Creating opportunities for the world's poorThis NGO is Certified
HeadquartersDhaka | Bangladesh
Previous ranksLast year : 1
2 years ago : 2
Sector(s)Health, Economic Empowerment, Education, Gender Issues, Community Building
For the second year in a row, BRAC (formerly the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), the largest non-governmental development organization on the planet, has made it to the top of the World NGOs rankings.
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 165 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.
Facts & Data
Official Website http://www.brac.net
Countries of operation Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, The Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Countries where legally represented Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, The Netherlands, Pakistan, The Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, USA
Country where headquartered Dhaka | Bangladesh
Type of organisation nonprofit, social_enterprise
Number of employees 118,000
Most recent annual report View it now
Financial statement web View it now
Year founded 1972
Current CEO Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG
Primary contact and general inquiries
Employment opportunities View opportunities
Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our initiatives aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable men and women to realize their potential.
Our vision is a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination, where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential.
BRAC believes that poverty is a system and its underlying causes are manifold and interlinked. We have developed support services in the following areas (linked below) to provide resources for the world’s poor to address the underlying causes of those systems:
- Human Rights
- Social Empowerment
- Economic Empowerment
- Enterprise Development
- Livelihood Training
- Environmental Sustainability
- Disaster Preparedness
Gender equality (click here), respect for the environment and inclusiveness are themes crosscutting all of our efforts.
The values of BRAC are innovation, integrity, inclusiveness and effectiveness.
- Innovation: BRAC has been an innovator in the creation of opportunities for the poor to lift themselves out of poverty. We value creativity in program design and strive to display global leadership in groundbreaking development initiatives.
- Integrity: BRAC values transparency and accountability in all our professional work, with clear policies and procedures, while displaying the utmost level of honesty in our financial dealings.
- Inclusiveness: BRAC is committed to engaging, supporting and recognizing the value of all members of society, regardless of race, religion, gender, nationality, ethnicity, age, physical or mental ability, socioeconomic status and geography.
- Effectiveness: BRAC values efficiency and excellence in all our work, constantly challenging itself to perform better, to meet and exceed program targets, and to improve and deepen the impact of our interventions.
To ensure that we are always learning and that our work is always relevant, we have put in place training (click here), research (here) and monitoring systems across all our activities, and financial checks and balances in the form of audits. As a knowledge center, we have opened our doors to the public, in an effort to develop national capacity in Bangladesh, through BRAC University, and internationally.
Our journey began in 1972 in the newly sovereign Bangladesh and, over the course of our evolution, we have played a part in the significant improvement of life for the poorest in Bangladesh and internationally. BRAC helped dramatically reduce under-five mortality, enroll hundreds of thousands in primary school, and is working tirelessly to improve gender equality worldwide. Most notably, the organization played a significant role in helping Bangladesh achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals, a set of poverty indicators established in the 2000 by the United Nations.
Strategic Goals for 2020
BRAC’s strategic plan for the next five years supports the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals, building on many existing program priorities while also giving greater emphasis to emerging areas such as skills development, urbanization and climate change. Our goal is to maintain excellence as a global leader in creating opportunity for the world’s poor.
Specifically, we will reach 2.7 million more girls through education and empowerment programs by 2020. We are also collaborating with others through advocacy and technical assistance to put our tested ‘Graduation’ approach for lifting ultra-poor out of poverty on the international agenda. Through this work we hope to end extreme poverty by 2030.
While continuing to maximize opportunities and expand services for the needs of the 138 million people it already reaches, BRAC will empower 20 million of the most underserved and disenfranchised women and men in urban and rural areas to gain greater access to and control over resources, decisions and actions for social transformation.
New York City, USA
The Hague, The Netherlands
London, United Kingdom
Cotabato City, The Philippines
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Juba, South Sudan
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
BRAC is in a strategic partnership with UK’s Department for International Development and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Click here to learn more about this partnership.
BRAC recently announced (click here) a leadership position in the Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls Education (CHARGE), a global collaborative of more than 30 partners working to advance global girls’ education. In 2014, BRAC committed to reaching 2.7 million additional girls through primary and pre-primary school education, teacher training, adolescent empowerment programs, scholarships and leadership development by 2020.
We also participate in many alliances, including over a dozen with the Bangladesh government that include:
- Ministry of Cultural Affairs
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock
- Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
- Ministry of Social Welfare
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Directorate General of Health Services
- Department of Agricultural Extension
- Ministry of Women and Children Affairs
- Ministry of Youth and Sports
- the National Institute for Local Government
- Tongi Paurashava
- All-Party Parliamentary Group
- Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training
- Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment
- Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited
Communications and Marketing Associate
Tel: +1 (212) 808-5615
Tel: 880-2-9881265, 8824180-7
Ext: 3155, 3107, 3161
In the US
Emily Coppel | BRAC USA
Tel: +1 (212) 808-5615
In the UK
Katie Allen | BRAC UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 3434 3072
Senior Communications and Marketing Associate
Tel: +1 (212) 808-5615
A. Qasem & Co.
Gulshan Pink City
Suites #01-03, Level: 7, Plot #15, Road #103
Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka - 1212, Bangladesh