Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman
Economist and social thinker Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman is a leading policy voice of Bangladesh with over three decades of experience within and outside government. Holding a masters in economics from Dhaka University, and PhD in political sociology from the University of Manchester, UK, Dr Rahman was a leading researcher at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies between 1977 and 2000, and led the internationally renowned Analysis of Poverty Trends project (1989-98). In 1996, he founded the think tank Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and has been its executive chairman since 2000. He was the lead consultant for the preparation of the first poverty reduction strategy paper, Unlocking the Potential, 2005, of the Government of Bangladesh and was a member of the SAARC Poverty Commission. Dr Rahman has also sat on the board of the central bank.
He authored and edited many influential publications on poverty, social protection, governance, urbanisation, inclusive growth, social development and sustainable healthcare. Some of his noted works include Rethinking Rural Poverty (SAGE, 1995); Local Governance and Community Capacities (UPL, 2002); Unbundling Governance (PPRC, 2007); Researching Poverty from the Bottom up (PPRC/Grameen Trust, 2007); Bangladesh 2030: Strategy for Accelerating Inclusive Growth (DCCI/PPRC, 2010); Bangladesh Urban Dynamics (PPRC/World Bank, 2012); Bangladesh: Primary Education Stipends (PPRC/UNICEF, 2013); Social Protection in Bangladesh (UPL, 2014); Road Safety in Bangladesh (PPRC/BRAC, 2014); Realizing UHC Goals: Challenges & Opportunities for Bangladesh (PPRC, 2016); The Urban Spectrum: Metropolitan to Mofussil (PPRC/BBS, 2016); Exploring a more effective pro-poor targeting approach (PPRC/USAID, 2018).
He has been a consultant to international organisations such as The World Bank, ADB, DFID (now FCDO), JICA, JBIC, UNDP, UNICEF, SIDA, SDC, WFP and UNFPA. As a regular resource person at the National Defense College, Dhaka, Dr Rahman lectures on nation-state system, world economic scene, national security and sustainable development. He is also the convener of civic platforms such as Health Bangladesh, and Safe Roads and Transport for All (SROTA).
On 9 January 2008, Dr Rahman was appointed as an advisor to the former caretaker government of Bangladesh and put in charge of the ministries of commerce and education. He served till the end of the tenure of this government on 6 January 2009, and was credited with a lead role in the successful return of electoral democracy to Bangladesh.
He was awarded Dr John Meyer Global Citizenship Award by the Institute for Global Leadership of Tufts University, USA, in November 2009. He became one of the three awardees of the Gold Medal Award 2013 of Rotary International Bangladesh for his services to humanity.
Adv. Syeda Rizwana Hasan
Adv Syeda Rizwana Hasan is an enrolled lawyer with the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. She works for the cause of environment as the Chief Executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), a reputed national NGO. Her main focus is on promoting the notion of environmental justice in Bangladesh. Ms Hasan did her masters and graduation in law from the University of Dhaka with distinction. She started her career with BELA in 1993 and till today is continuing with the same organisation. As the Chief Executive of BELA, Ms Hasan is responsible for the overall coordination of the activities of BELA, including research, awareness raising, public interest litigation (PIL), and advocacy. She has filed PILs on various environmental issues, most of which have received favourable orders/ judgments. She has fought against vehicular pollution, river pollution, industrial pollution, ship breaking, grabbing of wetlands, cutting of hills, unregulated mining, unplanned urbanisation, commercial shrimp cultivation, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. Her cases are redefining the current notion of development that is devoid of environmental consideration. Since she is an anthropocentric environmentalist, her efforts are adding value to conventional human rights movement by bringing in the elements of environmental justice. She places people’s legitimate rights at the center of her activism. BELA received the Global 500 Roll of Honours of the UNEP in the year 2003, and in 2007 won the Environmental Award given by the Department of Environment for popularising environmental law. Ms Hasan is a recipeint of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. She has been named as one of the 40 Environmental Heroes of the World by TIME magazine. Recognising her impassioned leadership, hard-driving skill, and uncompromising courage in the campaign of judicial activism that has demonstrated that the right to environment is nothing less than a people’s right to dignity and life, Ms Hasan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2012.
Adeeb H. Khan
Adeeb H Khan qualified as a Chartered Accountant in England in 1991 and has been Senior Partner of Rahman Rahman Huq (Member Firm of KPMG International) since 2012.
