BIGD Reviews

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Digital Finance (WEE-DiFine)

WEE-DiFine is a research initiative that seeks to generate a comprehensive body of evidence that addresses the impact of digital financial services (DFS) on women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and the causal mechanisms between the two by funding rigorous research across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia. The economic empowerment of women is a crucial development issue, which DFS has the strong potential to advance.

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Applied Research and Implementation Initiative (DigiDev)

The Applied Research and Implementation Initiative (DigiDev) during 2020-2023 will develop the organizational capacities of BRAC and BRAC International to integrate digital innovations into poverty programs. This will take place with support from BRAC’s Institute for Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC International’s Independent Evaluation Research Cell (IERC), BRAC Social Innovation Lab and BRAC USA, working closely with country and program teams across the BRAC family.

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23 January 2024
Rachel Heath and Emma Riley

In Tanzania, a randomized control trial with 152 female microfinance groups explored the transformative potential of digital financial services on women's empowerment. By encouraging mobile money for loan repayments, previously dominated by cash transactions, the study found a substantial increase in women's mobile money usage. The shift not only led to enhanced financial control, as reflected in higher savings and improved loan repayment behavior, but also fostered social cohesion within microfinance groups. This research underscores the impactful role of digital tools in empowering women and advocates for the integration of such services into broader financial initiatives.

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24 December 2023
Leora Klapper and Kym Cole

Bangladesh's financial inclusion strides, highlighted at the BIGD Conference, show a 21% rise in overall account ownership in the past decade. Despite progress, the gender gap widened to 20%, emphasizing the need for targeted efforts to empower women in the digital finance landscape.

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21 December 2023
Anwesha Bhattacharya, Erik Jorgensen, Urvi Naik, Aruj Shukla, and Charity Troyer Moore

Despite SHG ownership advantages, rural Chhattisgarh women still face barriers in actively engaging with digital financial services, as revealed by low DFS usage rates, prompting the need for further investigation.

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Visual Documentary

Ten Years After Rana Plaza: Remembering, Learning, and Moving Forward

BIGD Holds Virtual Launch Event for Redesigned MA in Governance and Development (MAGD) Program

Making Policy Work for Development: M Musharraf Hossain Bhuyian

Adolescents in Urban Slums and Low-Income Settlements in Dhaka During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a global crisis of unprecedented scale, both in terms of public health and the world economy. The world came to an economic stand-still, and the poor and vulnerable populations still bear the brunt. The COVID-19 crisis response has generally ignored adolescents as a separate group. This study explores how the crisis has affected adolescent education, livelihoods and psychosocial well-being.

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Impact Evaluation of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Program for the Host Community in Cox’s Bazar

In collaboration with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), BRAC rolled out its flagship Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) program in Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar, targeting the ultra-poor households from the host community living in Cox’s Bazar who are facing a crisis due to the influx of the Rohingya refugees. In our study, we evaluate the program's impact on the lives of the targeted ultra-poor households in the 2018 program cohort in these two sub-districts, using a quasi-experimental design.

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