BRAC Joins Founding Members of New USAID Network to Spur Innovation in Development

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A tradition of testing, scaling-up, and sharing new solutions with partners around the world continues at BRAC

The U.S. Agency for International Development recently launched the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN), a $130 million, five-year initiative that counts BRAC among its founding partners.

Seven top universities around from around the world will establish development labs that will engage academics and students along with a broader community around the world, including BRAC, to collaboratively seek out, test, and scale-up accessible, efficient, and results-driven development solutions.

“BRAC is committed to innovation, solving the problems of the most vulnerable, and rigorous learning from failures and successes,” said Susan Davis, president and CEO of BRAC USA. “Scale is also a hallmark of BRAC’s solutions, whether scaling up or scaling across different contexts. Our scale would not be possible without partnerships, and BRAC is keen to play a supportive role as part of the Higher Education Solutions Network.”

BRAC’s participation in the network leverages its existing collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action. Other universities participating at launch include: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California – Berkeley, Michigan State University, Duke University, Texas A&M University, The College of William & Mary, and Makerere University in Uganda.

Other non-university partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lemelson Foundation, PATH International, Omidyar Network, Microsoft, Intel,, the Aga Khan Foundation, and Innovations for Poverty Action.

HESN will seek to build local resilience to development challenges, transform economic and political systems, and invent ways to improve quality of life. As the world’s largest development organization, BRAC has a 40-year track record of innovations to end poverty and looks forward to working within the HESN family of organizations to further the spread of development knowledge.


A development organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC is a development success story, spreading solutions born in the developing world to 10 other countries around the world. What started as a limited relief operation in 1972 in a remote village of Bangladesh has turned into the largest development organization in the world, a 21st century leader in creating opportunity for the world’s poor. Organizing the poor using communities’ own human and material resources, BRAC (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) catalyzes lasting change, creating an ecosystem in which the poor have the chance to seize control of their own lives. We do this with a holistic development approach geared toward inclusion, using tools like microfinance, education, healthcare, legal services, community empowerment and more. Our work now touches the lives of an estimated 126 million people. With staff and BRAC-trained entrepreneurs numbering in the hundreds of thousands, BRAC is a global movement bringing change to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, with operations in our 11th country, the Philippines, launched in 2012. With an office in New York, BRAC USA is its North American affiliate, an independent nonprofit created to advance its global mission. Learn more at

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the American people have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. For more information about USAID’s programs, please visit:

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