This year, BRAC retained the number one position for the size of its impact resulting out of its programs and initiatives being implemented across 43 countries. BRAC has also significantly increased its work in partnership with governments and local and global organisations, emerging as a strong leader in forming a humanitarian-development nexus to better manage the Rohingya refugee crisis. In addition, BRAC’s financial model has allowed it to continue to scale up operations amongst a changing donor landscape, having a positive impact on its ‘Diversity of Revenue Streams’ and ‘Sustainability’ ratings at NGO Advisor.
Pragmatic, adaptive, BRAC can now play any game, whether using for-profit or nonprofit approaches, to face and challenge systems of inequity.
From the perspective of our ranking 185 criteria covering our three main pillars of interest – impact, innovation and sustainability – BRAC ticks every box with extra scoring this year due to clarity of its strategic vision for the next five years and its willingness to expand its international outreach. A member of the era-defining 1970s wave of Bangladeshi microcredit and microfinance pioneers, alongside the Grameen Bank and ASA, BRAC has since gone on to outpace its old counterparts and assume an unparalleled position in the crowded field of international development.
While still involved in the microfinance space, the organization has carefully, but steadily, diversified into a wide suite of activities, from agriculture and food security to education, legal aid, climate change risk reduction, livelihoods support and maternal and child health. Rather than spreading BRAC’s resources too thin, this strategy has instead remained faithful to founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s vision of a holistic, sustainable approach to poverty reduction. Indeed, BRAC is in a unique position to use its microfinance base as a social platform to deliver innovative scaled up services aligned to a principled, rights-based philosophy.
As we noted last year, BRAC is in many ways a microcosm of the entire international development sector in one organization, albeit gaining in independence from donor influence each year as it covers almost 80 percent of its $684 million income through a burgeoning portfolio of catalytic social enterprises – a clear trend positioning the organization in an enviable position of financial and programmatic sustainability.
Yet rather than taking this as a cue to rest on its laurels, BRAC has at the same time used its considerable resources and in-house human capital to build an expansive and dedicated monitoring and evaluation apparatus, with positive flow on effects for the entire sector.
Today, BRAC is more than a reference; it is leading the nonprofit world toward its next degree of efficiency and leverage. The term “NGO” is no longer sufficient to describe what BRAC is becoming.
Welcome to a new world: Thanks to BRAC, we are now entering the “For-Good” era.