BRAC, Bandhan, and Partners Working to End Ultra-Poverty

Published on December 30, 2013


We’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with BRAC, a poverty alleviation organization creating new opportunities for the world’s poorest communities with the tested and highly effective ultra-poor graduation program. Since launching the program in 2002, BRAC has gained international recognition as a leader in graduation methodology, implementation, technical assistance, and quality assurance. Pilot programs based on BRAC’s methodology have reached communities in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Economist named BRAC as “the largest, fastest-growing non-governmental organization in the world—and one of the most businesslike.”

Noted economist Esther Duflo of the MIT Poverty Action Lab called BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Programme “one of the most successful anti-poverty programs I’ve seen in terms of raising people’s consumption, food security, sense of dignity, and sense of belonging.”

We first encountered BRAC after traveling to India and seeing some of the social impacts of the graduation program in communities on the ground. While visiting India, we met with Bandhan, a locally-based micro-finance organization devoted to women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation. Bandhan implemented BRAC’s graduation program in a community that was too far below the poverty line to be reached by micro-finance programs alone. Ultra-poor families in this area needed a different set of interventions. BRAC’s method of targeting families and granting them assets like livestock or goods for a small trade was incredibly successful in helping them gain a better standing in their communities and work to improve their quality of life each and every day.

Now, Erol has signed on as an anchor donor in a Collaborative Initiative to end extreme poverty led by Amplifier Strategies, a social impact agency based in San Francisco. The Initiative will bring together a consortium of family foundations interested in making significant and lasting change in poverty reduction by supporting leading organizations in the field, including BRAC, Bandhan, and other organizations that have successfully scaled and adapted BRAC’s graduation model.

The Collaborative Initiative is designed around careful research and rigorous strategic planning, so that smaller family foundations can work together to make large-scale impact on the cause that inspires them most. Amplifier Strategies and Erol Foundation are currently seeking additional families to join the Initiative team as key collaborators.

For more information about the upcoming Collaborative Initiative, please write to: