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Not so fast—building resilience in place : BRAC (Bangladesh) and the rise of social enterprise in the… Koerner, Jacqueline Laura 2018

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Not So Fast—Building Resilience in Place: BRAC (Bangladesh) and the Rise of Social Enterprise in the World’s Largest Non-Governmental Nonprofit Organization  by  Jacqueline Laura Koerner  B.A., Queen’s University, 1982  M.A., Carleton University, 1985  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Geography)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2018  © Jacqueline Laura Koerner, 2018    ii Abstract Against a backdrop of accelerating globalization, poverty in the Global South has declined over the past thirty years. However, a singular focus on short-term economic gain has advanced socio-economic-environmental injustices, as evidenced by the growing income inequality gap, greater job insecurity, and environmental degradation. To address these issues, government, businesses, and civil society need to find scalable approaches that are inclusive of the broader needs of society and the environment. This study is ‘solution-seeking’. It examines one non-profit organization (NPO), BRAC, founded and headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh. BRAC fosters locally based and globally significant ways to achieve durable economic, environmental, and social initiatives. Its work is accomplished through both charitable programs and revenue generating mission-aligned social enterprises operated from within the NPO.  This research investigates qualities of resilience and place in BRAC. In reviewing literatures that engage with resilience, I observed that most resilience literature is directed at social-ecological systems and place as a local-scale, community phenomenon; there is scant mention of social-economic place linked to cross-scale interactions.  Through two separate case studies, I examine how BRAC: • Uses place to build organizational resilience and greater resilience in the lives of its clients;  • Engages in cross-scale interaction; • Employs both slow and fast variables in its work in pursuit of transformation toward more inclusion.  My research demonstrates that for BRAC place matters. This is not quaint, nostalgic localism but essential and difficult work to create lives of dignity in a globalized world.  iii My research findings indicate that attending to slower variables in resilience building in BRAC is more challenging today due to the pressure of market-based enterprise activities and the need to reduce dependence on aid and philanthropy. My research further shows that operating social enterprises within charitable NPO offers a strong platform for continuously including the most marginalized. In order to do this, BRAC needs to promote risk taking and experimentation in its enterprises just as it does in its development programs. Building inclusive social enterprises is challenging work that takes time and significant donor support to be inclusive, scalable, and sustainable over time.   iv Lay Summary This ‘solution-seeking’ research investigates qualities of place and resilience and how they manifest in the work of non-profit organizations (NPO). It is set against a backdrop of globalization’s successes (poverty reduction) and challenges (socio-economic-environmental injustices). Previous research investigated place as local, as community-based; there is scant research about dynamic social-economic place. I researched BRAC, a large, place-based, and successful NPO in Bangladesh.  BRAC’s mission is to empower the poor through both community mobilization and productive livelihood initiatives. This study examines specific dynamic, interdependent charitable and social enterprise initiatives within BRAC. Their mission-focused interdependency has provided BRAC with sustainable income generation enabling it to scale its work beyond the limitations of grants. My research demonstrates that resilience building in a nonprofit organization and in the lives of the poor is unpredictable and takes time; operating social enterprises within the NPO provides financial strength to serve the most marginalized.         v Preface Jacqueline Laura Koerner identified, developed, conducted, and analysed all research for this dissertation.  This research received approval from the University of British Columbia’s Human Ethics Board on 27 February 2013. The project title is “Scale, Resilience and NPOs” and the certificate number is H12-03013.    vi Table of Contents 	  Abstract ............................................................................................................................ ii	  Lay Summary .................................................................................................................. iv	  Preface ............................................................................................................................. v	  Table of Contents ............................................................................................................ vi	  List of Tables ................................................................................................................... xi	  List of Figures .................................................................................................................. xii	  List of Maps .................................................................................................................... xiii	  List of Photographs ........................................................................................................ xiv	  List of Acronyms ............................................................................................................. xv	  Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................... xvii	  Dedication ...................................................................................................................... xx	  Chapter 1: Introduction ..................................................................................................... 1	  1.1 Problem statement: complex global challenges — social, ecological, and economic ...................................................................................................................... 1	  1.2 Why this research? ................................................................................................. 6	  1.3 Place and resilience: literatures supporting research ........................................... 11	  1.3.1 Place .............................................................................................................. 12	  1.3.2 Resilience ...................................................................................................... 13	  1.3.3 NPOs as the focus of my research ................................................................ 15	  1.4 Research questions .............................................................................................. 16	  1.5 Research design and methods: ............................................................................ 18	  1.5.1 Why BRAC ..................................................................................................... 18	  1.5.2 My position as researcher .............................................................................. 21	   vii 1.6 Research approach .............................................................................................. 24	  1.7 Research methods ............................................................................................... 29	  1.7.1 Archives, documents, articles, and news media: ........................................... 29	  1.7.2 Observation .................................................................................................... 30	  1.7.3 Interviews and participant observation ........................................................... 33	  1.7.4 Research process diagram: ........................................................................... 38	  1.8 Criticism of the case study approach and challenges at BRAC ........................... 39	  1.9 Organization of dissertation: ................................................................................. 43	  Chapter 2: Nonprofit Organizations and Social Enterprises in a Neoliberal Globalized World .............................................................................................................................. 45	  2.1. Neoliberalism, globalization, and the rise of NPOs ............................................. 45	  2.1.1 Neoliberalism: ................................................................................................ 46	  2.2 Nonprofit organizations and social enterprises ..................................................... 56	  2.2.1 What is a NPO? ............................................................................................. 58	  2.2.2 NPO sector funding changed: ........................................................................ 61	  2.2.3 Social enterprises in the NPO sector—and within charities ........................... 67	  2.3 My reasons for examining BRAC, its SEs, and connecting them to place and resilience..................................................................................................................... 71	  Chapter 3: Place and Resilience .................................................................................... 74	  3.1 Place ..................................................................................................................... 74	  3.1.1 Place: beyond the local: ................................................................................. 76	  3.2 Resilience ............................................................................................................. 77	  3.2.1 The adaptive cycle and panarchy .................................................................. 83	  3.2.2 Traps, adaptive capacity, and social dimensions in resilience ....................... 86	  3.2.3 Struggles with resilience: ............................................................................... 88	  3.3 Place, resilience, and NPOs: socially contingent, contextual, and dynamic ......... 92	   viii Chapter 4: BRAC and Bangladesh: ............................................................................... 95	  4.1 Bangladesh and BRAC: ........................................................................................ 95	  4.2 Bangladesh: Geography, economy, and climate: ............................................... 100	  4.2.1 Journal entry, Old Dhaka, November 2013: ................................................. 115	  4.2.2 Rural-to-urban migration .............................................................................. 116	  4.2.3 The ready-made-garment industry: .............................................................. 118	  4.2.4 Population growth, climate, and migration ................................................... 120	  4.2.5 The ‘Bangladesh Paradox’ ........................................................................... 121	  4.3 The role of NPOs and BRAC in Bangladesh’s success ..................................... 123	  4.4 BRAC: Its approach and evolution toward social enterprise .............................. 129	  4.5 BRAC: The largest NPO in the world today ........................................................ 134	  4.6 BRAC and its social enterprises today ............................................................... 138	  4.7 Connecting to my research at BRAC: ................................................................. 142	  4.7.1 The BRAC Social Innovation Lab (SIL) and its support of mobile money services ................................................................................................................. 144	  4.7.2 Experimentation, integration, and BRAC’s Disaster, Environment, and Climate Change Program (DECC): .................................................................................... 149	  4.7.3 BRAC: Organizational development and integration: The Strategic Partnership Agreement: ........................................................................................ 151	  4.8 Introduction to case study one: Aarong’s social audit tool: a possible path to resilience building? ................................................................................................... 153	  4.9 Introduction to case study two: BRAC Dairy & Food Project: reaching the ultra-poor........................................................................................................................... 154	  Chapter 5: Case Study—Aarong .................................................................................. 156	  5.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 156	  5.2 Why Aarong ........................................................................................................ 157	   ix 5.3 Aarong’s history—inclusion of poor rural women in productive livelihoods ........ 161	  5.4 Aarong today ...................................................................................................... 164	  5.4.1 The Ayesha Abed Foundation: .................................................................... 167	  5.4.2 Aarong’s independent producers ................................................................. 174	  5.4.3 Retailing products ........................................................................................ 175	  5.5 The emergence of social compliance in Aarong: ................................................ 177	  5.5.1 Mirpur, Dhaka: initial visit to an independent producer: ............................... 181	  5.5.2 Social compliance—a change journey ......................................................... 185	  5.6 The Artisan Development Initiative ..................................................................... 187	  5.7 Aarong and its Health Security scheme ............................................................. 190	  5.8 Aarong Findings ................................................................................................. 191	  Chapter 6: Case Study—BRAC Dairy & Food Project ................................................. 198	  6.1 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 198	  6.2 BRAC Dairy—origins, importance, and challenges ............................................ 201	  6.2.1 BRAC Dairy: Systems and more systems in support of dairying ................. 208	  6.3 Integration with BRAC’s Ultra-poor program ...................................................... 209	  6.3.1 BRAC Dairy support services ...................................................................... 211	  6.4 Findings: ............................................................................................................. 221	  Chapter 7: Not So Fast: Place, Resilience, and BRAC ................................................ 226	  7.1 Go slow for resilience ......................................................................................... 226	  7.2 Resilience in the face of globalization: small is beautiful but big is necessary: .. 227	  7.3 BRAC and resilience building, BRAC as a place: ............................................... 237	  7.4 Place, resilience and NPOs: BRAC is “here for good” ....................................... 240	  7.5 Future research and closing comments: ............................................................ 244	  References ................................................................................................................... 247	   x Appendices .................................................................................................................. 303	  Appendix A: Field notes from Aarong site visits to producers. ................................. 303	  A-1 Mirpur, Dhaka: Follow-up visit to an independent producer: .......................... 303	  A-2. Mohammadpur, Dhaka: ................................................................................. 304	  A-3 Pānjan Khara, Manikganj district, sub-centre: ................................................ 305	  A-4 Manikganj production centre .......................................................................... 306	  A-5 Betila production centre, Manikganj district: ................................................... 306	  Appendix B: Global South development trajectories and neoliberal globalization .... 309	  Appendix C: BRAC organizational chart as of June 2016 ........................................ 315	  Appendix D: Summary Tables of Definitions and Key Research Relationships ....... 316	  Appendix E: Map Source Statement ........................................................................ 318	      xi List of Tables Appendix D.1: Summary of Definitions…………………………………………………….315 Appendix D.2: Summary of Key Relationships……………………...………………...….316     xii List of Figures Figure 1.1  Research diagram……………………………………………………………..39 Figure 3.1 Four Ecosystem Functions Adaptive Cycle and Flow……………………..84 Figure 3.2  Panarchical connections.……………………………………………………..85 Figure 5.1 Ten Principles of Fair Trade..……………………………………………….160 Figure 6.1  The Graduation Model to end extreme poverty.…………..………….…..210    xiii List of Maps Map 4.1  Indian Sub-continent 1947.………………………………….………………..98 Map 4.2  Bangladesh Districts Reference Map.…………………………………......101 Map 4.3  Bangladesh Elevation.……………………………………………………….102 Map 4.4 Bangladesh Land Use.………………………………………………………106 Map 4.5  Bangladesh Flood Prone Areas ……………………………………………108 Map 4.6  Bangladesh Population Density and Low Elevation Coast Zones……...109 Map 4.7  Population Density...………………………………………………………....111     xiv List of Photographs  Photo 4.1 Bangabandhu Bridge/island chars………………………………………....104 Photo 4.2 Rice Cultivation……………………………………………………………....105 Photo 4.3 Dhaka to Savar highway traffic……………………………………………..113 Photo 4.4 Urban water transit: Dhaka ………………………………………………....114 Photo 5.1 BRAC Village Organization (VO) meeting..…………………………….....162 Photo 5.2 Village road, Rajshahi Division..…………………………………………....165 Photo 5.3 Secondary road, Rajshahi Division..…………………………………….....166 Photo 5.4 Main road, Rajshahi Division………………………………………………..167 Photo 5.5 AAF Production Centre Betila: Handloom..………………………………..168 Photo 5.6 AAF Production Centre, Manikganj………………………………………...169 Photo 5.7 AAF Village Subcentre: Manikganj hand sewing room.………………….170 Photo 5.8 AAF Village Subcentre: Manikganj..………………………………………..171 Photo 5.9 Mipur SCPR Independent producer visit.………………………………….183 Photo 6.1 Dumping milk, The Daily Star, Dhaka…………………………………......199 Photo 6.2 BRAC Dairy processing plant, Gazipur.…………………………………...203 Photo 6.3 Small dairy farmer, Manikganj……………………………………………...205 Photo 6.4 BRAC Dairy peddle-rickshaw collector.……………………………………212     xv List of Acronyms ADI   Artisan Development Initiative AAF   Ayesha Abed Foundation BDT   Bangladesh Taka BRAC  Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee; Bangladesh Rural    Advancement Committee; Building Resources Across Communities (in    chronological order); today simply “BRAC” given its operations in multiple    Global South countries.  CAD   Canadian Dollar DECC  Disaster Environment and Climate Change Program EMC   Executive Management Committee ENGO  Environmental NGO GDP   Gross Domestic Product IFC   International Finance Corporation IMF   International Monetary Fund IP   Independent Producer LICO   Low income cut-off MF   Microfinance MSY   Maximum sustained yield NGOAB  Non-Governmental Organizations Affairs Bureau  NGO   Nongovernment Organization (a NPO category) NPO   Nonprofit Organization OPEC  Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries PRGF  Program Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility PSE   Program Support Enterprise RMG   Ready Made Garments RED   Research and Evaluation Division SAP   Structural Adjustment Program SCPR  Social Compliance Producer Relations SDGs  Sustainable Development Goals SE   Social Enterprise   xvi SIL   Social Innovation Lab SME   Small-to-Medium size Enterprises SPA   Special Partnership Agreement TUP  Targeting Ultra Poor Program USD   United States Dollar WB   World Bank      xvii Acknowledgements I am deeply indebted to the many people who have supported this research project over the past several years. I now understand why there are so many people to thank along the PhD path.  