ANNEX 1: “The promising practices” case studies seriesBRAC Case Study
The ‘hardcore’ poor in rural Bangladesh suffer from food deficit, illiteracy, and lack of access to land. More here?
b.Purpose of intervention
BRAC’s Income Generation for Vulnerable Groups Development Program (IGVGD),creatively links a government safety net program, which provides food grain, withfinancial services
to those women who have been traditionally deemed too risky by other MFIs or who have self-opted out. BRAC collaborates with the government and the WorldFood Program. The goal is to graduate women from the program to regular MFIs. Locallyelected representatives select women to receive the food grain, and BRAC then selects90% of those women (only excluding the handicapped) for participation in its program.
c.Description of target group/clients/members
Over ten years, BRAC has successfully targeted approximately one million hardcore poor, rural Bangladeshi women who have few or no economic opportunities. More onclient group size?
II.Description of methodology:a.Summary of design concepts:
IGVGD works with the Government of Bangladesh’s subsidy program to provide the freefood grain assistance for an 18-month period to impoverished, female-headedhouseholds. The food grain provides an incentive for the women to participate, andBRAC, then, provides skills training and savings and credit services.
b.Process/steps in implementations:
The three components of the program are the food grain subsidies, skills training, andfinancial services. Once receiving the food grain, women are trained in raising poultryand livestock, sericulture, or other income-generating activities for which there is a readymarket. Women are required to attend weekly meetings and save US$0.50 a month, or more if they can. The first loan is given after training is complete, and weeklyrepayments begin immediately. Once the first loan is repaid, another loan is given, duringwhich time the food grain program ends. When the second loan is repaid, women“graduates” can begin participating in normal MFIs.
c.Methods of measuring results:
Monitoring is an important component of the program and is continually carried out bythe government, the World Food Program (WFP) and by BRAC itself, which is annuallyaudited by WFP. The government monitors BRAC’s monthly reports and the WFP makesfield visits to visit programs. May need more here.
One study tracked one hundred IGVGD participants in ten locations at their programentrance in 1994, and again in 1996 and 1999 in order to evaluate program effectiveness.The year 1996 appeared to be the peak for participants, when women had just stoppedreceiving food grain but the loss had not yet registered, and they had received their second round of credit.