He has been a Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) since 2013. He was the President of ICAB for 2017. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), perhaps the largest legal aid organisation in Bangladesh. He is serving his third term as an Executive Committee (EC) member of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), the oldest and one of the most prestigious trade chambers of Bangladesh, chairing its Taxation Sub-Committee.
Mr Khan’s past directorships include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national Flag carrier of Bangladesh, and Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh Limited. He frequently speaks at various forums on matters connected to taxation, corporate governance, and private sector reform.
Shafiqul Hassan is the managing director of Echo Sourcing Limited UK and Echotex Limited Bangladesh. Echotex received Bangladesh’s National Environmental Award, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka’s Environmental Award, and J Sainsbury plc’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2010. Echotex was also awarded Best Clothing Supplier in 2011 as well as Best Clothing Supplier and Supplier of the Year in 2012 by J Sainsbury plc.
Mr Hassan co-founded a premium clothing label called Ninety Percent, launched in 2018, that shares ninety percent of its distributed profits between social and environmental causes, along with the people who are involved in making the clothes. He is the co-founder of Children’s Hope, an NGO that works to educate slum children in Dhaka.
He obtained his undergraduate degree from City University, London and postgraduate degrees from Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
Melissa Dawn Parke has over two decades of experience in international law, politics, sustainable development, humanitarian affairs, human rights and governance. She served as Minister for International Development and is a former federal member for Fremantle.
Prior to entering the Australian parliament Ms Parke served as an international lawyer with the United Nations for eight years in Kosovo, Gaza, New York and Lebanon. Following her retirement from parliament, she worked as an ‘Eminent Expert on Yemen’ for the UN Human Rights Council.
Ms Park is an ambassador for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Australian Centre for International Justice.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in business (Curtin University) and law (University of New South Wales), and a master’s degree in public international law (Murdoch University).
Fathima Dada has worked in education throughout her career. She has worked as a teacher, lecturer, university external examiner, children’s author and textbook author. Her books have sold over a million copies.
Ms Dada has held almost every level of job in the education industry - from strategy, global product management and marketing, to production and design, sales and sales strategy in the roles of MD, CEO and chairperson. She is currently the managing director of Oxford Education and chairs the Board of OxfordAQA qualifications.
She has also been involved with government and non-governmental work in policy, curriculum, assessment, qualifications and implementation. She has served on several ministerial committees and overseen education reform and policy development in several countries, including working for UNESCO to support education systems in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. She has been a council member on the Schools and Vocational Quality Assurance authority in South Africa for 10 years. She helped lead the transformation to sustainability of the education programme of BRAC in Bangladesh.
Ms Dada is on the Board of Oasis Asset Management, and has previously been an active Board member to affordable school chains ie, Omega (Ghana), Spark (South Africa),Bridge (Kenya) and Zaya (India). She is the chairperson of Africa Ignite, a non-profit working for rural community development, and a trustee of MIET, a non-profit working with children in Africa.
Tapan Chowdhury is a prominent industrialist and leads SQUARE, one of the pioneer and respected business houses of Bangladesh. SQUARE is engaged in Pharmaceuticals, Hospitals, Vertically Integrated Textiles, Toiletries, Food & Consumer Products, Information & Communication Technology, Organic Tea Plantation, Stock Brokerage and Satellite TV Broadcasting.
During the last Caretaker regime, Mr Chowdhury was an Adviser (Minister) responsible for the Ministry of Power & Energy, Youth & Sports, Food & Disaster Management and Science & ICT.
Mr Chowdhury was the Immediate Past President of Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and Former President of The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Past President of Bangladesh Employers Federation (BEF) and Bangladesh Association of Publicly Listed Companies (BAPLC).
Mr Chowdhury is currently an Advisor to Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI), Trustee of Bangladesh University of Health Sciences Trust (BUHS), Director of Pioneer Insurance Limited, Guardian Life Insurance Limited, Board Member of Central Depository of Bangladesh Limited (CDBL), Governing Body Member of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), Executive Committee Member of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Core Group Member of The United Forum of Churches of Bangladesh.
The Government has recognised him over the years as one of the highest individual taxpayers of the Country. He is a Graduate of University of Dhaka and completed many advanced level courses on Business Management and Strategic Planning from U.K.
Dr Fahmida Khatun
Dr Fahmida Khatun is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a leading think tank in South Asia. She has accomplished her Bachelors and Masters in Economics from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. She did another Masters in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and PhD in Economics from the University College London, UK. She did her Post-Doctoral research at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA. She was a Visiting Fellow at Christian Michelsen Institute, Norway, Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, South Korea and Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, India.
