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BRAC named the world’s top NGO of 2019

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Rohingya crisis, partnerships, scale cited as key factors


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — 27 February 2019 — BRAC, one of the world’s largest non-governmental organizations and a global leader in developing cost-effective, evidence-based programs in conflict-prone and post-disaster settings, was today announced the world’s number one NGO of 2019 by NGO Advisor, an independent media organization based in Geneva. BRAC retained the top spot for the fourth year in a row in part due to its leadership of the Rohingya refugee crisis, innovative new partnerships, and the continued scale of its reach.


“This ranking belongs to the entire BRAC family across the world. The strength of this organization, for 47 years, comes from the people we work for, and the local, national and global government and non-government development partners we work with. We share this achievement with all of our partners in this journey. We will continue to strive until the result of progress reaches equitably to every single individual,” said Dr. Muhammad Musa, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh.


NGO Advisor commits to highlighting innovation, impact, and governance in the non-profit sector each year. Its Top 500 NGOs of the World rankings are based on three pillars: innovation, impact and sustainability, with a special focus on organizational governance. It evaluates hundreds of NGOs against this criteria and ranks them using a robust methodology.


“The 2019 list reflects the many changes in the sector in the past year, with a number of new organizations appearing for the first time,” said Jean-Christophe Nothias, chairman of NGO Advisor. “On the top seat, BRAC not only preserved its position, but improved on several key criteria, leveraging its competitive mix of long-term vision and resilience in an ever-changing international landscape.”


BRAC’s programs and initiatives are implemented across 11 countries, touching the lives of millions of people, including hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees. In its review, NGO Advisor noted that BRAC emerged last year as a leader at the heart of a humanitarian-development nexus through increased partnerships with governments, as well as local and global organizations. The organization’s financial model has allowed it to continue to scale up operations even as donor funding proves increasingly challenging. As in years past, this positively affected ratings by NGO Advisor that focus on diversifying revenue streams and long-term sustainability.


“I am delighted to learn that BRAC has again been ranked at the top among international NGOs. I congratulate our colleagues and partners whose dedicated work to fulfil our mission has helped us to achieve this unique distinction,” said BRAC Founder and Chairman Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.


“BRAC works with people living in situations of inequality and disadvantaged communities around the world. We develop proven approaches to address poverty and empower vulnerable people at scale, and bring our programs to where they are most needed. We aim to serve our program participants, and to learn from them to adapt and improve our work. This is our mission. We are humbled to have received this honor, and thankful for the recognition and support of our efforts,” said Faruque Ahmed, Executive Director of BRAC International.


The assessments for the ranking draw on publicly available information – including financial, human resources, governance, and marketing and communications data – and consider any not-for-profit or public-interest organization that is active at the local, national, or international level. In this year’s rankings, BRAC is joined by NGOs at the vanguard of the international development sector, with Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders; the Danish Refugee Council; Open Society Foundations; and Mercy Corps in the top five.




Notes to the Editor


About BRAC

BRAC is a global leader in developing cost-effective, evidence-based programs, and has been ranked the #1 NGO in the world for the last four consecutive years by NGO Advisor. BRAC’s vision is a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential. Founded in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC acts as a catalyst, creating opportunities for people to transform their lives. BRAC uses an integrated model to change systems of inequity, through social development programs, humanitarian response, social enterprises, socially responsible investments and a university. The organization has an annual expenditure of more than USD 1.1 billion, with the majority self-financed from its enterprises, and operates in conflict-prone and post-disaster settings in 11 countries across Asia and Africa. Learn more at



Based in New York, BRAC USA is the North American affiliate of BRAC. BRAC USA provides comprehensive support to BRAC around the world by raising awareness about its work to empower the poor in 11 countries and mobilizing resources to support programs. BRAC USA works closely with its international counterparts to design and implement cost-effective and evidence-based poverty innovations worldwide. BRAC USA is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.


About NGO Advisor

A Geneva-based independent media organization, NGO Advisor has published the Top NGOs World ranking annually since 2012, spotlighting the most innovative and impactful organizations in the sector. Co-founded in 2009 by Jean-Christophe Nothias, a journalist formerly with The Global Journal, the organization combines academic rigor with journalistic integrity and autonomy. Over the years, the organization has refined the ranking’s methodology to emphasize not only creativity and innovation but also key operational features like governance, transparency, and sustainability. Using publicly available information, NGOs are scored against 165 individual criteria and can earn a maximum score of 1,400.



Media Contacts



Matt Kertman, Communications Manager

[email protected]

+1 (212) 808 5615



Moutushi Kabir, Director of Communications and Outreach

[email protected]

+88 017 0881 2616


NGO Advisor

Jean-Christophe Nothias, Editor

[email protected]

+41 79 265 92 75

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