My journey has been long and I am incredibly grateful to my academic mentors who demanded rigor, pushed me to grow as a student and as a writer, and provided much appreciated support during some tough days and months when life upended. Deepest thanks to my supervisor, Graeme Wynn, whose steadfastness, expert guidance, and incisive feedback nurtured and challenged me throughout this degree. I am grateful. Thank you.  My gratitude further extends to Moura Quayle, my committee member throughout this journey as well. Thank you for your astute insights, visual processing, and your ability to get me “unstuck” at many points along the way.  A warm thank you to Jessica Dempsey for joining my committee later in this degree when John Robinson took on a new role at the University of Toronto. Jessica, thank you for your smart, discerning, and clear feedback on my work. John, thank you for your early support, critical teaching, and study group meetings. They were enriching. I am indebted to BRAC and each member of the BRAC community who gave generously of their time to be interviewed, to translate, to accompany me, and to assist me in navigating the enormity and complexity that is BRAC. I am so grateful for your interest in and support of my research.  I am also thankful to the Ecotrust Canada family (staff and board) current and past for thinking boldly about solutions that benefit society, environment, and economy; and the constant insights, learning and joy that each of you brings to the organization’s work. Ecotrust Canada’s experiences provided a rich foundation from which to explore my studies at UBC and more specifically the work of BRAC.   xviii To Barbara Mulvey Little who supported me with great patience and warmth in formatting my research; even as I continued to mess up versions of the drafts, citations and sources. Thank you. All errors and omissions are mine.  Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends. Your love and support has anchored me throughout the adventures of this degree. As is often stated, you know who you are and it is so very true. Sally Hermansen, though, needs special mention here for her constant encouragement, deep friendship (that originated in shared geography classes at Queen’s University where we were under-graduate students), generosity of spirit and expert map making. There were many late nights when your texts arrived, many, many morning coffees, encouragement, conversations, and impromptu meals at your kitchen table—thank you too, Chris and Gracie! Rob, we had no idea when I started this degree the twists and turns of life that were to be a part of it. Thank you for being such an inspirational partner in life, for your encouragement and love, for making sure that I had the room to indulge in this degree, for providing feedback at our kitchen counter, for keeping me well caffeinated, and for telling me to get back to writing! To our four: Mira, Jana, Neilson, and Milan—thank you for your love, and for your support of my many and ongoing adventures in life, your candid conversations, your inquisitiveness, and the pursuit of your passions in life. A nuestra familia Peruana, gracias por darnos todo de ustedes- su apoyo constante pero más que nada su amor y solidaridad. Ha significado mucho para nosotros. My gratitude also extends to two much loved, strong women who are with me in spirit. To my sister Alexandra Koerner Yeo and my cousin Erin Williams Hyman: your love of family and zest for learning, life and travel inspired me and continues to do so.  Portuguese writer José Saramago in his last book, The Notebook ranks three words: charity, kindness and justice: “If I were asked to put charity, kindness, and justice in order of precedence, I would give first place to kindness, second to justice, and third to charity. Because kindness already dispenses justice and charity of its own accord, and  xix because a fair system of justice already contains sufficient charity within it. Charity is what is left when there is neither kindness or justice”.1                                               1 Saramago, José, The Notebook, London. Verso. 2011, p. 61.  xx Dedication To Oma The germ of this dissertation was planted decades ago when I was 10 years old holding on tightly to the hand of my maternal Peruvian grandmother as we made our way through the slums of Lima where she volunteered at a convent. Oma opened my eyes and my heart all those years ago and I am so very grateful that she did.      1 Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Problem statement: complex global challenges — social, ecological, and economic  Social, ecological, and economic challenges abound globally—intractable poverty, environmental degradation, globalized terrorism, millions of refugees seeking safety, and accelerating climate change. The rise of neoliberalism in the Global North in the 1980s, and its subsequent global expansion, has played a role in many of these challenges and continues to alter life fundamentally—socially, economically, and ecologically.2 The combination of: short-term profit maximization enshrined in most corporate practices; highly mobile globalized capital; and the rapid growth of all forms of technology, is manifest in today’s global marketplace. This globalization is defined by supply chains that now stretch into the furthest reaches of distant countries in search of the best quality inputs or services for the cheapest cost. However, whose cost and who pays in the long-term?  Jobs are less secure today, environmental degradation accelerates, and the greatest gains are often returned not to workers or communities but to corporate executives and shareholders—as evidenced by the growth in inequality over the past three decades globally.3 An Oxfam report, titled “An economy for the 99 percent” (2017), stated that eight men have the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of humanity, 3.6 billion people.4 Oxfam calls for a “human economy”, one that will demand fundamental                                             2 The terms Global North and Global South are premised on the use of the “Brandt Line” identified by Willy Brandt in the 1980s. Countries north of this imaginary line (the line did go around Australia and New Zealand) comprise the rich north and those south constitute the poor nations. This term is less useful today as there are a growing number of Global South countries that are no longer poor, for example, Malaysia, Colombia, and Argentina (The Brandt Report:, accessed 16 September 2016). 3 Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2014.  4 Oxfam, “An Economy for the 99%”, January 2017. Oxfam has written a series of papers on inequality, starting in 2014. They can be found through this link:, accessed 26 May 2017.  2 changes such that economic activities work for all members of society, not just a few.5 This report was published to coincide with the World Economic Forum (WEF), 2017, an annual gathering of global economic and political leaders. At this year’s gathering, the WEF ranked rising inequality and wealth disparity as the number one underlying trend that will shape the world over the next decade.6  Despite these challenges, significant improvement in human wellbeing has occurred in the last 30 years. Economic growth under globalization has led to a reduction in poverty in the Global South. In 1990 35% of the world’s population lived in poverty.7 By 2012, that number had been reduced to 12.4%. In 2013, only 10% of the world’s population lived on less than USD$1.90 per day. However, this remarkable progress will be stubbornly difficult to continue. Hundreds of millions of new jobs need to be created each year in the Global South simply to maintain the economic gains already achieved.  The poor are not a homogeneous population. Some are benefitting from economic growth—others have been left behind by economic progress and are poorer. The “ultra-poor”—those unable to participate in daily societal activities—are too hungry, ill, and isolated to improve their situation. This grinding poverty is facilitated, in many cases, by denial of basic human rights, leaving entire segments of people powerless and willing to work at anything to survive. Adding to these challenges, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change are wreaking havoc on societal wellbeing. For poverty reduction to continue within the current paradigm, there needs to be continued growth and this growth will need to be inclusive of the broader needs of society.8                                             5 Oxfam’s call for a new economy supports and builds on much scholarship. See the writing of Gar Alperovitz, What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013; Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2006; Tim Jackson, Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, London: Earthscan, 2009; Jonathon Porritt, Capitalism as if the World Matters, London: Earthscan, 2007; James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press,  2009; and Peter A. Victor, Managing Without Growth, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2008. 6 Climate change was ranked second, polarization of society, third.  7 World Bank, Poverty overview, last updated October 02, 2016:, accessed 15 December 2016.  8 See Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, “Building Stable Livelihoods for the Ultra-Poor”, September 2015:, and United Nations  3 Poverty is relative. It is assessed using both qualitative and quantitative measures. While the World Bank uses a USD amount per day to denote extreme poor and poor status, Canada employs a low-income cut-off based on an annual income. A poor person in Canada would appear wealthy in Bangladesh, with an annual income below CAD $24 328.00.9 However, in the Canadian context this person is at risk, spending most of their income of food, shelter and clothing—“a useful gauge of economic well-being no matter which income concept is used”.10  As a Canadian researcher, I point out here some of Canada’s struggles in issues of inequality and poverty, to underscore that the existence of poverty and other exclusions is not simply a Global South “issue”. Further, I include commentary on the Canadian NPO sector in Chapter 2 to contextualize issues for Canadian readers. While this dissertation is directed at BRAC, it is my hope that this research can offer insights and new thinking for broader audiences including Canadian academics, practitioners, and policymakers interested in the Canadian NPO sector.  In Canada, even with its social safety nets and publicly funded programs (education, health, income assistance), 9.9% of Canadians are classified as below the “low income cut-off—after tax”, with British Columbia exhibiting a higher than average rate of 10.4%.11 Fifteen percent of Canadian children live in poverty, while a shocking 50% of Indigenous children do so.12 Indigenous persons comprise just over 4% of all                                                                                                                                              Development Program (UNDP), “Human Development Report 2016: Human Development for Everyone”, United Nations Development Programme, New York. 2016.  9 Government of Canada Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) 2016.  10 Statistics Canada, “Low income cut-offs:, accessed August 15, 2017. 11 “Latest poverty stats show BC still has one of the highest poverty rates in Canada”, BC Poverty Reduction coalition, last modified December 16, 2014, accessed January10, 2017, 12 Shauna MacKinnon, “First Nations poverty and the Canadian economy”, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, July 10, 2013, accessed January 20, 2017: In Canada, Indigenous peoples—also referred to as Aboriginal peoples—are comprised of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.  4 Canadians—totaling 1.4 million persons in 2011—and their population is young and growing rapidly.13  Egregious poverty and the exclusions faced by most Indigenous Peoples in Canada are well documented. James Anaya, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, states in his 2014 report: “The most jarring manifestation of human rights problems is the distressing socio-economic conditions of indigenous peoples in a highly-developed country”.14 Further he stresses that there have not been any improvements in the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous people since the last report in 2004. Indigenous Peoples in Canada suffer in multiple ways including a lack of access to: housing; potable water and sanitation; adequate mental and physical health services; education and skills training; and employment.  The plight of Indigenous Peoples becomes yet more reprehensible when one considers that Canada ranked 8th in the world in the United Nations country rankings (2014). This ranking is a composite assessment of people’s wellbeing, comprised of life expectancy, education and income per capita. If the same indicators were applied to Indigenous Canadians, “they would place 63rd on the list”.15 Much of Canada’s vast reserves of oil, gas, and precious metals are located on Indigenous traditional territories. Yet, few Indigenous communities benefit from this wealth in a way that improves their socio/cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing, underscoring how poverty often co-exists with extreme wealth.                                              13 “Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit”, Statistics Canada, September 15, 2016.  14 See: James Anaya, “The situation of indigenous peoples in Canada”, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, United Nations General Assembly, July 04, 2014:, accessed February 01, 2017 and Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) et. al., “Reply to Issues 2, 3, 16 & 18: Indigenous Women and Women in Detention, Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on the Occasion of the Committee’s Eighth and Ninth Periodic Review of Canada, October 2016, accessed February 01, 2017.  15 Kim Mackrael, “Close the Gap between Canada and its aboriginal people: AFN Chief”, The Globe and Mail, May 13, 2015:, accessed February 15, 2017. For comparison Mauritius was ranked 63rd on the UN Human Development Index country ranking in 2015.  5 Globally, poverty and environmental degradation are also deeply intertwined. Whether industrial toxins or unpredictable and intensifying effects of climate change, the poor suffer the most.16 Commodification of products, short-term profit obsession, weak or unenforced labour laws and rights, and weak or non-existent enforcement of environmental regulations facilitate the increase in environmental damage and human rights abuses.  Calls for sustainability and sustainable development have become part of popular discourse and activism over the past 30 years. Concerns over social and environmental issues have produced conflict in the past. Currently, the scale of environmental, social, and economic problems is unprecedented in its complexity and seriousness.17 Furthermore, changes are “occurring at an increasingly faster rate than previously experienced in human history”18 leading some to call for a new ‘operating system’ for the planet.19   According to economist and Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen, author of Development as Freedom, these challenges “call for institutions that take us beyond the capitalist market economy” by addressing the compatibility of the pure market mechanism with a broad range of values.20 The NPO sector is one expression of Sen’s sentiments and its continued expansion is directed at this growing breach. It is to the NPO sector that I turn in my research.                                             16 See Stephane Hallegate,, “Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty”, World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2016.  17 See Lester R. Brown, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, New York: W.W. Norton, 2008; W.C. Clark and R.E. Munn, Editors, Sustainable Development of the Biosphere, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1986; Bill McKibben, The End of Nature, New York: Random House, 1989; and Peter Victor, Managing without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2008.  18 Fikret Berkes, Johan Colding, and Carl Folke, (2002). Introduction. In Fikret Berkes, Johan Colding, & Carl Folke (eds.), Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change, (pp. 1-30). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2002, p. 1. 19 See Peter Barnes, Capitalism 3.0, San Francisco, CA. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2006 and James Gustave Speth, The Bridge at the Edge of the World, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 2009. 20 Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001, p. 267.  6 1.2 Why this research?  The growth in the NPO sector is part of what Lester M. Salamon, professor and director of Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, has termed the “global associational revolution”.21 According to Salamon, this revolution is comprised of a wide array of organizations seeking “a middle way between sole reliance on the market and sole reliance on the state”.22 In pursuit of their public benefit purposes these organizations direct their financial resources at maintaining and growing their effectiveness and reach to serve societal needs unmet by the state and for-profit entities. This global associational revolution has experienced “exponential growth…in…activity and influence…in almost every country in the world”.23 It is comprised of different legal forms, including volunteer run grassroots activist organizations, volunteer and professionally staffed charitable organizations, nonprofit organizations, cooperatives, social enterprises, and low-profit limited liability corporations.24  I first encountered revenue-generating NPOs in the mid-1980s in my work with microfinance (MF) in South America and Africa.25 I investigated programs on behalf of donor organizations interested in providing grant support. The institutional revolution in microfinance is generally located in two Bangladeshi organizations, BRAC and the Grameen Bank in the 1970s.26 However, the practice of extending very small loans to                                             21 Lester M. Salamon, “The Nonprofit Sector at a Crossroads: The Case of America”, Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 10, no. 1, 1999, p. 5.  22 Lester M. Salamon, Helmut K. Anheier, and Associates, Part 1: “Comparative Overview” in Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector, Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, Baltimore, MD. 1999, p. 5.  23 John Casey, The Nonprofit World: Civil Society and the Rise of the Nonprofit Sector, Boulder, CO: Kumarian Press. 2016, p. 18.  