Managing scaling up challenges of a programme for the poorest: Case study of Brac’s IGVGD programme

BRAC approaches microfinance as a key instrument to build ladders of opportunity for the poorest people, who tend to be left out. BRAC’s main point of departure from conventional thinking is that, although the poorest do need subsidy-based programs to supply their immediate food needs, microfinance can play a fundamental role in constructing a long-term, sustainable foundation for improving food security and livelihoods. However, this is unlikely to happen automatically. BRAC’s experiences suggest that creating a strategic linkage between grant-based and market-based microfinance programs requires careful planning, and solid and committed management. Scaling up this approach to reach significant numbers of the poorest requires constant learning and innovation, and ongoing negotiation with partners based on practical field experience. In particular, it requires an appetite for tackling the larger challenge of developing markets that can open up new opportunities for the very poor. Most important of all, it requires vision and commitment to include the poorest. BRAC’s experiences suggest that carefully designed strategic linkages, which include grants with a central role for microfinance, can work for the poorest. There certainly will be many different models and approaches for including the poorest, which will vary according to country contexts. However, the starting point has to be reversing the trend of apathy—which either excludes the poorest or treats them as “relief cases” to be dealt with by “others.” BRAC believes that the poorest are, can, and must be central to the vision and commitment of microfinance institutions. Only then will the search for possibilities and opportunities to include the poorest begin and develop

Related information

  • Writer Name: Imran Matin, Rabeya Yasmin
  • Published Date: Tuesday, 11 May 2004
  • Country: Bangladesh