BRAC is one of the largest development organisation in the world, employing more than 110,000 people in 11 countries, with a total global expenditure of more than £750 million. More than 75 percent of its budget in Bangladesh is self-financed through its own activity, including social enterprises and microfinance.
However, much of BRAC’s most important work, including its schools, healthcare, ultra-poor graduation programme, and most of its programmes outside Bangladesh, remains reliant on outside donors.
That is why, on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), formerly known as DFID, Keeping Children Safe (KCS) conducted a comprehensive PSEAH and child safeguarding assessment of BRAC. This included making recommendations for improvements, as well as a review of the draft safeguarding policies and guidelines that had been prepared by BRAC.
With the help of the assessment and the support of the team of child safeguarding experts at KCS, the organisation was able to identify gaps, build on strengths, and further explore areas of organisational improvement that needed to be carried out.
Their staff received training on implementing these safeguarding policies and processes, including how to report safeguarding concerns, creating a safe reporting channel, as well as enhance their internal complaint mechanism and investigation procedures for any incidences. Programmes and other operations also learnt about safe programme design and implementation process, risk assessment tools, safe recruitment and partnering.
During our work with BRAC, we identified many internal safeguarding practices that could be implemented. They shared fantastic examples of good practices and materials for raising awareness with children. The organisation is now continuing to embed child safeguarding practices within the organisation, and ensure that all levels of staff – from management to field level, as well as to volunteers and program participants – internalise a strong safeguarding culture in the process.
‘Beneficiaries of BRAC’s improved safeguarding culture, from women and children, people with special needs to other marginalised individuals, are now better protected from potential abuse. The cumulative effect of all these initiatives has had a positive impact in the wider community.’
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