Dr Khatun’s areas of interest include macroeconomic policy and management, climate change and environmental economics, financial sector, international aid effectiveness, international trade and WTO issues, youth employment, gender issues, interests of Least Developed Countries, and Sustainable Development Goals. She has published extensively at home and abroad. She is a columnist to the Daily Star and contributor to the East Asia Forum.
She was a Director of the state-owned Janata Bank Limited during 2008-2011, and of the SME Foundation of Bangladesh during 2010-2013. She was a member of the Panel of Economists for the Eight Five Year Plan of Bangladesh Planning Commission.
Dr M A Sattar Mandal
Professor Mandal, an agricultural economist, has been involved in teaching, research and policy planning in agriculture and rural development for over four decades. Professor Mandal had his bachelor and masters in agricultural economics from BAU in 1973 and 1974, respectively. He did his PhD from the University of London in 1979 and post-doc studies from the University of Oxford in 1986-87. Major areas of Professor Mandal’s academic interests include agriculture and rural development, food and agricultural policy planning, irrigation and water resource management, agricultural technology, rural mechanisation and agribusiness development.
Professor Mandal was the Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Mymensingh, during 2008-2011. He worked for the Bangladesh Planning Commission first as member of General Economics Division during 2000-2001 when he led the mid-term evaluation of the Fifth Five- Year Plan and completed the background studies for the Sixth Five Year Plan. He served the Planning Commission for the second term as member for Agriculture, Water Resources & Rural Institutions Division during 2011-2013 when he was involved in the evaluation and approval of many high profile projects relating to Blue Gold project, capital dredging of the Jamuna river, rural development, food security and poverty reduction.
Professor Mandal has been affiliated with BAU as its first Emeritus Professor of agricultural economics since 2017. He is currently a member of the syndicate of Bangladesh Agricultural University and Sylhet Agricultural University. He has been advising the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as a member of its Expert Pool. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of Brac- Bangladesh. Professor Mandal has been a member of the Independent Steering Committee (ISC) for the new CGIAR research program on Fish AgriFood Systems (FISH) of the WorldFish, Penang, Malaysia. Professor Mandal also advises Water Resources Group 2030 of the World Bank and CIMMYT- Bangladesh
Until recently, Professor Mandal was a government nominated member of the Board of Directors of the Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (Agricultural Research Foundation and also a Trustee of the Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona Endowment Trust (BKGET) of the government. He also worked as a Senior Advisor to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Bangladesh during 2015-2016.
Professor Mandal led the preparation of important national policy documents such as Agricultural Mechanization Policy (2019), Reorganisation of the Department of Agricultural Marketing (2010), Reformation of Manpower Structure of the Department of Agricultural Extension- Ag economics and Ag engineering (2012), and Bangladesh Country Position Paper on Food Security for the SAARC Region (2007). He was also the lead researcher of the reports on Economics of Jute Production (2010), Synthesis of Agricultural Policies (2006), Bangladesh Fishery Research Vision- 2015 (2006), Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-agriculture (2005), Dynamics of Aquaculture in Bangladesh (2004), National Agriculture Policy (1999), Flood Action Plan-12 & 13 (1991), and Agricultural Sector Review- Irrigation (1988).
He led many collaborative research projects with international funding and published his works widely as journal articles, reports, books and monographs. His co-edited book on “Rural Mechanization: A Driver to Agricultural Change and Rural Development” and his book in Bangla ‘Unnoyoner Golpo’ have been widely acclaimed. His edited Bangla book “Bangladesher Krishi Orthoniti- Bishoy O Bisletion” , first of its kind, is published by UPL. His extensive research works on irrigation institutions and water market significantly contributed to the consolidation of the privatisation policy for minor irrigation development of Bangladesh during 1990s. He has 86 published papers and book chapters, 72 conference papers and research reports and 13 books and monographs. He has received many prestigious awards.
He has worked as a visiting professor in many universities abroad including School of Development Studies of the University of East Anglia, UK in 1997 and 2000, and Faculty of Life Sciences of the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Kleve, Germany since 2013 through 2017.
Interested in sharing the story of BRAC's success with your students or classmates? Click here to view a list of articles, reports and books about BRAC's work from third-party researchers as well as our research and evaluation division. Below is a list of selected articles and case studies.
Sir Fazle was born in 1936 in Bangladesh. He studied Accountancy in London, qualifying as a Cost Management Accountant in 1962. While he was working as a senior corporate executive at Pakistan Shell, the 1970 cyclone and 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh dramatically changed the direction of his life. He left his job and moved to London, where he helped initiate Action Bangladesh and HELP Bangladesh in support of the Liberation War.
