BRAC’s Limb and Brace Fitting Centre is established

2001
BRAC University is established
BRAC Bank Ltd. is launched
– The Post Primary Basic Education (PBEn) programme is set up
– The Adolescent Development Programme (ADP) is initiated

2002
– The Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty ReductionTargeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR-TUP) programme is launched
– BRAC commences development work in Afghanistan
– BRAC Advocacy and Human Rights Unit is set up

2003
– BRAC Tea Estates is established
– The Continuing Education and Post Primary Basic Education programmes are integrated into a single programme called the Post Primary Basic and Continuing Education (PACE) programme
– The Employment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA) programme is launched
– BRAC’s TB programme coverage is expanded nationally

2004
– An Office of the Ombudsperson is established
– A microfinance programme for commercial sex workers is initiated
– BRAC University establishes the James P. Grant School of Public Health and the Institute of Educational Development

2005
– The Centre for Governance Studies is established by BRAC University
– BRAC commences programmes in Sri Lanka following the Asian Tsunami
Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) programme launched in Nilphamari

2006
– Development programmes in Tanzania and Uganda commence
– BRAC establishes BRAC UK and BRAC USA as resource mobilisationorganisations
– Phase I of the Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) programme is completed
– Replication of TUP programme in Haiti and India is started
– The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme is launched
– A pilot project to distribute reading glasses is started
– The Leadership for Advancing Development (LeAD) programme is launched

2007
– BRAC registers in Pakistan as an NGO and begins programmes.
– BRAC started providing technical assistance to an NGO in Indonesia for post-Tsunami rehabilitation and microfinance.

2008
– BRAC Education Programme initiates pilot programme for capacity building of Government and registered non-government primary schools in 20 sub-districts
– BRAC registers in Sierra Leone and Liberia
– BRAC Africa Loan Fund is created to provide local currency debt financing to BRAC’s microfinance programmes in Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan

2009
– BRAC continue supporting the long-term rehabilitation of the cyclone Aila victims.
– A foundation called Stichting BRAC International formed at the Hague, the Netherlands.
– BRAC launched a groundbreaking credit scheme for sharecroppers.
– BRAC developed Alive and Thrive programme to increase exclusive breastfeeding.

2010
BRAC Chairperson knighted at Buckingham Palace in London
– BRAC sets up community radio station in Bangladesh
– Exploring further opportunities to contribute to rehabilitation and development work in Haiti
– Completed a rebranding process
– Established an in house legal counsel
– BRAC launches new website

BRAC on Twitter

Good Management Practices

BRAC Internal Control System is designed to get reasonable assurance about effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial data and compliance of applicable rules, regulations and procedures. Management’s integrity, attitude, actions, and ethical values help to raise consciousness control among the staff. BRAC management believes that controls are important to achieve the objectives and communicates its view to staff at all levels. Clear policies and procedures, documentation process, table of authority, segregation of staff duties, supervision and accountability have made the organization transparent. Considering the internal control a continuous process BRAC periodically reviews and modifies the system in the changing circumstances. At the top of its control mechanism, there exists the willingness of BRAC Governing Body to ensure internal control and transparency.

Who We Are: Mission & Vision

Our Vision

A world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential.  

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programmes that enable men and women to realise their potential.

Our Values

  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Inclusiveness
  • Effectiveness

 What we do

BRAC believes that poverty is a system and its underlying causes are manifold and interlinked. Some of these linkages are obvious, for example, a day’s wage forgone because of illness or resources lost to a natural disaster. Others play a more indirect role in perpetuating poverty, such as lack of awareness about laws and rights can lead not only to outright exploitation, but also encourage a lack of accountability on the part of the state to cater to its most vulnerable citizens.

In order for the poor to come out of poverty, they must have the tools to fight it across all fronts. We have, therefore, developed support services in the areas of human rights and social empowerment, education and health, economic empowerment and enterprise development, livelihood training, environmental sustainability and disaster preparedness.

We operate social enterprises that are strategically connected to our development programmes, and form crucial value chain linkages which increase the productivity of our members’ assets and labour, and reduce risks of their enterprises. These enterprises, ranging from agriculture to handicrafts, also help to make us increasingly self-reliant.

Gender equality, respect for the environment and inclusivity are themes crosscutting all of our activities.

To ensure that we are always learning and that our work is always relevant, we have put in place training, research and monitoring systems across all our activities and financial checks and balances in the form of audits. As a knowledge centre, we have opened our doors to the wider public in an effort to develop national capacity in Bangladesh through BRAC University.

But what we really do is best portrayed in the true life stories of those who make the real changes.

