Since 1975, research and evaluation has been an inextricable part of BRAC's mission, providing an analytical basis for BRAC's programmatic decisions, allowing BRAC to learn from its mistakes, and helping BRAC to share the impact and lessons from its work with academics, NGOs, and development agencies around the world. Probably the largest NGO research division in the world, the Research and Evaluation Division (RED) undertakes many of its studies in cooperation with international research and academic institutions of the highest caliber. Initially the part-time job of one statistician, RED had grown by December 2000 to encompass 46 professional staff working on a wide range of issues using an equally diverse array of tools and methodo-logies. The division also consisted of 64 support staff, including manage-ment staff. In 2000 alone, RED began 125 studies, of which 66 were completed as of December. RED research areas span the full range of BRAC activities and beyond: nutrition, family planning, health, legal issues, environment, education, agriculture, credit, gender, NGO capa-city building, and much more. These are extraordinary achievements by any measure, representing the energies and commitments of a diverse and talented group of people.
This brief report is a salute to BRAC's extraordinary research and evaluation accomplishments over the past 25 years and to the ways in which this division has been a pioneer in the attempt to make development efforts more accountable, effective, and community-sensitive. The report represents only a snapshot of the more than 800 studies completed by BRAC RED over the years. It does, however, attempt to give a small picture of the manner in which RED operates and envisions its role in the larger arena of development work. We hope that this report will help broaden your understanding of BRAC as a learning organization and RED as an essential and ever-growing force within it.