24 See Kim Alter, “Social Enterprise Typology”, Virtue Venture LLC, updated November 27, 2007: 25 Microfinance is not the same as micro-credit. Credit is only one financial service. Microfinance encompasses a range of services, usually both credit and savings, and also can include other services such as insurance and pensions. See Maria May, “Taylor Swift, Zombies, and why Microfinance isn’t evil”, 59 Minutes of Development, June 15, 2015:  26 The Grameen Bank is a Bangladesh bank founded by Bangladeshi Professor Muhammad Yunus in 1976. Grameen Bank and Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, a brief history can be found here:, accessed October 20, 2015. While Grameen is widely believed to be the founder of microcredit, BRAC started its microfinance activities in 1974:  7 the poor, and others excluded from formal institutional credit, was not new. Small-scale lending circles and other informal lending practices have existed for centuries in many parts of the world.27 What was new was the institutionalization of these practices so that many more clients could benefit. By the mid-1980s, the MF field was growing rapidly in many countries of the Global South. There was great demand to build out programs and national and multilateral donors were on side, investing millions into this sector. Microfinance operations differed from the aid and development donor-funded smallholder agricultural credit schemes of the 1950-1970s—which were often public sector-based, heavily subsidized, and yielded poor financial results.28 With learning from these earlier credit-based programs and experimentation with group-based (rather than individual-based) lending, microfinance programs took a different approach—directing new energy at credit as part of a greater “financial systems approach” in the lives of the poor. 29  Three other qualities defined the emergence of microfinance programs in the 1970s and 1980s. They were independent of governments and generally housed in an NPO. Second, they were targeted at women who were seen as more reliable than men as stewards of personal and family socio-economic development and well-being.30 In the                                                                                                                                    , accessed October 10, 2015. What is unique is the two Bangladesh born NPOs started work in this field so quickly after the country’s independence in 1971, and continue to grow and build out their programs today. 27 There are myriad sources on microfinance and its antecedents and current status. Some introductory sources are: “Microcredit: effects on rural poverty and the environment”, in “The State of Food and Agriculture 2000, FAO Corporate Document Repository, Economic and Social Development Department, Food and Agriculture Organization,; Beverly Lemire, Ruth Pearson, and Gail Campbell, Women and Credit: Researching the Past, Refiguring the Future, Oxford: Berg Publishers. 2001; and Roy, Ananya, Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development, New York: Routledge. 2010. 28 Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), “The History of Microfinance”, CGAP, Washington DC, undated.  29 Ibid., no pagination. 30 In 1979 the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. This ushered in a shift toward specific attention to women’s issues in matters of development. As support for women grew—education, skills training, empowerment and direct services such as microfinance—women were found to be powerful actors in improving their lives and the lives of their children. Today BRAC directs most of its programming at women and their children.   8 absence of affordable credit, traditional moneylenders charged women usurious interest rates on loans to their microenterprises. The women could never get ahead of their indebtedness. MF offered an alternative. Last, MF programs charged higher interest rates to borrowers (as compared to established corporate lending rates) in order to cover the higher transaction costs incurred in lending very small amounts of money to many clients, and to recoup capital and operating costs. Heavily subsidized at the outset with both grants and low-interest loans for capital provision and operating grants, today many MF programs are independent of subsidy and are financially successful.31  Such programs aimed for ‘financial self-sufficiency’ since the language of social enterprise and scale was not common in development parlance of the mid-1980s. Microfinance providers sought to attract clients into programs to reduce poverty and foster more economically viable self-employment. Growth was swift—programs quickly recovered their costs making them operationally and financially sustainable. It was a heady time in a new field; outright commercialization was yet to come.32 I left international work in 1987, but this early experience of blending charitable programming with enterprise activities to transform socio-economic systems in favour of inclusion continues to be the North Star in my work. In this dissertation, I direct my attention to grant-receiving NPOs and their social enterprises. In carrying out their work, most NPOs are largely dependent on grants and fee-for-service contracts that leave them vulnerable to the vicissitudes of donors, both public and private. In an effort to build more self-reliance in revenue streams, and to scale their work for greater impact, many NPOs engage in revenue-generating                                             31 The microfinance industry is not without its challenges and critics. Ananya Roy’s book, Poverty Capital offers a critical review of microfinance in the lives of the poor.  32 MFI Solutions, LLC, USA, “The Implications of Increased Commercialization of the Microfinance Industry”, Lancaster, PA, July 2008, accessed May 26, 2017: In microfinance, commercialization is generally understood to signal microfinance services that fall along a spectrum from financial self-sufficiency to a formal sector, for profit, financial institution. It is that latter that has provoked vigorous debates in the industry regarding what is an appropriate level of profit-making and who should benefit from the profits. See Elizabeth Malkin, “Microfinance’s Success Sets Off a Debate in Mexico”, The New York Times, 05 April 2008:   9 initiatives, increasingly referred to as social enterprises. This research focuses specifically on BRAC, one NPO that has moved from 100% donor-dependency initially to greater organizational financial independence today through increasing its revenue generating initiatives in order to augment is programmatic scale and impact.  There is growing interest globally in social enterprise activity within NPOs. In this research, I take an organizational view rather than a community-based or client-based one in order to investigate BRAC. BRAC is an organization mostly unheard of in the Global North, yet it is a global NPO leader. I am interested in how understanding BRAC can contribute to insights into policies and practices within the NPO sector more broadly. With attention to place and resilience in BRAC’s initiatives, my research calls attention to the dynamic, multi-scalar, and non-linear nature inherent in BRAC’s work and in that of creating more inclusive societies. My research contributes to those academics, practitioners, and policymakers interested in the accelerating roles of NPOs and their revenue-generating initiatives, and how considerations of place and resilience enliven our understanding of some of these processes at work in the NPO sector. Revenue-generating initiatives are not new to the NPO sector per se. What is notable is the scale and possible system transforming results. Some organizations are making profound and sustainable positive changes in the lives of the poor and are doing so, increasingly or completely, with social enterprises that are financially independent from donors.33 I am interested in the interactivity between charitable and social enterprise initiatives within an NPO as one possible solution path to building greater inclusion in society. Inclusion can apply to all societal parameters—social, environmental, economic and political. The over-arching goal of inclusion is to enable all citizens to live lives of dignity and wellbeing, express their capabilities, and participate fully in society.  Inclusive economies are defined as those in which economic growth occurs in “sectors in which the poor work…where the poor live…us[ing] factors of production that the poor                                             33 Examples include BRAC, Aravind Eye Care System, India, Aravind Eye Care System accessed May 26, 2017: and Gram Vikas, India:   10 possess…[to] reduce the prices of consumption goods that the poor consume”.34 Attention to ‘inclusion’ in development has risen with the acknowledgement by many of rising inequality, the failure of trickle down effects, and the tenacity of poverty.35  With my interest in building inclusive economies, I am curious about the interface between charity and social enterprise because it brings up two over-arching questions. First, how are longer-term, non-economic individual needs addressed within mission-based competitive enterprises? Are these enterprises able to help the most marginalized in society while remaining economically viable? What, if any, trade-offs are entailed in the movement of many NPOs toward financial independence, and what approaches might mitigate them?  Second, does a combination of charitable and enterprise initiatives within a NPO provide a viable pathway for NPOs to be a significant part of the societal change that we need in order to address current global challenges? With their mandate to serve public benefit, can charities create, test, deliver, and scale sustainable approaches toward more inclusive economies? If charities were granted more ‘room’ to engage in enterprise initiatives, might they become change agents themselves, as non-distributing, values based, social enterprises serving public benefit? Not all charities would want to follow this arc and the very nature of the demand for “charity” would make it difficult. We will always have some need for charity in our world—disasters strike—but charities are being under-utilized within the strictures of regulatory frameworks and long-held social-cultural perceptions and beliefs of what is a charitable act and what is not.                                             34 Paloma Durán, “What does inclusive economic growth actually mean in practice?”, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), July 31, 2015 accessed May 26, 2017:   35 See Richard Samans et al. World Economic Forum, “The Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017”, Geneva. World Economic Forum. 2017.  11 1.3 Place and resilience: literatures supporting research My research is principally informed by two literatures, that on place and that on resilience. Place and resilience are both geographic terms, rooted in human-environment interactions. They are dynamic and relational terms that are contested and engaged frequently in the effort to understand and address complex global problems. In the search for justice, dignity, and sustainability, the uneven distributions of power, money, information, and time inform how people produce place and resilience. 36 The terms interweave.  Intertwined with this study are literatures on neoliberalism and on the non-profit sector. Neoliberal policies and practices have profoundly re-shaped the global economy and societies over the past three decades. Neoliberal policies reflect the belief that unfettered markets are the most efficient allocator of resources and benefits in society, underpinned by the reification of competitive self-interest and individualism.  Neoliberalism involves a re-shaping of the state so that its role is minimized in some spheres—including social and environmental support programming—as it is expanded in others to pursue greater attention to market-making. Such expansion includes labour-based welfare strategies and their enforcement, de-regulation of financial services, and reduction in taxation.  Neoliberal policies and practices have had an extensive impact on the NPO sector. The nature of charitable grants and the approach of donors, both public and private (whether corporate or philanthropic) have changed. Grants have become more project-oriented (rather than organizational) and shorter-term, impacting both the structure and work of the NPO sector. The overwhelming shift toward neoliberalism has brought business thinking and practices into the operations of NPOs. NPOs must pursue their missions in this changed environment in which there is both less stability and increased competition within a leaner funding environment. Changes in the NPO sector are proactive as well                                             36 Andrew Herod and Melissa W. Wright, “Placing Scale: An Introduction” and “Introduction: Theorizing Scale”, in Geographies of Power: Placing Scale, Andrew Herod and Melissa W. Wright (Eds.), Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 2002, p. 11.  12 as reactive, though. The rise in enterprise initiatives within the NPO sector also reflects the desire by NPOs to have more self-determination in revenue generation and the opportunity to scale their work for greater impact beyond the capacity of grant funding.  1.3.1 Place Place in daily English language use denotes location, meaning, and/or social hierarchy. Since the humanistic turn in Geography in the 1970s, understanding of place has broadened from a positivist one based on quantitative measurements such as geographic location to a humanistic one embracing both human subjectivity and ongoing change. The late geographer, Doreen Massey expanded further our conceptualization of place by actively moving beyond place as ‘local’, linking the local and the global— “a global sense of place”. It is in local places that global actions occur.37 Massey spoke to the multiplicity of the world and the need for us to open our minds to it, to be outward looking, “not self-enclosing and defensive”.38  Massey’s work was informed by the rise of neoliberalism and globalization. She was concerned with how changing flows and connections in a globalized economy empowered some and not others, how mobility was changing—by choice or necessity—and how the locus of control of these processes was shifting away from the ‘local’.  My research is embedded in “place”—in which stories and activities are enacted in a material way in dynamic processes of change. I engage, though, with Massey’s global sense of place—that place does not always mean ‘local. Rather, place is multi-scalar, born of “integrations of space and time…[place] as spatio-temporal events”.39 Place is contingent and scale is an inherent quality. Like place, scale underwent a social turn in geography expanding beyond quantitative characteristics of measurement and description (for example, cartographic scale, or “a                                             37 Doreen Massey, “Doreen Massey on Space”, Social Science Bites, February 01, 2013: See Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1994. 38 Ibid. p. 1.  39 Doreen Massey, For Space, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2005, p. 130.   13 pre-determined platform” such as local, provincial, or federal governments) to one in which today there is wide consensus in human geography that scale is socially constructed, fluid, and contingent.40 The social construction of scale attempts to move away from the binaries such as local/global and regional/national toward a blurring between these binaries and the social-spatial processes occurring within and between multiple scales. Scale, like place, is made real by developing an understanding of “complex and dynamic relationships and processes in context.”41  In my research these fundamental multi-scalar processes of place intersect with cross-scale qualities essential to resilience, in which resilience is expressed as the tension between persistence and transformation in dynamic complex systems.  1.3.2 Resilience Resilience is the capacity of a system to bounce back and persist in the face of disturbance. Resilience is not a new word. It is used in psychology and health (raising a resilient child), in engineering and metallurgy (the ability of metal to absorb energy while remaining structurally unchanged), and with respect to issues of sustainability (managing natural resources for future generations). Over the past two decades, the use of the term resilience has exploded, initially in ecology and natural resource management. More recently, resilience scholars have pursued investigations into climate change, urban planning, and disaster management.   Ecologist C.S. (Buzz) Holling challenged prevailing views of resilience as a system’s ability to bounce back (now known as engineering resilience) in the early 1970s when his work on spruce budworm infestations revealed that there were multiple stability regimes. Further, Holling discovered that a system’s ability to respond was dependent                                             40 Neil Brenner, “The limits to scale? Methodological reflections on scalar structuration”, Progress in Human Geography 25, no. 4, 2001, p. 592; Richard Howitt, “Scale”, in A Companion to Political Geography, John Agnew, Katharyne Mitchell and Gerard Toal (eds.), Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 2003. P. 138. 41 Richard Howitt, “Scale”, in A Companion …”, p. 151.  14 on “its particular context, its connections across scale and its current state”.42 This was contrary to beliefs at that time in ecology in which systems were understood to work in a linear fashion, reaching a singular mature state over time.  Holling and colleagues later developed the concept of social-ecological resilience to address the coupled nature of human and ecological systems. Social-ecological resilience is grounded in the understanding that humans are a part of nature—or more formally, that there are interdependent social and ecological systems (SES). SES resilience is founded on the ongoing unpredictability of change in social and ecological systems. Embracing change is at the heart of resilience.43  Resilience is not a metric or an asset. Resilience is a concept comprised of processes and parameters focused on long-term wellbeing.44 There are qualities known to enhance resilience in systems. In particular, SES resilience emphasizes the importance of slow—or slow-moving—big variables.45 Slow variables include culture, long-lived institutions, values, and legal systems.46 They appear to control system resilience and, therefore, play an important role in a system’s transformability.47 Slow variables co-exist with faster, smaller variables—such as a cyclone, a forest fire, or a political coup. Both slow and fast variables interact in ways that are dynamic and context dependent.48  Resilience’s processes are embedded in place, yet place is frequently incorporated in resilience studies as ecological or social-ecological and most often as local and community-based, not as multi-scalar and inclusive of socio-economic qualities. The rise of disaster and social resilience literature does include consideration of place,                                             42 Brian Walker and David Salt, Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, Washington, DC: Island Press. 2006, p. 1. 43 Ibid., p. 9. 44 Jana Carp, “The Study of Slow”, in Collaborative Resilience, ed. Bruce Evan Goldstein. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 2012. p. 101. 45 Walker and Salt, Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, p 59.  46 Stephen R. Carpenter and Lance H. Gunderson, “Coping with Collapse: Ecological and Social Dynamics in Ecosystem Management”, Bioscience 51, no. 6, June 2001. p. 457. 47 Brian Walker, et al., “Drivers, “slow” variables, “fast” variables, shocks, and resilience”, Ecology and Society 17, no. 3(30), 2012. Np.  48 Ibid., np.  15 specifically, qualities of sense of place, place identity or place attachment.49 However, there is a gap in investigations directed at the fine granularity of place—physical spaces with people, filled with hopes, opportunities and constraints in daily living and place as dynamic and multi-scalar. In my research I engage with place as a physical site of human meaning-making and being in the world. With the import of slow variables in processes of resilience, attending to people, their culture, practices and institutions in place is critical to understanding and augmenting resilience qualities.  1.3.3 NPOs as the focus of my research The focus of my research is the non-profit sector (NPO), and specifically, social enterprise activities within charitable NPOs. The term non-profit organization is an umbrella term for several different types of organizations. They can be an association, religious organization, club or society that is “organized and operated solely for social welfare, civic improvement, pleasure or recreation and any other purpose except profit”.50 NPOs do not necessarily imply public benefit or inclusion beyond their members. They are often identified with their non-taxable status.  