Impact Rating


Top Poverty Nonprofit

Impact: $40 increases the earnings of an adolescent girl by $190.

Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit increases income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent.

Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of BRAC USA.


Governance: Passes checks


The mission of BRAC USA is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and social injustice. Its interventions aim to achieve large-scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable everyone to realize their potential.



Rated Program

Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents

Program Geography



New York, NY


Donations processed by the nonprofit.



Rated Program

Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents

Program Geography



New York, NY


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Rated Program


Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents


In girls-­only safe spaces (Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents Clubs), girls in Uganda receive training in life skills, confidence building, financial literacy and specific livelihoods, and older girls receive microloans to start businesses.

Program Type

Livelihood Support

Beneficiaries Served

People living in poverty
Children and youth



Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.


Outcome Metric

Increase in earnings for an adolescent girl.

To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.

Data Source

Outcome data collected by BRAC USA through a survey of program participants in 100 treatment communities and non­-participants in 50 control communities.

Time Period of Data

May 1, 2008, to June 30, 2012

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.

Method for Attributing Outcomes

BRAC USA estimated counterfactual success by tracking the outcomes of a control group whose members were randomly assigned not to receive the intervention.

To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program.


Data Source

Cost data reported by BRAC USA and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.

All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.


Impact Statement

$40 increases the earnings of an adolescent girl by $190.

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.


Benchmark for Rating

Impact ratings of livelihood support programs are based on income generated relative to cost. Programs receive 5 stars if they increase income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent and 4 stars if income increases by more than $0.85 for every $1 spent. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.


The nonprofit increases income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent.

Why We Could Be Wrong

We welcome your suggestions for improving our methodology. Our methodology section includes explanations of how we mitigate these issues.

  • The outcome could oversimplify total impact. Using “increased earnings” as the metric of analysis may not intuitively convey the potential downstream benefits of participating in a livelihood support program, such as reduced financial stress.
  • There could be multiple important outcomes not captured in our analysis.
  • BRAC USA may be spending additional money in order to serve harder-to-reach and/or particularly valuable populations.
  • In the absence of better data, we assume uniform counterfactual rates for programs, at the risk of masking variation across nonprofits.
  • Our estimates rely on data made public by BRAC USA on its website, annual reports, financial statements and Form 990s.
  • We only analyze programs that meet our criteria. As a result, this report may not fully reflect the impact of BRAC USA.
  • We do not assess what explains the nonprofit's cost-effectiveness.

We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:

  • There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.

  • After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.

    We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.

  • The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

  • The rated program is cost-effective.

  • The rated program is highly cost-effective.

Read More

Nonprofit Comment

Not provided. This may be because we lacked contact information for BRAC USA or it chose not to comment. If you are a representative of this nonprofit, contact us to review and comment on your rating.

Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.

Analysis Details

Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.

This rating is based on data reported by BRAC USA using ImpactMatters' impact reporting platform. Using data from the platform, ImpactMatters analysts calculated impact and assigned a rating.

We welcome corrections. If you are interested in exploring applications of ImpactMatters data, contact us at

Governance Check

BRAC USA passes our governance check.

Conducted a financial audit

Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)

Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory

BRAC USA itself has not reported any material diversions of assets

BRAC USA itself has not reported any excess benefit transactions

Source: BRAC USA Form 990 and Charity Navigator

How We Calculate Impact

This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.

For Donors

A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.

For Nonprofits

Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.

For Researchers

Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.

Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.