|Freedom from Want
The Remarkable Success Story of BRAC, the Global Grassroots Organization That’s Winning the Fight Against Poverty
ISBN 984 70220 0038 7 2009 298p 240x156mm HB Tk.450.00 US$25.00
BRAC, arguably the world’s largest and most successful NGO, is little known outside Bangladesh where it was established in 1972. Author Ian Smillie predicts, however, that this is bound to change. BRAC’s success and the spread of its work in health, education, social enterprise development and microfinance dwarfs any other private, government or non-profit enterprise in its impact on tens of thousands of communities in Asia and Africa.
Freedom from Want traces BRAC’s evolution from a small relief operation indistinguishable from hundreds of others, into what is undoubtedly the most variegated social experiment in the developing world. BRAC’s story shows how social enterprise can trump corruption and how purpose, innovation and clear thinking can overcome the most entrenched injustices that society can offer. It’s a story that ranges from distant villages in Bangladesh to New York’s financial district on 9/11, from war-torn Afghanistan to the vast plains of East Africa and the ruins of Southern Sudan. Partly an adventure story, partly a lesson in development economics, partly an examination of excellence in management, the book describes one of the world’s most remarkable success stories, one that has transformed disaster into development and despair into hope.
Ian Smillie has lived and worked in Africa and Asia. He was a founder of the Canadian development organization, Inter Pares, and was executive director of CUSO from 1979 to 1983. He was an adjunct professor at Tulane University in New Orleans from 1998 to 2001. During 2000, he served on a UN Secretary Council expert panel investigating the links between illicit weapons and the diamond trade in Sierra Leone. He is an associate of the Feinstein Center at Tufts University.
His latest books are Patronage or Partnership: Local Capacity Building in Humanitarian Crises (Kumarian, 2001); Managing for Change: Leadership, Strategy, and Management in Asian NGO’s (with John Hailey, Earthscan, 2001); and The Charity of Nations: Humanitarian Action in a Calculating World (with Larry Minear, Kumarian, 2004).
He serves as research coordinator on Partnership Africa Canada’s Diamonds and Human Security Project and is an NGO participant in the intergovernmental Kimberley Process, which has developed a global certification system for rough diamonds. He is chairman of the Diamond Development Initiative, a new international NGO working with Africa’s 1.3 million artisanal diamond miners. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2003.