BURO Bangladesh: Success Driven from Ambition

Mother & daughter filling up a pot with water in Bangladesh

BURO Bangladesh has emerged as a high performer since becoming a Water.org partner in 2014.

Despite a tenuous start, BURO Bangladesh has achieved 389% of its set target-- disbursing a cumulative principal amount of BDT 432.6 million for 32,559 WaterCredit loans, and reaching more than 146,000 people to date. This success is exemplary, especially given the early challenges that BURO faced during its piloting stage.

BURO designed a unique WaterCredit pilot to be launched in 226 branches—nearly 40% of its total branches. To compare, most other partners pilot the WaterCredit program in about 5% of total branches. The ambitious pilot encountered challenges in staff selection and training, development and distribution of behavior change, information, and education materials, and overall program implementation. After an initial period of internal review and support from Water.org staff, BURO was able to capitalize on the geographical spread of their pilot to achieve significant gains. BURO leadership’s hands-on involvement in day-to-day activities and even branch-level engagement drove programmatic growth. BURO achieved great nimbleness in scheduling various program activities, like adapting to the challenges of the rainy season by delaying installation and conducting awareness-building activities during that time.

BURO’s relatively large staff capacity is also worth mentioning, as more than 1,700 staff members were involved in the implementation stage. In recent discussions with BURO leadership, it is evident that BURO has significant scope for further growth, given that presently about 21% of their loan officers are engaged with WaterCredit and they appear keen to roll out the program more comprehensively. More information on our BURO Bangladesh can be found on their webpage.

Capital: Dhaka
Population of 160 million
20 million lack access to safe water
63 million lack access to improved sanitation
77% of the total population lives on less than US$2 per day