I am interested in one sub-set of the NPO sector, charitable grant-receiving NPOs—commonly referred to as charitable organizations or charities. In order to receive charitable status, an organization must demonstrate that its mission is charitable and that it meets any other specific regulations, such as those relating to governance structure, established by legislative provision. Charities serve public benefit and cannot engage in any private gain (beyond salaries and reasonable expenses). Once registered, charities raise their operating funds through charitable grants. Charitable grants are supported by favourable tax treatment for donors. In my research I use the term NPO broadly to encompass the hybrid and integrated nature of the charitable and social enterprise initiatives in my research study.                                             49 Christopher Lyon, “Place Systems and Social Resilience: A Framework for Understanding Place in Social Adaptation, Resilience, and Transformation”, Society and Natural Resources 27, 2014, pp. 1009-1010. 50 “Non-profit organizations”, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), last modified April 28, 2017,  16 I have selected charities operating social enterprises because these are a growing phenomenon. Generally little-to-no specific regulatory framework has been established for these hybrid operations. I am interested in how charities are participating in and reacting to today’s globalized economy while attending to their charitable mission through direct service delivery. I am interested in charities that serve client needs in place, including in their homes, in their communities, or in their workplaces (rather than those that engage in research or association-based services). Specifically, I am interested in how charities create enterprise-based approaches that are deeply integrated with broader issues of empowerment and system change toward inclusion in response to, and/or collaborating with, the forces of globalization.  With their focus on service delivery, charities must still interact with the state. These interactions fall into two broad approaches. First, charities provide an advocacy and education component to service delivery that informs and empowers their clients so that they can access better services for themselves and their families. Second, charities address appropriate government agencies to seek support for their clients and/or to seek regulatory changes for more effective and efficient inclusion of marginalized individuals and groups. In recent years in Canada, the social change and advocacy functions of NPOs have been curtailed and state contracts (or donors) exert more control over their activities than before the rise of neoliberalism.51 1.4 Research questions  C.S. (Buzz) Holling, conceptual founder of ecological economics and credited with setting “resilience thinking in motion”, once posed this question: “How can communities innovate and test [approaches] in ‘real life’ and then, if successful, build them into adaptive, sustainable entities, working cross-scale to impact current economic practices, and to build, rather than deplete, social and ecological resilience?” 52                                             51 Mitchell Evans and John Shields, “’Reinventing the Third Sector: Alternative Service Delivery, Partnerships and the New Public Administration of the Canadian Post-Welfare State”, Working Paper Series Number 9, Centre for Voluntary Sector Studies, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto. May 1998.  52 Walker and Salt, Resilience thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, p. 156.  17 I believe that this question is timely and that the rapidly growing NPO sector is a useful lens through which to explore it. Demand for NPO-delivered services has increased over the decades with the rise of neoliberal states and their downsizing of government services and budgets, and their out-sourcing of critical services. As well, neoliberal practices are reflected in changed donor grant-making; philanthropists have adopted more project based, shorter-term, and often market-based approaches for grant funding. At the same time, NPOs are seeking increased independence from this augmented instability in funding as they pursue their social change goals, through the development of more revenue-generation strategies, increasingly through social enterprises.  Yet, caution is needed here. Market-based solutions are important notwithstanding that for those citizens at greatest risk they can only be a partial solution. Service delivery runs the risk of serving only clients able to take advantage of the services offered. What about those clients who are too economically marginalized, too poor, too ill, and too hungry to participate fully in NPO enterprise-based programming? I view this ‘neoliberal’ shift in funding and market-based approaches in the NPO sector as promoting efficiency to the detriment of longer-term social-ecological resilience. In attending to changed donor practices toward NPO programming, how is the slower, longer-term work of inclusion addressed in a sustained way?  I seek to understand how one NPO, BRAC, founded and headquartered in Bangladesh, addresses these issues. I investigate BRAC through a case study of specific initiatives undertaken and implemented by BRAC, an organization known for both its charitably- funded and social enterprise work. I investigate the particular, the messy, and the nuanced practices that are integral to BRAC.53                                             53 For resilience case studies, The Resilience Alliance website lists research publications and one can see the attention to ecological systems as the unit of analysis: Also see Walker and Salt, Resilience Thinking, p. 206. There is much case research on NPOs directed at particular programs from an evaluation point of view, rather than a system point of view. See BRAC publications for an overview of the type of research publication written on behalf of programs: See Harvard Business School case (#9-715-414): Khanna, Tahilyani, Roy and Sesia, “BRAC in 2014”, November 19, 2014.   18  In particular, I ask: 1. What is the role of place in resilience building in BRAC and how does BRAC use its historical knowledge and understanding of the community to empower its clients toward lives of dignity, beyond poverty? 2. What is the role in BRAC of cross-scale interaction in resilience building and in lifting individuals and communities out of poverty? How do slow variables interact with scale to affect success in building viable programs that empower previously poor individuals and communities toward social equity, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability? 1.5 Research design and methods: I carried out two case studies situated within BRAC. I gathered my data through document review, semi-structured interviews and meetings with BRAC staff, and participant observation over three separate visits to Bangladesh between 2013 and 2015. 1.5.1 Why BRAC BRAC is widely regarded as a “best in class” example in both charitable and social enterprise work. Voted ‘Number one NGO in the world’ for the second time in a row in 2017 by NGO Advisor, BRAC has been called “a sort of chaebol (South Korean conglomerate) for social development”. 54 The breadth of its work and its more than four                                             54 BRAC Number one NGO 2017: “BRAC” NGO Advisor 2016 accessed April 10, 2017 BRAC was first-ranked in 2014 and 2016 and ranked second in 2015. NGO Advisor is a “Geneva-based independent media organization committed to highlighting innovation, impact, and governance in the nonprofit sector” from “About NGO Advisor” Its research is done in partnership with the University of Geneva and the outline of its methodology can be viewed at its website in “Methodology” accessed on May 1, 2017:; The Economist, “The path through the fields”, London, UK, 03 November 2012. Retrieved from    19 decades of experience provide extensive opportunities to examine different activities and approaches within one organization—specifically the interplay between charitable and social enterprise initiatives and insights into the role of place and resilience building therein. It is difficult to comprehend the size of BRAC. It has 100 000 employees in Bangladesh who provide services to 120 million persons (in a national population of about 165 million) throughout the country. BRAC’s annual expenditures in Bangladesh total US $909million. It has over 110 000 community health workers, 48 622 one-room elementary schools, 5.3 million microfinance borrowers and the world’s largest non-profit legal aid services.55  BRAC has worked at the intersection of charitable development programming and enterprise work since the mid-1970s. It started out 100% donor-funded in 1972 as a relief organization. Within a couple of years, BRAC began its longer-term work of poverty reduction and began experimenting with revenue generating initiatives—microcredit, poultry rearing, and printing (education materials, books and materials for BRAC—flyers, information leaflets). Today BRAC is only about 24% donor funded.  In the transition toward financial independence, there continues to be ample evidence that BRAC is a catalyst in transforming both the sectors in which it operates and the lives of the poor it serves.56 This combination of economic expansion and transformation of the poor intersects with my research interests in resilience and place. What are the strengths and tensions of this charitable and enterprise approach in the lives of the clients and in the organization?  BRAC works with people where they live. It begins its work with and in communities, researching, defining, experimenting, refining and delivering services that meet the                                             55 BRAC, “BRAC at a Glance”, last modified December 2015 accessed December 10, 2016:,. 56 See The Lancet, Volume 382, Number 9909, December 14, 2013 for a series of articles on Bangladesh and the role of NPOs including BRAC. Also see BRAC’s Research and Evaluation division publications list for further reading on the impacts of BRAC’s programming accessed April 10, 2017:  20 articulated needs of its clients. BRAC believes that empowering people and communities to secure their futures allows them to become agents of change in their own lives with and beyond BRAC and its supportive services.  With very few exceptions the social enterprises (SEs) of BRAC grew out of charitably funded work and they are intended to take this mission-aligned work forward to an even larger number of clients. The charitably funded work offers insights necessary for interventions to build more inclusive economies. BRAC decided early on that building inclusive value chains in which its clients are producers—in industries such as dairy, poultry, fisheries, silk and garments—is central to the clients’ empowerment and income generation. A value chain encompasses the full range of activities that add value to a product and that need to happen to bring that product to market.57 Inclusive value chains, or value chain interventions, have emerged as one market-based approach to development in which the focus on production is to benefit the producer and, more broadly, society. Inclusive value chains are in contrast to efficiency-based supply chains that are generally premised on the lowest cost structure in order to maximize profit generation to benefit management and shareholders.  BRAC today has a large array of social enterprises. BRAC’s SEs originated as part of specific BRAC development programs and, until 2007, were known as Program Support Enterprises. As such, they were interwoven with BRAC development programs, grant-subsidized, and monitored and evaluated as part of the particular development program’s requirements. In 2007 the SEs were corporatized, meaning that they were separated out of their development program “homes” and organized as “free-standing” social enterprises, still within BRAC, the NPO. The goal was to boost their performance independent of grant subsidy to create more jobs and empowerment possibilities for the poor—the producers and/or workers—and to create more discretionary income for BRAC to re-invest in its development programs.                                              57 Lone Riisgaard, Anna Maria Escobar Fibla and Stefano Ponte, “Evaluation Study: Gender and Value Chain Development”, DANIDA, International Development Corporation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Copenhagen, February 2010, p. 6:   21 From a research perspective, there is very little written on BRAC’s SEs. Since their 2007 corporatization, there has been no research about, or evaluation of, them. Documentation includes internal performance reports, BRAC’s consolidated financial statements, BRAC webpage summaries of its social enterprises, BRAC blog posts, and Annual Report brief entries. This surprised me because reporting is so strong on the “development” side of BRAC, most of it donor required.  With a focus on enterprise growth and without donor assistance, the SEs are pushing forward in competitive Bangladesh industries including dairy, garment, poultry, animal feed, and seed. I became curious about how these corporatized SEs were interacting with BRAC’s development programs and how their interaction might offer insights into leveraging BRAC’s overall impact at yet a greater scale. My research does not evaluate specific enterprises, but rather seeks to understand how they foster long-term individual and societal change while remaining competitive.58 I am trying to understand how the linkages between charitable and enterprise initiatives might illuminate resilient approaches to economic inclusion.  1.5.2 My position as researcher My professional experiences have been shaped by larger questions of how development should work, how it should take place. My concerns have grown out of global events of imperialism, interdependent development, disparities between the North and South, and structural problems in Global South economies. As well, my work has been informed by structural inequalities in Canadian society, both in indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and by inattention to and abuse of our physical resources. I have a decades long interest in the power of markets and economies to build inclusion or exclusion—in particular, who has access to resources and opportunity and who does not. As well, I have a long-time interest in revenue-generating NPOs. This research is informed by my work experience in NPOs that engage in both charitable and enterprise                                             58 There is much case research on NPOs directed at particular programs from an evaluation point of view, rather than a system point of view. See BRAC publications for an overview of the type of research publication written on behalf of programs: See Harvard Business School case (#9-715-414): Khanna, et al., “BRAC in 2014”, November 19, 2014.   22 initiatives to meet their mission by developing market-based approaches, tools and services to augment economic, social, and environmental inclusion. This research is motivated by constraints that I have encountered in my professional journey and my passion for seeking solutions. Specifically, in its efforts to scale its work for greater impact, how does a NPO not go “up-market”—drift away from the most marginalized clients—as it seeks to increase revenue-making capabilities? Related to this concern is how NPOs navigate increased independence from the instability and rising costs involved in soliciting donor (public and private) and/or foundation grants. How does a NPO stay true to its clients? How does it continue to build organizational resilience and resilience in the lives of its clients even as it seeks to grow its revenues and independence?  Ecotrust Canada (EC), a Vancouver-based charity of which I am a founder (1995) has provided much grist. EC works with communities to design economic strategies that “benefit people in the places they call home”.59 Its approach is to work with communities to design initiatives in which economic inclusion, environmental sustainability, and social-cultural justice values are embedded in initiatives such that they bring greater value to local producers and communities.  EC utilizes the tools of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps, resource planning, sector expertise (for example, forestry and fisheries), and software development (traceability and electronic monitoring) to engage in its work. A foundational value of Ecotrust Canada’s work is that of information democracy in pursuit of creating futures of well-being for community members. To that end, EC creates and analyzes GIS datasets with a community such that the community can participate in industry and government negotiations with robust documentation in pursuit of creating futures of well-being for its community members.  Today Ecotrust Canada has a small cluster of social enterprises in addition to the charity and continues to navigate this hybrid space of charitable and social enterprise                                             59 Ecotrust Canada website accessed May 26, 2017: The website has examples of Ecotrust Canada’s initiatives.   23 initiatives. Its work is challenging for several reasons. It requires long-term donor funding and time to design, test, and implement initiatives. Yet donors have moved increasingly to shorter-term, project granting cycles with annual renewal or re-application cycles, not the multiple years necessary to design, build, and enact change.  “Environmental” agendas are still seen as separate from economic ones in mainstream society—“jobs versus the environment” is still debated and NPOs that engage in environmental issues are called ENGOs—environmental NGOs—further creating a bifurcation in thinking about building more inclusive economies.60 The many layers of public policy, government departments, and regulatory frameworks do not always support inclusion over time, but rather favour shorter-term solutions or run counter to one another. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) approves, oversees, and de-registers charities in Canada. The CRA has a very narrow definition of a charitable act, particularly regarding revenue-generating initiatives.  My research is shaped by this set of experiences. I am part of what I am studying—personally, professionally, and academically. In order to ensure new learning during my PhD studies, I committed to carrying out research beyond any prior experiences, both geographically and organizationally. I reached out to long-time mentors and friends, Ron Gryzwinski and Mary Houghton, two of the four founders of Shorebank Corporation in Chicago and dedicated board members to various entities that form part of the larger Ecotrust family of organizations.61 Over telephone calls and in person, we discussed possible organizations for my research. Ron and Mary had both advised BRAC in the late 1980s and Ron is a current director of BRAC USA (a US-based affiliate of BRAC). He suggested that I might be interested in researching BRAC and, in turn, BRAC might be interested in my research.                                              60 NGOs are non-governmental organizations and are a category within the NPO sector.  61 Oregonian Spencer Beebe founded Ecotrust in 1991 in Portland, OR. Ecotrust partnered with Shorebank to form the world’s first environmental bank, Shorebank Pacific, in 1997 in Ilwaco, WA. Ron and Mary were instrumental in this partnership and provided years of oversight and governance. Ron continues to serve on the board of both Ecotrust and Ecotrust Canada.   