Early in 1972, after the war was over, he returned to the newly-independent Bangladesh, finding the economy in ruins. The return of 10 million refugees, who had sought shelter in India during the war, called for urgent relief and rehabilitation efforts. Sir Fazle established BRAC to address the needs of refugees in a remote area of north-eastern Bangladesh, guided by a desire to help the poor develop their own capacity to better manage their lives.
Today BRAC is one of the largest NGOs in the world, operating across eleven countries in Africa and Asia. Its primary objectives are to alleviate poverty and empower the poor. In 2018, for the third consecutive year, BRAC was ranked first among the world's top 500 NGOs by Geneva-based 'NGO Advisor' in terms of impact, innovation and sustainability.
Sir Fazle has been honoured with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading BRAC, including the LEGO Prize (2018), Laudato Si' Award (2017), Jose Edgardo Campos Collaborative Leadership Award, South Asia Region (2016), Thomas Francis, Jr. Medal in Global Public Health (2016), World Food Prize (2015), Trust Women Hero Award (2014), Spanish Order of Civil Merit (2014), Leo Tolstoy International Gold Medal (2014), CEU Open Society Prize (2013), Inaugural WISE Prize for Education (2011), Entrepreneur for the World Award (2009), David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award (2008), Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award (2007), Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership (2007), Palli Karma Shahayak Foundation (PKSF) Award for lifetime achievement in social development and poverty alleviation (2007), UNDP Mahbubul Haq Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Development (2004), Gates Award for Global Health (2004), Gleitsman Foundation International Activist Award (2003), Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurship Award (2003), Olof Palme Prize (2001), InterAction Humanitarian Award (1998) and Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership (1980).
He is also recognised by Ashoka as one of the 'global greats' and is a founding member of its prestigious Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2009, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally. Sir Fazle was a member of the Group of Eminent Persons appointed by the UN Secretary-General in 2010 to advise on support for the Least Developed Countries. In both 2014 and 2017, he was named in Fortune Magazine’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
The many honorary degrees received by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed include those from Princeton University (2014), the University of Oxford (2009), Columbia University (2008) and Yale University (2007).
Tel: 88 02 2222 81265.
Fax: 88 02 2222 63542
Tel: 88 02 2222 81265
Help Line: 8801755692023-4 (9am to 5pm, Bangladesh Standard Time)
Designated Officer under RTI Act.
Md. Hafizur Rahman
Programme Manager and In-charge of Partnership Strengthening Unit (PSU)
Tel: 88 02 2222 81265, Ext: 3638, 3639
Fax: 88 02 2222 63542
Tel: 88 02 2222 63542
Fax: 88 02 2222 81265
B 1/5, Flat # E-2, W-5, BUET Housing Society,
Lakeside Gulshan, Gulshan 1
(Opposite to Shooting Club), Dhaka 1212
2515 VK The Hague
Tel: 44 (0) 203 434 3073
Chris Lyne, Communications and Marketing
Donella Rapier, President and CEO
110 William Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Tel: 1 212 808 5615
Fax: 1 917 591 5804
For media inquiries:
House # 472, Lane # 2
Haji Mir Ahmed Street Baharistan,
Karte Parwan Kabul Afghanistan
Tel: 93 (0) 700288300
Divine Town, Old Road
No.17, Pyi Thar Yar Housing
Street 1 (Thukhitar Street)
15 Ward, Yankin Township, Yangon, Myanmar.
Tel: 95 1 8603578
House no. 404/21 Buddhi Sagar Marg,
Panipokhari Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 977 1 4002671
Block 4, Lot 6, Narra Street
San Pablo Village, RH 11
9600 Cotabato City, Philippines
174 Wilkinson Road,
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Tel: 232 88873330
Plot 15, Block L14
Tel: 211 (0) 922922013
25, Dr. C.W.W.Kannangara Mw,
Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
Plot No. 17, Light Industrial Area - Mikocheni PO Box: 105213
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: 0800 782206
Plot 880, Heritage Road, Nsambya
P.O: Box 31817 (Clock Tower),
Tel: 256 (0) 714 274201, 256 (0) 700861747
KG385 Street, House 360
Kagugu, Kigali, Rwanda
Tel: 250 788 373 709
Africa Regional Office
FAWE House, Chania Avenue
Tel: : 254 202 524 266
1. All BRAC internship applications should be submitted by the deadline specified in the relevant available internship description.
