fan 2013 year of MOOC & microeducationsummit & 170th birthday of The Economist
We second Bill Clinton's applause of the pro-youth development economics paradigm innovated by Bangladesh's grassroots network:
. (BIll and Hilary both discovered the miracle of Bangladesh development networks before his presidency , , as did Obama's mother who helped trial Indonesian implementations)
what is similar grameen and brac
Both empower the poorest village mothers to self-organise and group-organise. Both directly innovated direct services in the villages while the government of the new nation of bangladesh had next to no budget, and certainly no way of motivating public servants or professionals such as medics to go and work in the rural areas
(note in bangladesh's 100+ million nation, rural may still mean densely populated peoples, It can be best thought of as describing places with next to no infrastructure -no electricity, no roads, no phones until mobile telecoms , ...almost every possible disconnection from leaders sitting in a government capital)
when either brac or grameen talk about linking in financial services for the poor these are never separated from community knowledge exchanges -especially womens and childrens health, and peer to peer needs of being self-employed in the village including both informal and formal exchanges of forming a market in the village thus prevent risk of being last (most abused) link of someone else's value chain
What was different was grameen worked much more on the communal impacts of groups of 60 - so vegetable growing was in a communal kitechen garden became twinned with each grameen banking centre of 80 vilagers and grameen's first major microfranchise was a hut to keep family safe from cyclone and monsoon as well as gaining from health of a pit latrine and the social impact of being a property that only women could own
whereas brac started developing each trade's greater effectiveness across all its village centres; it became an innovator of exactly which types of crop varieties were most effective, and it bred new species of eg chickens that laid more egs.
Moreover brac had the culture of working methodologically - needing to prove something was worth scaling up before getting massive funds from international partners whereas yunus loved to experiment and see what took off as much as possible under his own intuition without blended objectives of partners in aid.
Overtime Yunus exercised his brilliant storytelling skills to become a much loved brand of worldwide youth. He also loves being ahead of the technological curve from his first experimentation with mobile phones in the villages whereas BRAC became the partner network of technologists who often proved their effectiveness somewhere else before linking with BRAC. Take cashless banking for example- the pioneering scaled model of this is generally attributed to MPESA in Kenya but by 2013 the world's most extract cashless model is brac's www.bkash.com partnered in by every relevant mobile inventor .
When it comes to replicability outside of Bangladesh it is now necessary to make very different assessment of a grameen microfranchise which may need Yunus' personal flourishes if it is to scale, and brac's whose microfranchise brilliance is designed-in without needing a guru to ampliy its maximum impact locally.