24 Ron reached out to then BRAC USA President Susan Davis and asked how, and with whom in BRAC, I might communicate to inquire about my research interest in BRAC in Bangladesh. I then submitted a brief summary of my research intent to Susan Davis and had a follow-up call with her. Following that, she forwarded my inquiry to Maria May, then head of BRAC’s Social Innovation Lab (SIL) in Dhaka. Maria and I had a telephone call and she subsequently offered me the opportunity to come to BRAC. BRAC invites researchers working on topics that are of interest to BRAC’s own learning and programming. Once my project was approved, BRAC provided a warm welcome and access to the people, including field visits, necessary to fulfilling my research mandate. Ishtiaque Hussain of SIL was my initial guide, teacher and translator so that I could establish my bearings and engage fully at BRAC.  1.6 Research approach  Case studies are a useful research approach when investigating a contemporary real-life event or phenomenon. In his 2009 book, Case Study Research, Robert K. Yin writes: “The essence of a case study is to illuminate a decision or set of decisions: why they were taken, how they were implemented, and with what results”.62 Yin mentions that case studies are the preferred approach when 1) ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions are posed, 2) the researcher has little control over events and 3) the focus is on contemporary phenomena.63 I was committed to a case study approach before I set out to Bangladesh.  I did not expect nor did I plan for the political situation into which I landed in November 2013. I arrived into a paralyzed Bangladesh to discover that BRAC had just put a moratorium on field visits for all staff.64 Bangladesh was in the midst of ongoing politically motivated, often violent, national strikes that had escalated into a national                                             62 Robert K. Yin, Case Study Research, Fourth edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2009. pp 17-18. 63 Ibid. p. 13. 64 Brenda Kuecks, then President of Ecotrust Canada, utilized her vacation to accompany me on my first visit to BRAC. Her curiosity, smarts, analytical mind and sense of humour added much to this initial research trip and fun to our days in Dhaka.    25 crisis. Disappointed in the moment and concerned for a country that I did not yet know, I was forced to re-frame my research by this turn of events. During my first week at BRAC, I attempted to learn all that I could through reading BRAC materials, holding information meetings with staff in the Social Innovation Lab, and participating in meetings with a variety of BRAC staff. Only with this work done could I begin to determine the parameters and emphases of my case study. I decided to focus on BRAC’s social enterprises, rather than embark on a case study including them as part of a larger narrative. The Social Innovation Lab (SIL) was engaged in a project at that time—Doing While Learning—investigating how programs ‘scale’—or grow—in several South Asian NPO programs.65 However social enterprises were not part of this project. Second, the more I asked about social enterprises, the more separate I realized they were from “development” programming at BRAC. There was no research on them post-2007. SIL did not engage with the social enterprises at BRAC. The more I learned about the history of the social enterprises at BRAC and how they had been separated from the organization’s development programs in 2007 as part of a corporatization strategy, the more interested I became in BRAC as a whole, as a system of resilience building, and the ongoing evolution in its social enterprises as a part of this whole.  Instead of viewing BRAC as a linear series of programs—Health, Education, Migration Services, Disaster planning—that add up to the whole of BRAC, I view BRAC as a complex adaptive system. I see BRAC operating at multiple scales, in time and space, and at different speeds (from slow variables such as behaviour change, to fast variables such as a cyclone striking). Two specific social enterprises, and the inter-linkages between various BRAC development programs with the SEs, became the focal point of my research. I chose to examine how BRAC can create viable pathways to improving resilience in the lives of the poor and within BRAC, the organization. This is particularly important to BRAC as it moves toward financial independence, relying on its own                                             65 BRAC Social Innovation Lab, “Doing While Learning” accessed April 15,2017:,.  26 revenue generation from its social enterprises and fee-for-service/cost recovery approaches in most of its development services.  I selected Aarong (garments and handicrafts) and BRAC Dairy & Food Project (BRAC Dairy) as the two social enterprises. Both social enterprises operate in competitive and growing domestic industries so that market driven challenges are omnipresent, pressing hard on the “developmental” values of the enterprises. With these two SEs, I was connected to many facets of BRAC. Some overlapped and others did not. With two case studies within the larger BRAC, I could look at similarities and differences between them, thereby offering me different ways of seeing and understanding BRAC through different portals of activity.66  To learn about the case study approach, I reviewed the approaches of three prominent case study scholars: Sharan Merriam, Robert E. Stake and Robert K. Yin. They describe case studies slightly differently, but they agree on some key features. Case studies are bounded and the boundaries may be defined in many ways, including by the number of people interviewed, the timeframe of the research project, and/or the research issue under review.67 Case studies seek to describe, explain, and interpret the phenomenon under study and are of value in refining theory, “suggesting complexities for further investigation as well as helping to establish limits of generalizability”.68 They are holistic, directing researchers to the inseparability between the phenomenon being investigated and its particular context.69  Finally, case study design varies. Yin emphasizes the importance of pre-work to a case study (the literature review and theoretical concerns) and approaches case studies as an empirical inquiry, influenced by his positivist stance. Stake and Marriam advocate a                                             66 Kathleen Eisenhardt, “Building Theories from Case Study Research”, The Academy of Management Review 14, no. 4, October 1989, p. 540.  67 Yin, Case Study Research, 2009; Sharan B. Merriam, “Case Studies as Qualitative Research”, Chapter 2 in Sharan B. Merriam, Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998, pp. 26-43.  68 Stake, Robert E., “Qualitative Case Studies”, Chapter 17 in Denzin, Norman K. and Lincoln, Yvonna S., The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 2005. p. 460. 69 Ibid. p. 460.  27 more flexible, iterative approach in case study design and execution than Yin. They employ a constructivist approach and rely on qualitative data sources.  My case study experience was iterative and progressive, developing and shifting as I spent time in BRAC, both adapting to the circumstances into which I landed in November 2013 and honing in on the particular social enterprises to investigate. I established the boundaries of the case studies through ongoing interviews, triangulation of information, an analysis of data collected and my own observations. In order to capture the interactivity between BRAC development programs and the social enterprises, the boundaries to my case studies needed to be broad enough to capture the breadth but not too broad to miss the more nuanced information. This was a constant challenge given BRAC’s size and complexity.  I carried out my fieldwork over 3 visits to BRAC between 2013 and 2015. In each visit I was based at BRAC Centre, BRAC’s compound in Dhaka. BRAC Centre contains BRAC’s executive and administrative offices for BRAC’s “development’ programming and those of BRAC International; a residence for visitors; a cafeteria and dining hall; a daycare; and a floor with conference-style meeting rooms. The executive and administrative offices for BRAC’s 16 social enterprises are located in buildings nearby BRAC Centre.  With the moratorium on BRAC field travel during my first visit, I was limited to Greater Dhaka geographically and, for much of the time, to BRAC Centre only. However, given that I was staying in BRAC Centre, I had remarkable opportunities for interviews and access to BRAC’s urban-based programs in Dhaka’s slums. Despite political and social instability (garment worker riots), I managed one day of field visits to a village not far from Savar, just outside of Dhaka city.70 Observing several of BRAC’s core development programs in this setting gave me a brief sense of a rural village in Bangladesh and how BRAC’s programs and services are delivered there.                                              70 Savar is 64 kilometres outside of Dhaka and has a high concentration of garment factories. Rana Plaza, the garment factory complex that collapsed in April 2013, is located in Savar. Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh, located in the division of Dhaka, one of 8 divisions in country of Bangladesh. Savar is located within the division of Dhaka.   28 I left BRAC after this initial visit with many publications, reports, and books in hand, hours of interviews to transcribe, and extensive notes and journal entries. A couple of months later, the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) contacted me asking if I would like to return to participate as a resource person in a field trip with the Doing While Learning project. They also invited me to participate in the Frugal Forum—an annual two-to three-day event in Savar at BRAC’s Centre for Development Management. BRAC SIL invites about 100 Global South practitioners to the Frugal Forum to share learning and approaches around a theme selected by BRAC. In accepting this invitation, I was expanding my role from interviewer/student to that of participant and resource person. This opportunity offered me greater possibility for deeper learning and cross checking of my learning and observations from my first visit.  When I landed in Dhaka in March 2014, not quite four months after my previous visit, I encountered an entirely different Bangladesh. National elections had occurred two months earlier, the most violent in the history of Bangladesh.71 The aftermath was an “exhausted calm” achieved through stepped up police crackdown on opposition and violence thereby temporarily quelling the endless hartals (large-scale strikes) of 2013.  The streets were vibrant with business being transacted in every possible corner. We were free to walk about and able to get to the field. This one-month visit was spent mostly outside of BRAC Centre in both rural and urban field visits. I spent time in the most northern division of Bangladesh, Rangpur, and in Rajshahi Division south of Rangpur, as well as in the division of Dhaka, which encompasses significantly more than the sprawling capital city of Dhaka. (See Chapter 4, Map 2: Bangladesh Reference Map.). It was a rich month that both broadened and deepened my research. To see Bangladesh in this light was to see its remarkable strengths and vitality and its on-going deep-seated struggles.                                              71 Annie Gowen, “Bangladesh’s political unrest threatens economic gains, democracy”, The Washington Post, 22 March 2014 accessed May 01, 2017:   29 I was fortunate to return again to BRAC in 2015 and found yet another Bangladesh. It had been over a year since my second visit and, once again, hartals and violence had marred the start of the year, a reaction to the one-year anniversary of the January 2014 elections that were disputed by the opposition. There was political tension in the air amidst politically and religiously motivated attacks and killings. The country was not paralyzed as it had been on my first visit in 2013, but tentativeness and caution prevailed. I was mainly in and around Greater Dhaka for this visit, focused on deepening my knowledge of Aarong and BRAC Dairy.  1.7 Research methods Initially I intended to cover two to three NPOs in this research, but the early invitation to return to BRAC started to focus my research on BRAC. I recognized the value in following my research interests over a longer period of time rather than on a single snapshot. I determined that I would examine BRAC alone: the breadth and depth of the organization’s initiatives allowed me to explore significantly different examples that shared the same organizational mission and vision.  A case study approach allowed me to conduct an exploratory yet intensive, in-depth examination of selected initiatives within the larger BRAC. Given the size of the organization and the separation of the social enterprises from the core development services, case studies within BRAC could offer insight into the specific contextual environments in which these initiatives operate and how BRAC is adapting to the changing realities of its clients.  1.7.1 Archives, documents, articles, and news media:72 I carried out research in BRAC’s one-room library in which there are historical reports and documents on BRAC dating back to 1972. I read local and international press on Bangladesh, and articles and books on Bangladesh and BRAC. I found the Internet indispensable to my research in three distinct ways. I used it to “find” research articles                                             72 Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, “Building theories from case study research”, The Academy of Management Review 14, no. 4, October 1989, p. 534.   30 through key words; to read various on-line journals and blogs; and to keep up with current events on Bangladesh and on developments in thinking about BRAC, NPOs, social enterprise and resilience.  1.7.2 Observation  I jotted in my journal frequently during the day—comments, word prompts, sounds, smells, observations of people and the place. I was often involved in conversations/meetings in which only Bengali was spoken so I studied faces, people and the surroundings, clients’ reactions to BRAC staff, and to each other. Each evening, I wrote in my journal, re-visiting my notes and expanding them while my memory was fresh.  I noted in my journal in the second week of my first visit: “I am feeling much more landed now. Somehow, Dhaka is becoming normal-ish on the one hand and still shocking on the other. Ishtiaque Hussain (BRAC Social Innovation Lab employee) responded to this comment that this is the best state to be in here because at the next level one does not see the shocking anymore; it all becomes normal.” What was shocking? It emanated from a combination of the constant crush of humanity in such a dense living space; the inability of the infrastructure to support the population—roads, water, electricity each with demands far greater than current capacity; the scale and intensity of the slums; and the remarkable energy, talent, and spirit of the Bangladeshis in the midst of such apparent chaos. Each time I returned to Bangladesh, it felt more familiar, yet there were always surprises.  It was not simply Dhaka and Bangladesh’s surprises that demanded attention, observation, and consideration in my research. I needed to acknowledge and reflect upon my role in this research project as a western, white, educated, non-Muslim woman conducting research in a Bengali organization in a Muslim country. I view my foreign-ness at BRAC as complex and dynamic, rather than simply as a binary of local (Bengali) and foreign (Canadian). This complexity emanates from the diversity of the BRAC staff I interviewed, the ways in which my experiences at BRAC and in Bangladesh affected me, and my prior professional experience working cross-culturally.    31 BRAC’s staff, governance, and program composition reflects the fact that it is a Bangladesh-founded, home grown organization. There are few non-Bangladeshis in BRAC overall and those who are working with BRAC are almost exclusively located in Dhaka working in one of three capacities: as interns assigned to particular programs; as contractors working, again, in a specific capacity; or as researchers investigating a particular topic/issue.  For most Bangladeshis, being Bengali means being a Muslim (90% of the population). Although Bangladesh is considered a conservative Muslim country, patterns of religious observance are not homogeneous. BRAC’s staff mirror the diversity of Bangladesh in encompassing liberal secular ways as well as more conservative practices of Islam. There are also great differences between BRAC’s head office and its myriad regional/local offices distributed throughout Bangladesh (only 2000 of BRAC’s 100,000 staff in Bangladesh work at head office). In the rural areas in which BRAC delivers most of its programming, more conservative ways prevail. Bengali is the national language. Although many citizens speak other languages (regional and/or indigenous languages), English is not widely spoken in Bangladesh. Those proficient in English are largely middle and upper class and learned English through enrolment at private English-medium schools. Bengali is the language at BRAC. There is significant English proficiency amongst staff at head office, specifically amongst senior program managers/executive and young professionals hired into BRAC directly following university. English is viewed, increasingly, as important to advancement within the organization. There are separate BRAC websites, Bengali and English. Programs are delivered in Bengali and very little, if any, English is spoken away from BRAC’s head office.  I entered this diverse and dynamic environment in 2013. I carried out this research project at mid-life, with well-developed interview skills and with experience working cross-culturally. Yet, Bangladesh and BRAC were wholly new to me. Thus, I was dependent on the support of BRAC staff for translation, and, as well, for orientation, mobility, and safety considerations.   32 So, how did my personal “position” shape my interactions with BRAC staff and program clients whom I met in the course of my research? Initially I was an unknown researcher interested in research questions not being pursued in BRAC at that time. Orientation was critical and the early and robust support by staff of the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) was vital to my introduction to BRAC and to securing an initial round of information meetings. It is difficult to summarize how my “position” as researcher shaped interviewee responses. I interviewed such a breadth of BRAC staff—from executive senior management members who were educated in the USA to rural-based BRAC Dairy milk collection supervisors, from young recent Bangladesh university graduates to village-based sewing room supervisors, from a BRAC Dairy Manager, expert in Dairy Science, to a junior agriculturalist working on an open pollination seed program amongst the extreme poor in the Haor regions of Bangladesh. Interviewees were very engaged in the interviews, whether in English and/or Bengali. However, the nature of their engagement varied greatly. I often noted in my journal writing about Bangladeshi deference. Both younger and older interviewees exhibited similar formality, in both languages. Overall, I found greater openness in urban areas and more formality in rural areas. I also found that interviewees who were line/mid-level managers were more formal in their answers and emphasized facts about how their programs operated rather than offering interpretations.  Speaking Bengali would have been helpful in my research. The language barrier that I felt was greater than my foreign-ness at BRAC. Language competence would not have erased my foreign-ness, but it would have closed the distance somewhat. I always felt that I was “missing out” in conversations. BRAC staff were masterful in translating both in real time and in staying on with me after a meeting to fill in missing details and to clarify my understanding. This was invaluable. Yet, there are always some losses in translation, particularly nuances and subtleties. As well having a third party in an interview shifts the dynamics of conversation. I did my best to overcome these limitations. By interviewing many persons more than once over three visits, my knowledge increased; repeat interviews reduced the formality of interviewees inclined in varying degrees to formality and restraint. My return visits were critical, not only to  33 obtaining more accurate factual insights into my research questions, but also in demonstrating to staff my commitment to learning at BRAC. A sense of trust emerged. The dizzying amounts of “factual” information gleaned in my first interviews made increasing sense to me as my familiarity with BRAC increased in subsequent visits. I had a roadmap, so I could focus on changes, tensions and personal opinions more closely. Therefore, I was more able to hear and observe softer insights vital to a qualitative researcher.  