2. All applications are accepted on the basis of merit and academic/professional records. Any attempt to use unfair means to secure acceptance may lead to the cancellation of the application.
3. Download the application form: http://www.brac.net/sites/default/files/Internship Application Form.doc.
5. Please mention the name of the programme/department in which you are applying for an internship in the subject of your email.
6. Following receipt ofthe completed application form, it is assessed and forwarded to the relevant programme/department with a view to making a placement which will be of benefit and value to both the programme/department and the prospective intern.
7. A decision regarding your application will be communicated to you within 2 weeks of the application deadline expiring, if not before.
In which countries does BRAC offer an internship programme?
The internship programme is only available with the BRAC Bangladesh operations and has not yet been expanded to BRAC’s international ventures in Africa or Asia.
How do I apply for an internship?
Download the application form. The process is described there.
Is there any summer exposure trip for foreign interns?
There is no summer exposure trip now in BRAC. If anyone from outside Bangladesh wants to do internship in summer then he needs to apply into available internship opportunities in our BRAC website.
Is there a fee?
There is no processing fee for interns placed into programmes of BRAC.
What is the climate like in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate, with a hot and rainy summer and a dry pleasant winter.
I can’t speak Bangla. Do I still qualify for an internship?
Yes you do. BRAC receives foreign interns who have no knowledge of Bangla every year. BRAC also offers translator services if requested by an intern, especially when engaged in field work. Interns have to pay for these translators’ services, as well as for their food and accommodation. Most BRAC staff stationed in the head office can communicate fluently in English.
How do I get a visa and what are the requirements?
Bangladesh requires that most foreign nationals get a visa prior to arrival. The process differs depending on your nationality and country of residence. We are not qualified to give advice on the type of visa you should apply for. Please contact your nearest Bangladesh Embassy or Consulate for further information. When applying for the visa, make sure you ask for enough time to cover your expected duration. It is very difficult, time-consuming and often impossible to apply and get approval for an extension from Bangladesh.
Where will I stay in Dhaka? Will BRAC arrange my accommodations?
Interns are advised to start looking for accommodation in advance of their arrival in Dhaka. BRAC can offer you assistance to secure suitable accommodation. Accommodation options can range from BRAC Learning Centers (BLC) for the field, BRAC Inn, housing with host families, guest houses and hotels in neighborhoods in Dhaka where most foreigners and diplomats reside.
Should I contact my Supervisor before arrival?
We advise you to be in touch with your Supervisor at BRAC from pre-arrival to discuss and fine tune your internship and to have an idea about your role and schedule. You may discuss assignment details, your areas of interest and strengths, field visits and you can also request reading material via email.
What gadgets, if any, will I need for my internship?
All interns are recommended to bring their own laptops as the organization may not be able to provide sufficient resources. Interns usually have a laptop, camera and voice recorder upon them. The camera and voice recorder are helpful for field work.
How will I get an internet connection and a cell phone in Dhaka?
Local telecommunication service providers have their centers at the airport as well as locations all over Dhaka. Both cell phone and internet services may be obtained from them at reasonable prices.
Can I avail any facilities from my embassy as a foreign national in Bangladesh?
We advise our foreign interns to register with their embassies in Bangladesh, as soon as they arrive. Once registered, the intern may be able to use some facilities provided by the embassy, receive updates and alerts about national emergencies and help in case of emergency evacuation etc. You can search the contact details of your country’s embassy here: www.embassiesabroad.com/embassies-in/Bangladesh
How much money should I plan to carry for my stay in Bangladesh?
It depends on how long you stay in Bangladesh and where you chose to stay and dine, since Dhaka caters to all levels of spending capacity. On average, interns should be prepared to meet costs of approximately 700 USD per month. It is also recommended that you have access to at least an additional 200 USD for emergency purposes. ATM’s and banks are widely available in Dhaka. Bringing both a debit card and a credit card would be most convenient and interns are advised to own a VISA card (as opposed to Mastercard or any other providers) since it is the most widely accepted card in Dhaka.
Will somebody from BRAC pick me up from the airport?
No. Taxis are available at the airport. Make sure you have the address of your destination written down and explained to the driver with the help of an English-speaking local at the airport.
Where will I exchange currency when I arrive at Dhaka?
Currency exchanging points are available at the airport and also widely available in Dhaka.
What should I know about public transportation in Dhaka?
Rickshaws (tri-cycles with ornate hoods) and CNG’s (green motorized three-wheelers) are convenient, available everywhere and safe public transport options. Details will be provided during orientation.
