In its five-year strategic plan launched in 2016, Brac outlined its interventions aligned with the SDG goals and targets
Brac helped 314,217 households overcome extreme poverty from 2016-2019 to support the Bangladesh government in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the organization’s SDG Contribution Voluntary Report 2020.
The report was launched at a virtual event chaired by Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh on Wednesday, according to a press release.
Brac was on track to meet its target of helping 400,000 households overcome extreme poverty by 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the global landscape. The report does not cover BRAC’s emergency response programs to address the impact of the pandemic.
Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), attended the event as the chief guest, while Md Rashedul Islam, director general (Grade-1) at the NGO Affairs Bureau, was present as special guest. KAM Morshed, senior director of BRAC, moderated the event.
In its five-year strategic plan launched in 2016, Brac outlined its interventions aligned with the SDG goals and targets by means of facilitating social transformation through eight programmatic priorities: elimination of extreme poverty; financial empowerment; employable skills for decent work; climate change resilience; gender equality; improved quality of education; universal healthcare and improved nutrition; and pro-poor urban development.
Between 2016 and 2020, Brac aimed to empower 20 million of the most underserved and disenfranchised women and men in Bangladesh to gain greater access to and have more control over resources, decisions, and actions, the press release said.
Delivering the welcome speech, KAM Morshed said the government of Bangladesh has demonstrated its strong commitment in creating an enabling environment for achieving the SDGs.
“BRAC as a major partner collaborated with the government to make its mark as an SDG-success story. Possibly, it is the first time in the world that an NGO has conducted such a voluntary review,” he added.
The report documents BRAC’s contributions towards the implementation of SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Zuena Aziz said: “I congratulate BRAC for being the first NGO in the world to measure its SDG contributions in a structured manner.”
She suggested that all other NGOs measure their organisational contributions to achieve the national SDG targets under the supervision of the NGO Affairs Bureau.
Md Rashedul Islam said: “The government of Bangladesh encourages contributions from NGOs towards achieving SDGs. I would like to see all other registered NGOs come forward with similar voluntary reports.”
Asif Saleh said: “Our founder Sir Fazle Hasan Abed used to say that we should extend our hand to those who need it the most. BRAC embodies the concept of leaving no one behind through its inclusive development approach. But the reality is, many NGOs except Brac are dependent on foreign assistance. This sector provides employment to a large population. But with the decline of foreign assistance many of these organisations find it difficult to run their development operations at the grassroots. We, therefore, draw the attention of our government to this issue.”
Based on research and evidence, Brac will concentrate on the most deprived districts of the country in its strategic plan for 2021-2025 period, he also said.
A series of similar reports will follow to present Brac’s achievements and contributions towards the rest of the SDGs in the coming years, said the organizers of the event.