The mission of BRAC USA is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and social injustice. Its interventions aim to achieve large-scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable everyone to realize their potential.
BRAC believes that poverty is a system and its underlying causes are manifold and interlinked. It has developed support services in the following areas 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, respect for the environment and inclusiveness are themes crosscutting all organizational efforts.
BRAC USA collaborates with BRAC UK, BRAC International, and BRAC in Bangladesh to coordinate strategic support for the organization's goals.
In Bangladesh, BRAC's strategic plan for the next five years supports the United Nations' 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.
It is also collaborating with others through advocacy and technical assistance to put on the international agenda its proven Graduation approach for lifting the ultra-poor out of poverty. Through this work, it is contributing to the effort to end extreme poverty by 2030.
BRAC operates a train the trainer model with its field staff and volunteers. BRAC hires staff from the communities in which it works. Internationally, 90 percent of staff are nationals and play an essential role in adapting programs to different cultures and contexts.
Based in New York, BRAC USA is the North American affiliate of BRAC, and provides comprehensive support by raising awareness about its work to empower the poor and mobilizing resources to support programs. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, BRAC USA works closely with international counterparts to design and implement cost-effective and evidence-based poverty innovations worldwide.
BRAC prioritizes sustainable funding sources and is largely self-financed. Currently, about 75 percent of its expenditures in Bangladesh – including microfinance, social enterprises, and social development programs – are funded by surplus funds. Its goal is 90 percent self-financing by 2020.
BRAC keeps its administrative costs low, and relies on a hybrid financial strategy for many of its programs. It uses smarter targeting mechanisms with sophisticated pricing models that include free services for those who need the most, and subsidized and full charge services for those in higher income brackets.
BRAC USA adheres to responsible grant management methodologies in keeping with industry-wide best practices, and it reports on and tracks progress against dozens of metrics.
At the macro level, BRAC relies on multiple sources of external validation to measure its progress against strategic goals, including its own independent research division, as well as UN, World Bank, and WHO reports.
Research and evaluation are at the core of BRAC's approach to poverty reduction. It established the Research and Evaluation Division (RED), an independent unit, in 1975. RED and its corresponding international unit provide an analytical basis for decision-making, ensuring development efforts are evidence-based, effective, and community-sensitive.
BRAC also collaborates with universities worldwide to conduct research projects. Research partners include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, London School of Economics, Harvard, Yale, University of California at Berkeley, and many more.
While BRAC USA is just ten years old, BRAC will soon enter its fifth decade. As one of the earliest examples of a learning organization, its efforts to quantify success, address failure, and fine-tune programs based on hard evidence reflect both its accomplishments and its missteps.
Over the course of its evolution, BRAC has played a large role in the significant improvement of life for the poorest in Bangladesh and beyond. 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.
See more on our impact here: https://www.bracusa.org/our-impact/