What is the state of security in Dhaka?
The neighborhoods recommended by BRAC will be suitable and safe areas to live in. However, it is always suggested that you move in groups and avoid traveling after dark. A detailed security plan will be emailed to you before your arrival which you will sign and submit during orientation.
What happens if I find myself in a difficult situation?
The security plan will brief you on how to act in case of an emergency. The internship coordinator will also be available to instruct you in such conditions.
What should I do in case of a medical emergency?
The security plan includes a course of action in case of a medical emergency. Details will be addressed at the orientation. During office hours a doctor at the Health Department within the BRAC Center will be able to assist you. A handout will be provided to all interns/volunteers with important phone numbers of the police and fire departments, hospitals, ambulance etc. if ever needed in case of emergencies outside of office hours.
What is BRAC’s policy about alcohol and drugs?
BRAC operates as per the regulatory laws in Bangladesh. It follows the controlled substance laws. Foreigners are allowed to consume alcohol at their private premises. Details will be provided at the orientation.
Can you recommend a packing list for my trip to Bangladesh?
For the field:
Will BRAC arrange my accommodations when I am out for field work?
Yes, BRAC will. Interns usually stay at the Learning Centers (BLC) and have to pay on a daily basis for food and accommodation. They also have to pay for transportation.
What will be my mode of transportation in the field?
Interns usually move around on foot, in rickshaws and in three-wheeler auto-rickshaws, popularly known as CNGs, when out for field work.
What food will be available to me in the field?
The BLC’s usually serve local Bangladeshi meals which include rice, dal (lentils), fish/chicken curry and curried vegetables. Filtered water will also be available.
What is Bengali cuisine like?
Rice is a staple for Bengalis. Other than that, fish curries, chicken/beef curries, dal (lentil soup), curried vegetables and mashed potatoes make a very basic Bengali meal. A great variety of spices are used in Bengali cuisine and snacks involve lots of deep-fried items such as shingaras and samosas.
Is western cuisine widely available in Dhaka?
Yes it is. Supermarkets in Dhaka offer a large selection of local and international groceries. Many restaurants and bakeries also cater to people with a palate for international cuisines such as Continental, European, Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese, to name a few. A lot of these places will be at a close proximity from the interns’ residence.
Will I have to drink bottled water in Dhaka?
Yes. Interns are advised to drink bottled water.
What is considered appropriate clothing in Bangladesh?
As a foreigner going to a Muslim country, you would be expected to show respect for the cultural differences in Bangladesh. Interns are thus advised to conform to social norms when in the country. Men are advised to wear full length pants (shorts should not be worn to the field, nor at the head office) paired with t-shirts, shirts or panjabis (long, traditional shirts for men). Women are advised to dress in local wear (shalwar kameez/fotuas with a long scarf) especially when out at the field. As long as the clothing is made of light material like cotton, covers the arms and legs and isn't tight fitting, you should be comfortable moving around.
What recreation options does Dhaka offer?
There are several restaurants, hotels, clubs and museums that offer recreation options. The internship coordinator will be able to advise you upon arrival.
What facilities can I expect to avail as a BRAC intern?
To date, BRAC has hosted interns from all over the world and facilitated various kinds of support and assistance for them. These facilities include:
What is the expected output from the internship?
The ToR will specify the expected output from the interns specifically. Depending on conversations with the supervisor, most interns involved in research projects are expected to produce a report highlighting their research analysis and results. You can also offer a presentation to your department to explain your findings and foster discussion.
Will I get a recommendation letter or a certificate upon completion of my placement?
A Letter of Appreciation will be given to you upon completion of your assignment. Your direct supervisor may also be willing to write a personal recommendation.
BRAC welcomes visitors from around the world to experience firsthand its wide range of actions and innovations that continues to improve the condition of the marginalised people. BRAC's visitors unit is dedicated to support the national & international government officials, donor agencies, prospective partners, academia and individual practitioners in facilitating their visit. The unit aims to provide ample opportunity to observe BRAC's micro level field activities as well as share views and thoughts with BRAC practitioners. Visiting experiences are customised according to the visitors' interest and field of work to ensure the highest convenience in learning.