Another interesting shift emerged. I became much more proficient in understanding staff who did speak halting English. I found that my struggles to understand Bengali-accented and cadenced English diminished with time. Many interviews were carried out in both languages. I would pose a question in English and the answer would start in English supported with Bengali for further clarification. This way, I was participating in the interview to some extent, rather than relying on the translator, and was able to extend the line of questions in real-time more effectively. As my ears adjusted, I was more fully present in the interviews.  My journals trace the trajectory of my learning, from first-visit researcher to a return researcher seeking deeper information. Where early notes were heavily weighted toward how a program/enterprise operated—with margin notes tracking follow-up questions based on my own confusion—later notes disclose more nuanced observations about how staff felt about their work, BRAC as an organization, and Bangladesh and its challenges. Further my journals captured the arc of my deep learning and observations about Bangladesh, its culture, the central role of the family, the varied practices of Islam, its climate and poverty-related challenges, and its deep-seated power struggles within a political sphere shaped by widespread corruption and the complex impacts of globalized capital.  1.7.3 Interviews and participant observation I conducted semi-structured interviews. I chose this format to permit standardization around a set of questions and room for more nuanced off-script conversations to emerge. I was interested in “factual” information regarding the specific initiative, from  34 historical to current. I was deeply interested in the experience of the interviewee—her role in the specific BRAC initiative—and in the initiative’s contribution to the broader BRAC organization’s mission. I was also interested in the interviewee’s take on the context of BRAC overall and the specific initiative in an emerging Bangladesh.  In an organization as large as BRAC, I relied initially on the support of staff to set up my first round of information meetings and interviews. I began by introducing the research project and myself to each interviewee (personally or through a translator). Specifically, I explained what I was setting out to investigate and how I was going about it. Many of those interviewed suggested more people to meet and my list of referrals expanded from there. I decided early on to interview only BRAC staff and not people associated with other NPOs, civil society, or government. While this is a limitation in some ways, it permitted me full immersion in BRAC for this project and allowed me to excavate the information necessary for this research.  I narrowed further the range of possible interviewees by interviewing BRAC staff and not BRAC clients. My research interests were focussed on how BRAC extends and leverages charitable programming through the scaling of its social enterprise initiatives. I did not set out to evaluate the outcomes or impact of these initiatives, but rather sought to understand the evolution of BRAC’s approach. Further research should investigate client perspectives and create and develop an evaluation framework for assessing outcomes and impacts over time in BRAC’s social enterprises.  I did interact with BRAC clients to some extent in the field. In attending community meetings, visiting sewing centres, dairy farmers, and in-home meetings of clients of BRAC’s Targeting Ultra-Poor Program (TUP), I gleaned insights through real-time translation and observation. Certainly my presence changed the nature of meetings. Imagine four women clients of TUP, the TUP program staff-person, a BRAC staff-person/translator, and me packed into a one-room home, approximately 10’x10’. In these instances, the TUP worker would cover any programmatic work that needed to be done before asking if I had questions. I usually asked three questions in this context: What was the most important part of the program for them, and why? What was their  35 least favourite part, of the program, and why? What would they change if they could? Answers were forthcoming—engagement was high on each of the questions.  One other example is useful here, one that occurred in a village community health meeting of approximately twenty-five women. At the end of the meeting I asked the BRAC staff person/translator if she could ask about the age and situation of a pregnant teen who looked so young to me, so sad, and fearful. The staff person asked and the community health worker looked directly at the staff-person, then at me, before speaking bluntly about the challenges of child marriage and of young girls becoming mothers. I found this directness time and time again with BRAC staff in the field.  I conducted 42 formal interviews; 39 were with people within BRAC, two were with staff at BRAC University, and one was from a local Bangladesh NPO, “Friendship”. Each of the three “outside” interviewees tied directly to my research question through programmatic interactions with BRAC. Of the 39 BRAC interviews, I interviewed 23 individuals two or three times (depending on whether they were on staff at BRAC each of my three visits). BRAC staff were supportive and very helpful, meeting with me during their busy days and on weekends. I am very grateful for their interest and commitment to meeting with me and in their follow-up and recommendations regarding other interviews and reading materials/reports. In their suggestions, overlap began to appear in names to interview, a good signal that I was reaching those I needed to interview.  I also participated in 18 formal information meetings at BRAC and many more informal ones throughout my time in Bangladesh. Although most of these were at the beginning of my first visit, I reached out to people individually on later occasions. I also made myself available when other visitors were in and would piggyback on their meetings and field visits. This permitted me further learning and triangulation of my own data. It also connected me to more people and ideas. Of the 39 interviewees, two participated fully and then asked that the interview be off the record (they stipulated that they were offering their personal opinions and did not want to appear in any way disrespectful to BRAC). Several told me that I could use the content, but not identify them. One interviewee asked that I not record the interview.  36 She was quite guarded in the “formal” interview, but then invited me to stay on for tea. With my notebook closed and tea cups in hand, an insightful and robust conversation ensued. Interviewees commented, almost without exception, when providing critical feedback on some aspect of BRAC that their comments needed to be viewed as part of making BRAC better—so that it could problem solve more effectively. Given this range of interviewee requests, I use codes to make anonymous reference to many interviewees.  By Canadian standards, deference to the executive leadership of BRAC—its founder Abed and the Executive Management Committee (EMC)—is remarkably strong. I was told repeatedly that this reflects broader societal norms (leading people to defer decision-making to those further up the hierarchy) and, as well, is a product of the sheer size of BRAC. This combination of hierarchy and deference facilitated senior leadership’s key decision-making role in BRAC even as the organization grew rapidly. Junior interviewees asked that I share my learning with more senior staff to provide them with the bottom-up feedback that they might not otherwise receive, particularly from a non-BRAC person.  Such deference inspires much of the engagement work of the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) as it seeks to encourage employees at all levels to engage in conversations about innovation; to step forward with ideas and opinions more frequently; and to reflect on “why” they are doing things in a particular way in their tasks (out of habit or because they’re unsure whether it is permissible to raise questions and challenge processes undertaken in their work). SIL engages with employees through various strategies including specific training modules, and both informal and formal gatherings. SIL’s mandate continues to be the encouragement of, and reconnection with, BRAC’s innovative spirit and capacity.  During my research, BRAC’s executive management committee was undergoing the most significant transition in BRAC’s history. Founder Abed was reducing his role and would no longer be engaged in the organization’s day-to-day operations. In June 2015, a Bangladeshi and the then CEO of CARE India, Dr. Muhammad Musa, became  37 BRAC’s new executive director while Abed continued in his role as Chair of BRAC’s board of directors. Most interviewees commented that this time was a seismic moment for Abed and BRAC because, in their assessments, Abed was the heart and soul of BRAC.  As my knowledge of BRAC deepened, my effectiveness as an interviewer increased. Transcribing each interview forced me to think about my understanding of the interviewee and my understanding of BRAC at that time. Themes emerged and when information was repeated in subsequent interviews, I was able to achieve some degree of triangulation. This afforded confirmation or rejection of my assumptions and learning.73  As an interviewer, I became part of conversations, a participant observer. Interviewees asked for my opinions of BRAC after interviews were finished. My practitioner/problem solving skills emerged as I contributed more to conversations. In 2015, I facilitated a session titled “Targeting the ultra-poor” led by Syed M. Hashemi and Runa Khan (both are internationally known Bangladeshi leaders who are focused on alleviating extreme poverty).74 Staff at the Social Innovation Lab interviewed me when I departed so that they could learn from my observations, a standard practice within SIL. I recorded all of these meetings as they offered insights into my growth as a student of BRAC and as a researcher. They also assisted in situating my research within an evolving set of practices at BRAC. My growth as a student and researcher was enriched and deepened as well by the emergent relationships that I built with BRAC staff on my return visits to BRAC. I looked forward to seeing staff again, curious to know what had transpired while I had been away, what they were thinking, how BRAC and Bangladesh had both changed and stayed the same—how we simply picked up where we had left off. I learned that BRAC                                             73 Yin, Case Study Research. pp. 18.  74 Syed M. Hashemi, Chair, Department of Economics and Social Sciences BRAC University and Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director, Friendship, accessed April 10, 2017:   38 is a “real time” kind of organization. As Maria May told me, “you need to be here, we are not an email culture”. So my return visits were critical to advancing my research.  In reflection, my first visit was largely an information-gathering visit, a deep immersion into all things BRAC with an emphasis on learning about two social enterprises. The following two visits permitted me to gain further insights, see gaps, and understand more robustly and analytically the opportunities, constraints, and contradictions I found in BRAC. My deepening knowledge only yielded greater respect for BRAC—both its staff and its work initiatives—even as it revealed tensions.  I found overall a willingness to explore and discuss problems and/or struggles—a “roll your sleeves up” kind of approach in meetings. Yet there were gaps, an absence of data and information within the SEs making it difficult to “see into” the SE, to explore further mission aspects of SEs. I outline some of these concerns in my research and, like BRAC staff told me, I share my concerns in the spirit of “making BRAC better”—to further solution building.  I recorded virtually all interviews. Some of these were difficult to transcribe due to ambient noise—generators either humming or beeping on/off, thunderclaps, rain pouring down, fans whirling, conversations in the background, and real-time translation challenges—voices starting, stopping, and over-lapping. Transcription was slow and challenging—a reminder of some of the day-to-day constraints of the workplace at BRAC and its social enterprises. Occasionally the ambient noise in coffee shops and factories made recording impossible. All of this made my journals even more important for cross-referencing and following up on gaps and/or contradictions in information.  1.7.4 Research process diagram: As noted in my comments above, my research process was iterative right from my first day in Bangladesh and continued to evolve over three field visits to Bangladesh and the time in-between visits to reflect, analyse, do more research and write. I have tried to capture this process in the diagram below.   39  Figure 1.1 Research Diagram This diagram highlights the three functional phases to my research. I could not capture all the combinations and permutations of my research relationships without the diagram being unwieldy, but I have attempted to draw out the critical elements to show how the process evolved over my research period. I did not include writing as a part of my research in the diagram because it was a constant. I wrote from the very start of my degree, in PhD courses, and to complete literature reviews. I continued writing during my research phase and then exclusively in the final analysis phase of my research.  1.8 Criticism of the case study approach and challenges at BRAC Yin outlines some of the weaknesses of case studies. They lack rigor and provide little basis for scientific generalization. They can be too detailed, but he notes that that is a function of the choice of data collection method not the case study approach. Yin points out that, while participant observation can lead to greater insight, it can also give rise to  40 bias “due to the participant observer’s manipulation of the events”.75 Yin states further that case studies are difficult to do, they take time, and that “we have little way of screening for an investigator’s ability to do good case studies”. Last, with the rise in randomized control trials (“or ‘true experiments’), Yin asks whether case studies are useful as “adjuncts to experiments rather than as alternatives to them”.76  Acknowledging these criticisms and observations, I stitched together the information in this research as robustly as I could under the circumstances. These constraints included: three time-bounded visits to an NPO almost halfway around the world from my home; the restrictions on my physical mobility while in Bangladesh; my inability to communicate freely with many interviewees given the language barrier; and the absence of foundational information on the social enterprises and their initiatives.  My role as participant observer, in addition to observer and interviewer, was important to my research. I attended to this position as carefully as I could, acknowledging that my embeddedness in BRAC was increasing with this additional experience. I wrote lengthy journal entries each evening to capture the day’s observations, learning, and questions. My journal writing also offered time for personal reflection on the day and my research journey. Given that I recorded nearly all meetings, I could replay and listen to myself as both interviewer and/or participant observer: Was I leading the conversation, following it, actively engaged in it, or observing it? Yin comments on five commonly required skills in conducting case study research: “ask good questions…be a good listener…be adaptive and flexible…have a firm grasp of the issues being studies…[and] be unbiased by preconceived notions”.77 The last one was the most challenging to me overall as a researcher given my decades of professional work experience. Being in Bangladesh and BRAC—a completely new experience—assisted greatly in sustaining and augmenting my inquiring mind thereby leaving me more open to surprises and contradictions. Overall, my role as participant observer was secondary to that of interviewer and observer in my research.                                               75 Yin, Case Study Research, p. 102. 76 Yin, Case Study Research, p. 15-16.  77 Yin, Case Study Research, p. 69.   41 There was no randomized or quantitative component to my research. I set out to learn and understand the context in which BRAC operates, not to evaluate its effectiveness on the lives of the poor. I sought out the messiness of day-to-day work in order to excavate the initiatives in motion. In the end, time was a major constraint on my investigations. BRAC is so huge and there is much to discover in order to make sense of it and how it works, an opportunity for further research. Challenges can also be viewed as strengths. Each of the above constraints necessitated that I reach out to people for their assistance, thereby maximizing time with a variety of BRAC staff. The dearth of externally written material on specific BRAC SEs, both development outcomes and impacts, meant that I approached them with a greater degree of openness (and naïveté). The SE staff with whom I met wanted to share their stories, hopes, challenges and frustrations. I cast my net broadly and met with staff from several SEs while building a foundational understanding of the larger BRAC NPO. I was constantly learning from these people and enriched by their interest in and perspectives on this research. Thus, while I had 42 formal interviews, l also learned substantively from my daily life at BRAC Centre. Living at BRAC Centre meant that I was constantly “within” BRAC. This offered me much deeper context than I could have achieved otherwise.  I was also interested in BRAC’s SEs commitment to supporting the 3Ps: people, planet and profit.78 I was curious to learn how BRAC reached into communities to engage the most marginalized clients while attending to a triple bottom line in its social enterprises. What I learned as a Canadian (someone from a top ten global carbon emitter doing research in a country ranked as one of the most vulnerable in the world and living with the growing impact of climate changes) challenged my assumptions about social-ecological resilience and how to engage with coupled social and ecological systems in situations of poverty.                                              78 John Elkington, “Enter the Triple Bottom Line”, Chapter 1 in Elkington, John, Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers. 1998.   42 BRAC is relentlessly practical, identifying problems and seeking solutions. Its first and enduring priority is a life of dignity and wellbeing for its clients. BRAC is focussed on two of the three Ps, people and profit. The third “P”, planet, is not consistently included at this time. Staff uniformly stated: “we (either BRAC or more generally Bangladesh’s poor) are not yet ready for the environmental value to be pro-actively considered in initiatives because the poor have such a tiny ecological footprint.79 Moreover, their ecological footprint is informed by their poverty, for example the absence of sanitation and the use of energy sources such as animal dung. BRAC does not ignore environmental considerations but engages with them as they relate to its programming initiatives in the lives of the poor.  