- Founded in 1972 to assist refugees returning from India after the Liberation War
- In 1973, BRAC's mission was expanded to focus on long-term, sustainable poverty reduction
- Core programs include economic development, education, health, human rights and legal services and social development
- Efforts have expanded to other countries including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the USA
50x15 Partner Description: Non-government organization (NGO)
Digital Inclusion Ecosystem Classification:
BRAC and AMD
BRAC is currently collaborating with AMD and other 50x15 partners to connect schools in Bangladesh to information and communication technology (ICT). Ten schools are currently connected with a goal of progressively connecting the entire country with shared Internet facilities in educational institutions.
BRAC works with people whose lives are dominated by extreme poverty, illiteracy, disease and other challenges. With multifaceted development interventions, BRAC strives to bring about positive changes in the quality of life of the poor people of Bangladesh and other parts of the globe.
Those at BRAC work to promote their vision of a just, enlightened, healthy and democratic Bangladesh free from hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and all forms of exploitation based on age, sex, religion and ethnicity.
BRAC started as an almost entirely donor-funded, small-scale relief and rehabilitation project to help the country overcome the devastation and trauma of the Liberation War of 1971. Today, BRAC has emerged as an independent, virtually self-financing paradigm in sustainable human development. It is one of the largest NGOs in the world, with the twin objectives of poverty alleviation and empowerment of the poor. Through experiential learning, BRAC today provides and protects the livelihoods of millions of people in Bangladesh. Diagnosing poverty in human terms and recognizing its multidimensional nature, BRAC approaches poverty alleviation with a holistic approach.
BRAC's outreach covers all 64 districts of Bangladesh and has expanded its reach to assist in a number of countries including Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Southern Sudan. BRAC intends to expand its international outreach further. BRAC UK and BRAC USA have been created as partners to help mobilize support for its international work by raising resources, creating awareness and cultivating partnerships in support of BRAC programs.
From the time of its inception in 1972, BRAC recognized women as primary caregivers who ensured the education of their children and the sustainability of their families, thus many of its outreach efforts focus on women. Its comprehensive approach combines microfinance under BRAC's economic development program with health, education and other social development programs, linking them strategically to counter poverty through income generation and protection.
BRAC runs 1,569 gonokendras (community libraries) for local children, students and adults and 32,000 Non Formal Primary Schools across the country. If all the libraries are connected, a major transformation may occur in Bangladesh. The libraries are being provided with computers and computer training has been provided for 20,719 people, 47% of whom are rural women. BRAC is interested in introducing distance learning to the rural areas to improve their quality of education. BRAC's goal is to connect all the libraries and then all the schools over the next few years.
BracNet is the brand name for BRAC BD Mail Network Ltd. (BBN). BBN was established by BRAC to act as a for-profit ISP. In 2005 the company entered into a joint venture with US-based gNet. BRAC's part of the profits from the BBN enterprise is used for BRAC's overall development program in Bangladesh. Providing computer literacy and shared Internet connectivity to the rural population is one of the objectives of the development program. BBN has been instrumental in the BRAC and 50x15 collaboration by supplying state-of-the-art WiMAX to learning labs in schools and libraries across Bangladesh.
An additional effort of BBN is the establishment of e-Huts throughout Bangladesh. e-Huts are one-stop shops catering to various types of digital services in communities. These shops are franchises that are owned and run by local entrepreneurs who are assisted in obtaining small-scale financing from lending agencies, including BRAC's Micro Enterprise Lending Program.
Tel: (880-2) 9881265-72
Fax: (880-2) 8823542, 8823614