BRAC is the world’s largest nongovernmental development organisation dedicated to alleviating poverty in every district in Bangladesh and in 11 low- and lower middle-income countries: Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Philippines. Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda. BRAC also has an organisation in the UK, BRAC USA. They are reaching an estimated 135 million people living in poverty. Their priority areas include well-being and resilience, economic development and social protection, education and skills development, migration, community empowerment, human rights, gender justice and diversity.
The Research and Evaluation Division (RED) was established in 1975 as an independent unit in the organisation. Although RED concentrates its activities on BRAC programmes, it also undertakes multidisciplinary studies on various development issues and subjects of national and global importance. BRAC evaluation relies on a number of designs and methods, all of which are useful, feasible, ethical and effective in finding out what is working and not in BRAC programmes. RED translates the evidence it produces through advocacy to promote evidence-informed national development programme policies and programmes in Bangladesh. It also extends research support to overseas programmes of BRAC in Asia and Africa.
Overview of engagement
BRAC has been a member of 3ie since 2013. BRAC and 3ie continue to discuss potential areas of collaboration, including capacity development for impact evaluation within BRAC and the potential for a 3ie country policy window in Bangladesh. The engagement extends across Asia and Africa, and includes areas such as sustainable livelihoods and economic stability. In particular, the evaluation of nutrition programs in Bangladesh focuses on implementation science to improve nutrition programming. These evaluations involve quality design, including a mixed-methods approach, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative data.
Examples of 3ie engagement
BRAC researchers received an impact evaluation grant through 3ie’s third Open Window. They completed the study, Impact assessment of credit programme for the tenant farmers in Bangladesh, in 2015.
A 3ie evaluation specialist gave presentations at the international workshop on field experiments with small holders' agriculture held before the 8th international conference of the Asian Society of Agricultural Economists at BRAC Centre for Development Management in October 2014.
Community of practice:
In 2014, 3ie provided three bursaries to BRAC Dhaka staff to attend the 3ie-ADB international conference in Manila. The conference was a very valuable learning and networking experience for all three. As the result of this involvement, ADB invited BRAC to make two presentations in workshops it was sponsoring in China.
BRAC sent a member representative to the 3ie Members Conference in April 2015.
3ie provided a bursary for a BRAC researcher to attend a technical training hosted by CLEAR-SHIPDET at the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Center (AFDC). The training, How to Manage, Design, and Conduct Impact Evaluations, was held in Shanghai, China, in 2014.
3ie provided a bursary for a BRAC researchers to attend at the conference "Making Impact Evaluation Matter: Better Evidence for Effective Policies and Programmes" held in Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines from 1-5 September 2014
3ie provided a bursary for a BRAC researcher to attend at the International Workshop on Impact Evaluation of Population, Health and Nutrition Programs, July 18 – 29, 2016 in Accra, Ghana.
We are an NGO that wants to evaluate itself; we want to prove ourselves and we want external validation. What we’ve valued from 3ie membership is capacity development and networking, for instance, having staff participate in training opportunities through 3ie’s bursary programme’
- Dr. Mahfuzar Rahman , Programme Head, Health, Nutrition and WASH; RED