BRAC’s staff understands as well as anyone in Bangladesh the precariousness of Bangladesh’s ecological systems—including rising air and water pollution, falling biodiversity, and climate changes that are worsening flood and drought cycles. BRAC attends to the environmental “P” in situations in which environmental concerns are interdependent with BRAC’s core services to the poor and when inclusion of environmental considerations is cost effective and can scale to reach many clients. In BRAC’s social enterprises, attention to environmental concerns follows the same decision-making approach and examples include effluent treatment plants and small-scale biogas plants for larger dairy farmers. It was in carrying out my research that I began to see the reality of the long arc of resilience building and the many bumpy and non-linear pathways to augment it.                                                79 Dr. William Rees, Professor Emeritus, human ecology and ecological economics, and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning, Vancouver, BC, coined the term “ecological footprint”. The ecological footprint is based on the concept of how much area is needed to support a certain number of people. Rees co-authored the book, Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth in 1995.  43 1.9 Organization of dissertation: Chapter 2: Nonprofit organizations, neoliberal globalization, & the rise of social enterprise approaches This chapter offers an overview of the complex challenges for NPOs posed by a globalized economy, and the rise of social enterprises as one pathway to coping with them.  Chapter 3: Literatures—Place & Resilience  This chapter explores the literatures of resilience and place that provide the springboard for this research.  Chapter 4: BRAC and Bangladesh: Overview  Here I introduce Bangladesh and provide an overview of some its key features as well as the country context for my research. I also introduce BRAC, its history and its rise over the past 45 years. I end this chapter with a summary of the case studies that I investigate at BRAC.  Chapter 5: Case study—Aarong This study of Aarong directs attention at its social compliance work that became mandatory in 2012. Aarong’s social compliance activities include a social audit of all artisans, the Artisan Development Initiative—an adaptation of BRAC’s core development services—a health security scheme and enterprise support training for its independent producers. These initiatives have been introduced into Aarong to strengthen its capacity to deliver on BRAC’s values of empowerment and livelihood development, and to meet World Fair Trade Organization standards. These efforts are linking BRAC’s development programs to Aarong in new ways that could have resonance further within BRAC and in the broader micro-small-medium enterprise sector.    44 Chapter 6: Case study—BRAC Dairy & Food Project: Reaching the Ultra-poor In this case study, I investigate how BRAC’s core programming interacts with BRAC Dairy & Food Project (BDFP—BRAC Dairy), and how the multiplicity of interventions into BRAC Dairy’s value chain supports BRAC’s work. BRAC Dairy interacts with women, men, and adolescents in delivering services to support dairy cattle—a truly multi- and intra-scalar social enterprise. Specifically, I look at the linkages between BRAC’s Targeting the Ultra-Poor (TUP) program and BRAC Dairy. The recently ratified United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lists ending extreme poverty by 2030 as its number one goal.80 Thus, the ability to grow and strengthen the success of BRAC’s TUP is critical.  Chapter 7: Not so fast: place, resilience and BRAC In my final chapter I revisit key themes that arose in my findings and reflect on what I learned from my research on BRAC. I close my dissertation with suggestions for future research.                                                 80 United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals accessed February 20, 2017:   45 Chapter 2: Nonprofit Organizations and Social Enterprises in a Neoliberal Globalized World In this chapter, I situate the NPO sector in the neoliberal globalized world in which it struggles to achieve social, economic and environmental inclusiveness. Since the 1970s when neoliberal doctrine began shaping government policies, economic disparities have widened even as poverty has declined in the Global South.81 At the same time, the NPO sector has grown rapidly to meet rising demand for services no longer delivered by the state.  My research focuses on contemporary charitable grant-receiving NPOs and their social enterprise (SE) practices. Most NPOs exist within communities and deliver services to these communities. They are, therefore, deeply tied to place and resilience building. This research investigates one NPO, BRAC, to understand how it is achieving a high level of resilience despite challenging social-economic-environmental and institutional circumstances in Bangladesh.  This chapter is organized into the following sections: (2.1) Neoliberalism, Globalization, and the Rise of NPOs (2.2) Qualities of Nonprofit Organizations and Social Enterprises; (2.3) My Reasons for Examining BRAC, Its SEs and Connecting Them to Place and Resilience.   2.1. Neoliberalism, globalization, and the rise of NPOs  NPOs are not new—they have existed for centuries, particularly in the form of charities and mutual societies. What is new is the rapid rise in the sector over the past forty years, a rise that is deeply connected with both the emergence and expansion of neoliberalism and with neoliberal policies that fuelled globalization.                                              81 The terms Global North and Global South are premised on the use of the “Brandt Line” identified by Willy Brandt in the 1980s. Countries north of this imaginary line (the line did go around Australia and New Zealand) comprise the rich north and those south constitute the poor nations. This term is less useful today as there are a growing number of Global South countries that are no longer poor, for example, Malaysia, Colombia, and Argentina. “The Brandt Report: A Summary”, Share the World’s Resources, last modified January 31, 2006, accessed September 16, 2016:  46 2.1.1 Neoliberalism: Neoliberalism is a set of policy prescriptions directed at increasing “the role of markets in regulating economic life”.82 Reflecting a fundamental belief in market efficiency for wealth creation, neoliberalism is wholly directed at defending economic liberalism in order to unleash economic growth especially in the value of goods and services produced and reflected in national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicators. With its commitment to economic liberalism, Neoliberalism engages with both a “roll back” and “roll out” of the state. It involves a reshaping of how the state uses its power rather than a minimization of the role of the state.  Neoliberalism’s rise was facilitated by the demise of the post-WWII period of economic expansion in which the state had made significant investments for the benefit of both the economy and its citizens: infrastructure, health, education, and social services. It also had facilitated the expansion of the private sector. Often referred to as the Fordist consensus, this period was characterized by robust economic growth in industrialized countries; belief in the power of science, technology, and planning; and the rise of a strong middle class accompanied by a rise in consumerism and a decline in wealth inequality. However, these stabilizing forces in the industrial North began to unravel in the 1960s with the rise of national disenchantment and activism, including social, environmental, and labour concerns.83 In the Global South the post WWII period was more tumultuous. It was marked by change and turmoil that included the transition in many countries from colonial domination to independence; the rise in the transfer of aid from the industrialized North to the Global South along with the policy conditions attached to it; and the expansion of extractive industry and manufacturing interests in the Global South to serve growing                                             82 Peter A. Hall, and Michèle Lamont (eds.), Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013, p.37. 83 See Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique, Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed Dangers of the American Automobile.   47 markets in the North as well as emergent domestic markets.84 (See Appendix B: Global South development trajectories and neoliberal globalization.) The early 1970s were plagued by intense international challenges that contributed to the economic challenges in the Global North. Six key challenges are noteworthy: rising competition from the dismantling of the Bretton Woods monetary management system; the re-emergence of Germany and Japan as industrial powerhouses; the emergence of newly industrializing countries; the birth of stagflation—high unemployment and inflation concurrently; oil shocks from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); and multiple stock market crashes during a sustained bear market.85 The recession that followed was steep and volatile for many in the Global North market-based economies, pitting capital against labour. During this period of economic hardship, neoliberal thinking gained ground.  The 20th century Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek is credited with the emergence of neoliberal economics, although many equate Milton Friedman with its rise in North America.86 Von Hayek’s thinking influenced Friedman and a group of scholars at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. They founded the Chicago School of Economics at the University of Chicago—dubbed the “Chicago School”. The first substantially neoliberal state emerged in the 1970s in Chile under the leadership of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). Pinochet’s economic advisors were known as the “Chicago Boys”—a group of Chilean economists, most of whom had studied under Friedman at the Chicago School. Neoliberalism took hold in the late 1970s and can be recognized in the policies of Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990 and Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America from                                             84 See M.P. Cowen and R. W. Shenton, Doctrines of Development. London: Routledge. 1996. 85 The Bretton Woods monetary system was established in 1944 to provide stability in monetary management between the United States, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan. See Hall, P.A. and Lamont, M., Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013. A bear market is one in which prices fall over a sustained period of time. See Davies, Rob, “What is a bear market?, The Guardian, London, UK, January 20, 2016. Retrieved from:   86 von Hayek won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974 and Friedman in 1976.  48 1981-1989. Neoliberalism’s opportunistic expansion has been so extensive over more than four decades that today it is ubiquitous.87 In his extensive work on neoliberalism, University of British Columbia (UBC) geographer Jamie Peck indicates that neoliberalism coheres around several core characteristics. Neoliberalism’s paradigm promotes unfettered markets and competition as the most efficient pathways to drive economic growth. Policies and practices include deregulation of financial markets; the reduction of trade barriers; decreases in taxes; privatization of state assets and services; intensification of commodification; and active rollback of the state.88 Undergirding its political-economic policies, neoliberalism is founded on a very powerful narrative of individualism, competitiveness, and economic self-sufficiency enshrined in the individual pursuit of profit maximization.  Neoliberal policies are directed at de-linking the state from the social fabric of civil society by assuming that wealth creation generated from a robust private sector will also offer redistributive functions to the broader society as “trickle down” effects. Yet this has not happened.89 Income inequality has only grown under neoliberalism, placing the “burdens of restructuring…onto marginalized communities with remarkable efficiency”.90  It is here that neoliberal processes intersect directly with my research. All aspects of society—social, economic, and environmental—have been penetrated by neoliberalism and its subsequent expansion as neoliberal globalization.91 As a dynamic and uneven                                             87 Jamie Peck and Adam Tickell, “Neoliberalizing Space”, Antipode 34, no. 3, 2012, pp. 380-404; Springer, Simon, “Neoliberalism and Geography: Expansions, Variegations, Formations”, Geography Compass 4, no. 8, 2010, p. 1028.  88 Peck and Tickell, “Neoliberalizing Space”, pp. 380-404. 89 See failure of trickle down effects in: E. Nabla-Norris, et al., “Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective”, International Monetary Fund, June 2015 accessed September 15, 2016:  See also” Alex Andreou, “Trickle-down economics is the greatest broken promise of our lifetime”, The Guardian, January 20, 2014 accessed September15, 2016: 90 Jamie Peck, Nik Theodore, and Neil Brenner, “Neoliberalism Resurgent? Market Rule after the Great Recession”, The South Atlantic Quarterly 111, no 2, Spring 2012, pp. 265-288. 91 There are many antecedents to this contemporary period of policies and practices of neoliberal globalization. In Bangladesh and Canada, colonialism and dependence—experienced through an extractive resource based economy—were defining experiences for both countries. For Bangladesh, over  49 process itself, neoliberalism intersects with dynamic processes of place and resilience, and with the work of NPOs.92 I draw attention to two inter-related aspects of neoliberalism’s impact that directly affect NPOs and the lives of the marginalized; the rollback of the state and roll out of new policy approaches including changing funding relationships with the NPO sector and neoliberalism’s globalization into the Global South.  1. Rollback, roll out, and NPO funding:  The rollback of the state is central to neoliberal approaches. Neoliberal policies are characterized by cost effective and politically expedient means to further the state’s commitment to, and influence on, reducing its size and role while promoting economic growth and individual wealth creation. Equally important to the rollback of the state is the rollout of policies and practices characterized by public-private partnerships, including both private for-profit interests and the broader civil society/ NPO sector.93 The rise in “contract culture” in the public sector’s devolution of services to NPOs is part of the minimization of the state in service delivery. This has led to increased “intrusion into [the NPOs’] general management and goal-setting processes”.94 As well, it has led to reduced government funding overall.95 Changing government-NPO funding relationships are “fostering asymmetrical state-charitable sector interdependence”.96                                                                                                                                              forty years of aid distributed through development practices of the Global North into the Global South has supported and influenced its emergence as a young independent state.  Legacies from these histories inform the underlying social-cultural-economic and environmental policies and practices in both countries today. For more reading on Bangladesh: See Lewis, D., Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2013. 92 Jamie Peck, “Explaining (with) Neoliberalism”, Territory, Politics, Governance 1, no. 2, 2013, pp. 132-157. 93 Peck and Tickell, “Neoliberalizing Space”, 2002. 94 “The Co-optation of Charities by Threatened Welfare States”, Queen’s Law Journal 40, no. 2, 2015, p. 594. 95 See Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Social Expenditure Database (SOCX) for data on decline in Canadian government social expenditures overall. “Social Expenditure Database (SOCX)” accessed October 25, 2016: 96 Mary-Beth Raddon, “Neoliberal Legacies: Planned Giving and the New Philanthropy”, Studies in Political Economy 81, Spring 2008, p. 41. Raddon also notes a knock-on effect from this asymmetrical relationship—that of the changing nature of employment in the NPO sector. It is increasingly meted out  50 Charities law scholar Kathryn Chan argues that this notion of “co-optation” is “antithetical to the spirit of ‘voluntariness’ that typically characterizes charitable activity and that has historically been understood to be its greatest strength”.97  Jennifer Wolch captures this rollout in her book, The Shadow State (1990). Here she comments “state funding for many voluntary organizations has been accompanied by deepening penetration by the state into voluntary group organization, management and goals… [She argues] the transformation of the voluntary sector into a shadow state apparatus could ultimately shackle its potential to create progressive social change”.98  The import of Wolch’s comments was glaringly evident in Canada under the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2006-2015). Under Harper’s leadership, the charitable sector, specifically environmental groups, were put under a microscope and vilified as being anti-Canadian. They were accused of “laundering funds from offshore donors to obstruct Canada’s environment assessment process” (as stated by then Federal Minister of the Environment, The Honourable Peter Kent); and thereby understood to be operating outside of the charitable laws of Canada.99 News headlines indicate the extremely toxic atmosphere of this period: “Stephen Harper government turns environmentalists into public enemies”, “CRA audits charitable status of Tides Canada amid Tory attack “, and “Silence of the charities”.100                                                                                                                                              on a contract basis reflecting the insecure nature of the funding. This instability in employment is passed along to the households supported by employment in the NPO sector. 97 Kathryn Chan, “The Co-optation of Charities by Threatened Welfare States”, Queens Law Journal 40, no. 2, 2015, p. 568. 98 Jennifer Wolch, The Shadow State: Government and the Voluntary Sector in Transition, New York: The Foundation Center, 1990, p.15. See also Gordon W. Roe, “Fixed in Place: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Community of Clients”, BC Studies 164, Winter 2009/10. 99 “Environmental charities ‘laundering’ foreign funds, Kent says”, CBC News, 01 May 2012 accessed 15 September 2016: 100 Linda McQuaig, The Toronto Star, 04 June 2012 accessed September 15, 2016: Elizabeth Rennet, The Globe and Mail, April 20, 2015 accessed September 15, 2016: Sean McCarthy, The Globe and Mail, May 07, 2012 accessed 15 September 2016:  51 These attacks on specific charitable activities supported the Harper government’s commitment to untrammelled economic growth in Canada’s extractive economy.  Canadian charities cannot direct more than 10% of their annual resources toward advocacy activities. These activities exclude partisan activities per se but do encompass the promotion of public policy changes or advocating that the government make certain decisions regarding a specific issue. However, under the Harper government, those charities opposing pro-extractive resource development government directions feared that funding would disappear or worse that they would end up on the lengthening federal charities audit list. For those charities caught in the crosshairs, it was a “witch hunt” for which they paid the bill.101 The process put a widespread “chill” on the charitable sector, including the donor community with its concerns that grant recipients were, or might be, implicated in this maelstrom.102 A lid was slammed on counter-narratives, dialogue, and the possibility of progressive change.103  A Liberal majority government was elected in Canada in October 2015. The new government has pledged to take steps to erase the chill around charities in Canada and to re-visit the rules governing the charitable and nonprofit sectors such that these organizations can be more effective in their work. Although this is a positive step, state-NPO relationships continue to be deeply entangled through the contracting out of services to the NPO sector. How much can NPOs press for progressive change when they are tied to competitive government funding for their operations?                                                