If you are planning to visit BRAC, the first step is to send us a completed Checklist Form. You can download the form here. Based on your given information and your fields of interest, we will provide you with tentative itineraries of the visit by coordinating with the respective programmes, as well as an approximate budget. We also provide support in reservation of accommodation, transportation, and logistics. Here is a general template of the visit procedure:
Things to keep in mind when making arrangements and filling out profile and logistics forms:
Here are some sample itineraries for visitors:
Urban visit (half-day)
Urban visit (full-day)
Rural visit (including BRAC Enterprise)
2 days BLC based programme
5 days immersion on Microfinance
The following sample itineraries give an idea of what a general BRAC visit covers.
|Commercial Organisation||1-5 person/s: $50/person/day
6 > persons: $40/person/day
(National & International)
|1-5 person/s: $40/person/day
6 > persons: $35/person/day
(National & International)
|1-5 person/s: $30/person/day
6 > persons: $25/person/day
(National & International)
|1-5 person/s: $30/person/day
6 > persons: $25/person/day
|Ministry & Secretariat:
(National & International)
BRAC Centre (20th Floor)
75 Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212
Tel: 88 02 2222 81265 Ext. 3105
Fax: 88 02 2222 63542
Agronomy guides for Bangladesh
BRAC's finance and accounts department is responsible for financial planning and record-keeping, managing costs, assets and liabilities, financing investments, analysing cash-flow and profitability, and preparing budgets and financial frameworks for the development programmes. The department is accountable for donor grants, property, provident funds, employee gratuity, salary, tax and loans. It produces annual and monthly consolidated financial statements and fulfils the rules and regulations of the NGO Affairs Bureau, Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) and other regulatory bodies. Through this department we ensure effective financial control and transparency of the financial data of our projects and enterprises, garnering the trust and confidence from all those with whom we work.
BRAC was awarded the ‘AAA’ by Credit Rating Agency of Bangladesh Ltd. (CRAB). (The ‘AAA’ means Extremely Strong Capacity and Highest Quality.)
BRAC became a full charter member of the INGO Accountability Charter in December 2013. The INGO Accountability Charter was incorporated in 2008. It is registered as a company in the UK and having its secretariat in Berlin, Germany. The objective is to create and develop a charter relating to the accountability of non-governmental organisations.
BRAC received many awards in the field of financial transparency in different times. In 2014, BRAC received the following awards:
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, has urged a shift in focus from school enrollment to quality of learning. Credit: Brac
Investment in school systems rather than a narrow focus on enrollment numbers will be the next challenge for the global humanitarian sector, said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac.
“We have been able to get children into school, but the next task is to give them high quality education. Many countries are failing to provide quality education to their children, including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan,” said Abed, who recently won the 2015 World Food Prize for his contribution to reducing poverty in his home country Bangladesh and 10 other nations.
“There are so many children going to school but not learning much. This is going to be a big challenge – how to provide quality education to children.”
Abed left a job as a senior corporate executive at Shell Oil in London after the 1971 Liberation War that led to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. He began with a small relief operation in 1972 in a remote village of Bangladesh after the country was hit by a major cyclone, before founding Brac. Today, the NGO employs 110,000 people in Bangladesh and works in areas such as microfinance, education, healthcare, legal services, community empowerment and social enterprises. Worldwide, Brac has helped around 135 million people, with operations in regions including Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Thanks to a funding model that helps it generate revenues from its different assets and funnel them back into Brac, the organisation relies on donors for only 25 per cent of its financing needs. This allows it to follow its own agenda and test new models without necessarily seeking donor approval.
To date, Brac has educated nearly 7 million children, including helping 5 million girls to attend primary school. The organisation has also helped reduce infant and child mortality in Bangladesh to 40 in 1,000, down from 250 almost a decade ago.
“If you are looking for challenges for the future, the other is how to eradicate extreme poverty in the world so that everybody has a decent meaningful life to lead,” said Abed. “These are the next generation of challenges that we must face and win.”
Another pressing topic is developing mechanisms that help developing nations adapt to climate change, which hits poorer communities hardest, he said.
“Climate is going to bring in its wake a lot of problems, which we need to solve. We need to adapt to some of them. We also need mitigation, in other words the lifestyle has to change in a lot of the developed world to be able to cut down carbon emissions. That has to happen in the West, but in our countries we need to adapt to climate change aspects like drought, saline water, water logging, and things like that,” he added.
The world is also becoming less equitable, and there’s a need to build societies that promote equal opportunities for everyone, instead of equality of wealth, he explained.
“People should have opportunity to rise through their own hard work. These are the kind of societies we want to build. We don’t want to build a society where opportunities are reserved for a few.”
Gender equality is at the top of Abed’s list of challenges to tackle through Brac’s programmes. Describing it as “the unfinished agenda of my life”, he noted that human societies would be much happier if gender equality was achieved.
