Case study

The BRAC Microfinance Approach and its Impact at Individual, Household, and Beyond Household Levels: A Synthesis

Impact assessment of BRAC's microfinance approach
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This paper discusses the impact of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee's (BRAC) sustainable development and empowerment programs. It discusses:

The impact assessment and monitoring system of BRAC, which includes:

  • Internal monitoring and information system;
  • Internal routine monitoring;
  • Impact assessment studies;
  • External impact assessment and monitoring.

The list of indicators that measure the impact of microfinance at the individual, household and beyond household levels:

  • Individual and household indicators are:
    • Income and expenditure;
    • Poverty outreach;
    • Material and social well-being;
    • Crisis coping mechanisms;
    • Vulnerability and seasonality;
    • Women's empowerment.
  • Beyond household level indicators are:
    • Contribution to GDP;
    • Contribution in financial, labor and product markets;
    • Health;
    • Changes in women's lives at the community level;
    • Voluntary organization (VO) institution building and sustainability.

The impact assessment studies of BRAC examine:

  • The movements in and out of poverty;
  • Trends in poverty perception of the respondents;
  • Changes in human and physical asset base;
  • Changes in continuing education;
  • Impact of microfinance on nutritional status of children;
  • Vulnerability and crisis management;
  • Empowerment of women;
  • Credit-empowerment-health linkages;
  • Impact on child survival;
  • Determinants of member performance and dropouts.

Assessing the impact beyond household levels assesses:

  • Changes in women's lives at the community level;
  • Contribution of BRAC to GDP;
  • Generation of employment and BRAC intervention.

About this Publication

By Halder, S.