 About BRAC Agriculture & Food Security

The overall approach of BRAC’s Agriculture programme is to increase crop production while ensuring environmental sustainability, adaptability to climate change and affordability for marginal and small farmers. Key to our approach is ensuring that improved inputs and technologies are taken to the poor farmers and the experience of farmers is brought back to the laboratories.

 Agriculture programme is running in following countries:

Bangladesh

Afghanistan

Liberia

Sierra Leone

Southern Sudan

Tanzania

Afghanistan : Agriculture and livestock development and credit support

As part of our microfinance multiplied approach, BRAC introduced the Agriculture and Livestock Development and Credit Support Programme in Afghanistan in 2003. With 85% of the population involved in farming or some form of agriculture, it is the largest sector of the Afghan economy. Women are responsible for 90% of poultry production. Crop and livestock production has been seriously damaged by decades of conflict. Increasing food security and creating agricultural jobs is a high priority for BRAC in Afghanistan.

Programme description

BRAC’s Agriculture and Livestock Development and Credit Support Programme (ALDCSP) in Afghanistan caters to the entire lifecycle of crop and livestock production of the country’s agricultural community.

BRAC believes vegetable cultivation ensures food security and the nutritional requirements for a family. Farmers usually grow tomato, turnip, radish, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, beans, onion and potato on their small plots of farmland and rear poultry, cows and sheep. Wheat, maize and rice are widely cultivated crops in Afghanistan

The specific objectives of the programme are to:

  • Increase agriculture crop production and make the country self sufficient in food production
  • Increase livestock productivity throughout the country.
  • Generate income and employment opportunities in agriculture and livestock related activities
  • Bring marginal farmers and illicit crop growers, especially vulnerable women and female heads of households, into sustainable agricultural enterprises
  • Decrease the mortality and morbidity of animals through prevention and provision of quality veterinary services and drugs
  • Capacity building of the agriculture farmers and livestock and poultry rearers by providing technical training

Model Farmers/Agriculture Extension Workers

At the core of the programme are agriculture extension services delivered by our Agriculture and Livestock Extension Workers and Model Farmers who have received technical training from BRAC. Extension Workers are engaged in the same farming activities as the farmers they call on, i.e. crop farmers call on other crop farmers etc. Model Farmers grow crops on a farm of a minimum size following approved agronomic practices. The Agriculture Extension Worker also grows crops, but may not have a large enough farm to qualify as a Model Farmer. They receive training from BRAC and share their knowledge of improved practices with neighbouring farmers.

Training

Training of Extension Workers and Model Farmers is conducted by Sector Specialists in poultry, livestock and agriculture and is provided at the nearest BRAC ALDCSP branch office. Training duration and curriculum varies depending on the type of agent being trained.

Model Farmers and Agriculture Extension Workers receive 14 days of training covering best management practices for every aspect of crop production from seed selection to harvest of different crops (vegetable and cereal).

Poultry Development Workers are trained for seven days and Livestock Extension Workers receive 21 days of training on three animals – cows, sheep and goats. The training curriculum includes all elements of animal husbandry. Artificial Insemination workers are trained by the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture in a 30-day course following the government curriculum.

Service Delivery

Extension workers deliver services by travelling from farm to farm. The workers can usually call on a maximum of 10 farmers/rearers a day. An extension worker calls on each client about once a month.

New Initiatives

BRAC is currently piloting an agriculture-based capacity building and livelihood improvement project in the Ghor and Daykundi provinces in the central highlands of Afghanistan. The project has the provision of giving technical support and training to small and marginal farmers on poultry, sheep and cattle rearing, cultivation of cereal and vegetable crops and training paraprofessionals while introducing some demonstration farms from which the farmers can gather practical knowledge. Positive experiences gained from the pilot projects will be replicated in further proposed areas.

Our Approach
Our approach to microfinance involves providing collateral free credit and savings services at the doorsteps of our target population – the landless poor, marginal farmers and vulnerable small entrepreneurs. We recognise the heterogeneity among the poor and focus on careful targeting and development of customised financial products and services that best meet their varying needs. A distinctive aspect of our microfinance programme is the credit-plus approach – in addition to providing loans and training we have developed an integrated set of services that work to strengthen the supply chains of the enterprises that our members invest in, giving them access to quality inputs and support in marketing their products. These services are provided by our social enterprises. Our microfinance members have access to all of our other development interventions.
 

Village Organisations
Organising the poor is at the heart of our work. Our Village Organisations (VOs) – each with 30-40 women – act as platforms for poor women to come together, access services such as microfinance, exchange information and raise awareness on social, legal and other issues concerning their daily lives.

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