“For our own sake we need to develop equality of opportunity or all men and women, girls and boys,” he said.
THE poor do not just lack money. They are also often short of basic know-how, the support of functioning institutions and faith in their own abilities. As a result, note Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in their book, “Poor Economics”, published in 2004, it takes “that much more skill, willpower and commitment” for the poor to get ahead. No wonder escaping extreme poverty—usually defined as living on less than $1.25 a day—is so hard.
Even the most successful schemes to lift (and keep) people out of dire poverty seem to work only for some people, in some places, some of the time. For example, microcredit works best for the relatively enterprising, who are rarely the very poorest. Similarly, cash transfers linked to school attendance are useful, but require a working education system. What succeeds in one country may fail elsewhere, thanks to different conditions and cultural norms. And the poorest are often the hardest to help.
This dispiriting picture makes a new paper* by Mr Banerjee, Ms Duflo and several others all the more striking. It claims to have identified an anti-poverty strategy that works consistently, based on a seven-year, six-country study of more than 10,000 poor households. The secret, the economists argue, is to hand out assets, followed by several months of cash transfers, followed by as much as two years of training and encouragement. That formula seems to have made a lasting difference to the lives of the very poorest in countries as different as Ghana, Pakistan and Peru.
BRAC, a big Bangladeshi NGO that originally came up with this approach to tackle abject poverty, calls it a “graduation programme”. Given the many problems of the poor, the logic runs, it is useless to apply a sticking plaster to one while leaving the others to fester. For example, various NGOs, including Heifer International, Oxfam and World Vision, give cows, goats or chickens to poor people in developing countries, to enable them to earn an income selling milk or eggs. But what if the recipients are so hungry that they end up eating their putative meal ticket?
BRAC’s idea was to give those in the graduation programme not just chickens but also training on how to keep them, temporary income support to help them to resist the inevitable temptation to eat them, and repeated visits from programme workers to reinforce the training and bolster participants’ confidence. The economists studied schemes along these lines run by local NGOs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Pakistan and Peru. The programmes all targeted the very poor: as many as 73% of participants in India and 66% in Ethiopia lived on less than $1.25 a day.
In all six places households in the programme chose an asset, typically livestock, as a one-off gift. In addition, they received enough money to buy a kilo of rice a day for as long as a year. They were given training not just on how to exploit their chosen asset, but also on keeping themselves healthy. Lastly, the NGO provided a safe way to save money, along with encouragement to do so. Although some details, such as the type of livestock people received, or the emphasis placed on saving money, varied from country to country, the nub of all six schemes was the same.
The results were promising. At the end of the programmes, roughly two years after participants first enrolled, their monthly consumption of food had risen by around 5% relative to a control group. Household income had also risen, and fewer people reported going to bed hungry than in control households. The value of participants’ assets had increased by 15%, which suggests that they had not improved their diets by eating their chickens. Rather, each person in the programme spent an average of 17.5 more minutes a day working, mostly tending to livestock—10% more than their peers. (The impact did still vary by country, being weakest in Honduras and Peru and strongest in Ethiopia.) Even more striking, the programme had strong, lasting effects on consumption and asset values even for the poorest tenth of households it reached—the poorest of the poor.
Perhaps most important, when the researchers went back and surveyed households a year after the programme had ended, they found that people were still working, earning and eating more. Were these gains to persist even longer—as they have in Bangladesh, where another study has been able to track people an additional year down the road—the researchers reckon that the graduation programme would have benefits of between 1.33 and 4.33 times what was spent on it. (The only exception is Honduras, where it did not break even, in part because the chickens that many people chose to receive kept dying.)
Not chicken feed
The costs of the schemes, which varied from $414 per participant in India to $3,122 in Peru, look daunting. But the help is intended as a one-off, whereas many anti-poverty drives in the developing world are never-ending. That makes graduation programmes cheaper than many of the alternatives. India, for example, spends about 0.3% of GDP every year on a workfare programme that reaches about 50m households. Reaching the same number of households through a graduation programme would be a one-off cost of about 1% of GDP.
Besides, it might be possible to achieve the same effect more cheaply. For one thing, it is not clear that all the elements of the programme are necessary. A recent study of a similar scheme targeting the very poor in Uganda found that more frequent home visits bring little extra benefit. This is the most expensive part of the programme, costing twice as much on average as the direct transfers. It could perhaps be eliminated or curtailed. Even as it is, the blight of abject poverty looks a little less intractable.