101 “CRA continues Harper’s “tax audit harassment” of charities, despite Liberal pledge to stop it”, Press Progress, March 17, 2016 accessed September 15, 2016: 102 David Lasby, “How Has the Advocacy Chill Affected Charities?”, Imagine Canada blog, October 04, 2016 accessed June 04, 2017:  103 See “Voices-Voix” for its “Hit List” “of individuals, organizations and public service institutions that have been muzzled, defunded, shut down, or subjected to vilification” accessed May 31, 2017:  52 2. Neoliberalism’s expansion into the Global South: The globalization of neoliberalism augmented an already well-established interdependence between the North and South. Today that includes highly integrated supply chains, consumer markets, instantaneous communication and financial capital transactions, and international trade moving all matter of goods and people north and south.104 This interdependence will only continue to grow as more Global South countries become middle-income countries demanding access to more goods and services as they simultaneously create more value-added exports themselves.  Capital provided by Northern institutions became a conduit for the enactment of neoliberal policies in the Global South. Both the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were strong supporters of neoliberal policy frameworks and Mexico’s 1982 debt crisis was their initial platform. To prevent default on developing country loans, the WB and IMF stepped in to re-finance them. In return, however, they required that debtor countries follow Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP)—a series of neoliberal policies devised to bring their spending and capital flight under control.  Broad criticisms of SAPs focussed on the severity of the cuts and changes required for borrower countries, countries already struggling to deliver basic services (education, health, and infrastructure).105 Under this austerity, the marginalized were simply left further and further behind and wealth was concentrated in fewer hands. Ultimately, a consensus emerged that little growth was achieved in borrower countries under SAPs.106 In 1999 the IMF replaced SAPs with the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program (PRGF) for low-income borrower countries.107 With this shift the WB and IMF conceded                                             104 Jan Aart Scholte, “The Sources of Neoliberal Globalization”, Overarching Concerns Programme Paper Number 8, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Geneva. October 2005.  105 See David Harvey, The New Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2005, pp. 157-161 for a discussion of the privatization of public goods and negative effect on the poor. 106 Kalim Siddiqui, “Developing Countries’ Experience with Neoliberalism and Globalization”, Research in Applied Economics 4, no. 4, 2012.  107 “The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)—Operational Issues”, The International Monetary Fund (IMF), December 13, 1999 accessed November 30, 2016:  53 that poverty was increasing under SAPs and that economic stabilization was unlikely to be successful. The PRGF program is directed at poverty reduction while maintaining macroeconomic stability in borrower countries.108 In 2009, the IMF announced that a review of the PRGF pointed to the need for further support of low-income borrower countries and additional facilities have been added to continue to manage for macroeconomic stability while supporting poverty reduction. Subsequently, research papers have revealed the failure of trickle-down economics and the limitations of development in a paradigm led by maximization of economic growth.109 In a 2016 paper by IMF staff, “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” the authors outline that rising inequality under neoliberalism underscores the trade-offs between growth and equity within a neoliberal agenda.110 The authors state “The evidence of the economic damage from inequality suggest that policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are”.111 Neoliberal globalization also expanded into the Global South via multinational corporations and the expansion and deepening of their supply chain management—raw materials, industrial goods, and consumer retail products. Developing country markets have benefitted from the rise in employment opportunities, investment capital, and emergent multipliers.112 As a result, the overall rates of poverty have fallen over the past                                                                                                                                    ,. See also: IMF and International Development Association, “Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiatives—Strengthening the Link between Debt Relief and Poverty Reduction”, Washington, DC, August 26, 1999. 108 See IMF factsheet: “The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), July 31, 2009 accessed October 10, 2016:,. 109 Oxfam, “An Economy for the 99%”, Oxfam Briefing Paper, January 2017 accessed 12 June 2017: 110 Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri, “Neoliberalism: Oversold?” Finance & Development, June 2016, p. 39. 111 Ibid., p. 41. 112 Multipliers: “A measure of the total economic impact of an investment decision, policy change or external shock. This includes not just the initial, immediate impact, but also the indirect or ‘knock-on’ consequences” (Derek Gregory. et. al., The Dictionary of Human Geography, 5th Edition. Chichester, UK: Blackwell Publishing. 2009. p. 484.).  54 thirty years and an increasing number of developing countries are moving up the income ladder.113  While the World Bank rightly celebrates the decline in poverty rates overall, it points out that these gains are occurring unevenly both among and within countries of the Global South. Rising income disparity is particularly problematic. Further there are too many instances in which global capitalism’s insistence on the lowest-cost production to achieve greatest shareholder return results in the abrogation of citizen rights and the disregard of domestic regulations in Global South producer countries.  Obsession with economic growth, and the belief in (“supposed”) trickle-down effects of neoliberalism and globalization can obscure considerations of robust development.114 Economic growth may be a critical part of development, but development is a broader and more inclusive term—both a quantitative and a qualitative term. Amartya Sen in his seminal book Development as Freedom (1999) articulates development as a set of capabilities, what people are able to do rather than simply what they can buy with their income. He acknowledges that income, commodities, and capabilities have a mutually reinforcing relationship, but discounts the claim that the ability to purchase goods is an end in itself. Rather he focuses on development as consisting of “the removal of various types of unfreedoms that leave people with little choice and little opportunity of exercising their reasoned agency”.115                                              113 The World Bank estimates that “rising wages account for 30 to 50% of the drop in poverty over the last decade…[and] 600 million new jobs are needed globally over the next decade to keep employment rates stable and to keep up with population growth”. The World Bank,, December 02, 2016, accessed January 10, 2017; and “WB Update Says 10 Countries Move Up in Income Bracket”, The World Bank, July 01, 2015 accesses October 01, 2015:,  114 Trickle down effects have been criticized robustly. See E. Dabla-Norris, et al., “Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective”, International Monetary Fund, June 2015.  Trickle-down economics is “the idea that tax cuts and other financial incentives for companies and individuals in the upper tiers of society fuel growth that indirectly benefits everyone” (Christopher Jencks et al., “Trickle-down Economics Revisited”, IMPACT, Research from Harvard Kennedy School, 2, Issue 1, Autumn 2009. 115 Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, p. xii.   55 Sen does not negate the mechanics of globalization. Rather, he states that the problem lies with globalization’s narrowness, leaving it “a very inadequate approach to world prosperity’.116 In his view, there is a need for national and international institutional reform—social, economic, and political—to create the enabling conditions for fair distribution of globalization’s benefits. It also demands interventions within all sectors—public, for-profit private, and non-profit. Geographers J.K. Gibson-Graham, the pen-name (since 1992) shared by Katherine Gibson and the late Julie Graham (2010), also call for a re-imagining and broadening of our conception of economy from one that is “capitalocentric” to one that is diverse, decentralized and ethical.117 In their diverse economies approach, they stress the importance of the “different kinds of transactions and multiple ways in which exchange is negotiated—not only formal market transactions, but alternative markets where considerations other than supply and demand influence the terms of exchange, and non-market exchanges and transactions”.118 Gibson-Graham’s research into diverse economic activities embraces themes that are deeply subjective and touch on meaning-making in lives of individuals and in their communities. As well, with their attention to ethical and environmentally just activities, they are interested in economies “as a way of belonging differently in the world”.119 Gibson-Graham’s community-based action research builds upon community strengths and assets in “specifying the wide range of activities that constitute economies in place”.120 They are most concerned with the local scale, how decentralized economies each represent their own sets of unique opportunities and constraints.                                              116 Amartya Sen, “How to judge globalism: global links have spread knowledge and raised average living standards. But the present version of globalism needlessly harms the world’s poorest”, The American Prospect 13, Issue 1, January 2, 2002, no pagination.  117 J.K. Gibson-Graham, “Rethinking the economy with thick description and weak theory”, Current Anthropology, Volume 55, Number S9, August 2014, pp S147-S153,  118 J.K. Gibson-Graham and G. Roelvink, “The nitty-gritty of creating alternative economies.”, Social Alternatives 30, no., 1m 2011, p. 30.  119 J.K. Gibson-Graham, “A feminist project of belonging for the Anthropocene”, Gender, Place & Culture, Volume 18, Number 1, 2011, p. 3.  120 J.K. Gibson-Graham, “The Nitty Gritty…”, p. 31.  56 In my research, I am interested in the work of NPOs that support individuals and communities that are too poor, too uneducated, and too isolated, and thereby unable to exercise their basic rights and freedoms. As well the local scale may not be able to support economic alternatives at scale such that local citizens can create robust and reliable economic futures. My research concerns relate more closely to that of Sen’s demand for the removal of unfreedoms. This is related, and yet different work, to that of Gibson-Graham, necessitating interventions on behalf of the poor such that they can become empowered and demand their rights and create futures of dignity.   Calls for inclusion and dignity within economic growth paradigms continue to escalate. In 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included under goal #1 “no poverty”, and goal #8 “sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all”.121  These bold goals necessitate myriad responses in order to be achieved by 2030. The rapid rise of the NPO sector alongside that of neoliberalism is both a response to the rise of exclusions under neoliberal policies and the desire of citizens to build solutions toward inclusion. NPO sector growth is also a reflection of the increase in contracting of service provision to NPOs by aid and philanthropic funders and the state as part of the rise of neoliberal practices.  2.2 Nonprofit organizations and social enterprises In recent decades NPOs have become prominent globally, in both numbers and through the breadth and scale of their initiatives. Most NPOs have come into being over the past forty years and represent the fastest-growing type of organization in the world today. 122 The World Economic Forum reports that, between 1990 and 2012 the number of international non-governmental organizations increased more than ten fold from 6000 to                                             121 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals accessed June 12, 2017:,. 122 Peter Hall cited that most NPOs have come into being over the past 30 years, as of 2004. Peter Dobkin Hall, “Historical Perspectives on Nonprofit Organizations in the United States”, in, The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Second Edition (edited by Robert Herman) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 2004. p. 3.   57 over 65 000.123 The number of journals, books, academic programs, think tanks, and conference gatherings addressing scholarship, policies, and operational practices in the NPO sector has also grown rapidly. 124 In Canada the charitable sector generates 8% of GDP and employs 13% of the workforce.125 In Bangladesh it generates 6-8% of the GDP and employs 14% of the national labour force’s professional and technical groups.126 Because sole proprietorships and household enterprises employ over 86% of the population of Bangladesh, the charitable sector makes up only 1.3% of the country’s total labour force.127   Founded in 1972 in Bangladesh one year after the country gained independence, BRAC has operated in a rapidly changing country—Bangladesh was the second poorest nation on Earth in 1971 and, in 2016, became a lower-middle income country. BRAC’s development has tracked with the rise of neoliberalism and its globalization, and the global expansion of the NPO sector. On an operational level, BRAC operates both                                             123 World Scenario Series, “The Future Role of Civil Society”, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, January 2013, p. 6. 124 Journals include: The Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Social Enterprise Journal, and Journal of Social Entrepreneurship.  Academic programs, mostly housed in MBA programs, include University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business; Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Management; McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management and its Social Economy Initiative; University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management; University of Waterloo’s Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience; Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship; Harvard University’s Social Enterprise Initiative; Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation; Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. Authors include David Bornstein, Jed Emerson, John Gaventa, Pamela Hartigan, Anthony Bugg-Levine, Roger Martin, Sally Osberg, and Jack Quarter.   Conferences and resources: MaRS Centre for Impact investing, Toronto, Canada:; Social Enterprise Council of Canada:; Social Capital Markets annual conference, San Francisco, CA, USA:; Skoll World Forum, Oxford, UK: 125 Brian Emmett and Geoffrey Emmett, “Charities in Canada as an Economic Sector”, Discussion Paper, Imagine Canada, Toronto, ON, June 2015, p. 10. The total charities sector includes hospitals, universities and museums. The core charitable sector excludes them. The core charitable sector employs just over 8% of Canada’s labour force and contributes over 3% to GDP. 126 Leon E. Irish and Karla W. Simon, “Legal and Regulatory Environment for NGOs in Bangladesh”, International Center for Civil Society Law, Final Report, April 17, 2005, p. 6.  127 Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, “Report on Labour Force Survey 2010”, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Statistics Division, Ministry of Planning, Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 2011, p. 51.  58 charitably funded programs and industry competitive social enterprises all within the grant-receiving NPO. Its enterprise initiatives pre-date the burgeoning of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship in the Global North and reflect Abed’s early commitment to building livelihood solutions for the poor. These market-based initiatives continue to have a profound effect on the lives of the poor in Bangladesh.128  2.2.1 What is a NPO? Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are comprised of “associations, clubs and or societies that are not charities, and that are organized and operated exclusively for social welfare, civic improvement, recreation, or any other purpose except profit”.129 According to Dr. Lester Salamon, NPOs coalesce around several shared characteristics.130 They are organizations that: • are separate from the state, legally and in practice; • are not barred from making a profit, but they may not distribute it to organizational directors or managers, or any person associated with the organization;  • are self-governing, with control exercised by the membership (if membership based) and/or through a board of directors;  • can pay reasonable salaries and compensation to employees and contractors;                                              128 See The Lancet, a special series of articles on Bangladesh, November 22, 2013.  129 Canada Revenue Agency, “What is the difference between a registered charity and a non-profit organization?” accessed August 10, 2017,. 130 Dr. Lester M. Salamon is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University and Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. His study involved NPOs from 22 countries, from both the developed and developing countries. Source: Lester M. Salamon et al., Global Civil Society: Dimensions of the Nonprofit Sector.  59 • have some form of transactional relationship with beneficiaries. Beneficiaries can be “consumers” of the NPOs’ goods and services and/or “producers” for the NPO.131 Each country has specific regulations governing corporate entities including nonprofits and charities. In Canada, NPOs are characterized as above, but profit can be earned “only by mistake”, even if the profit is to be used to fund the activities of the NPO.132 Profit-making intention includes charging a “mark-up” on contracts held by the NPO. This hinders the NPO’s ability to build financial reserves normally sought in prudent enterprise practices and makes cross-subsidy of weaker—and possibly more mission aligned—programs difficult.  Many countries, including Canada, distinguish between non-profit organizations and registered charities—the latter a sub-set within the NPO sector recognized for its public benefit approach. In Canada, charities are federally regulated and only granted charitable status for certain types of activity.133 Canada’s charitable rules and approach are based on 16th-19th century British understanding and case law outlining characteristics of a charitable organization.134 Four fields of interest define the purpose of a charitable organization: relief of poverty, advancement of education, advancement of religion, and other “purposes beneficial to the community as a whole in a way which the law regards as charitable”.135 Charities can issue tax receipts to donors thereby facilitating their fundraising efforts from individuals, foundations, and corporate entities. Charities are permitted only a cost-                                            131 Elder, O., “The role of social enterprise and hybrid organizations”, Columbia Business Law Review, 1, 2017, pp. 92-194. 132 Stacey Corriveau, “The fine print: Vital information for Canadian charities operating social enterprises”, BC Centre for Social Enterprise, Abbotsford, BC, January 2010, p. 3. 133 See Fact Sheet by Charity Central, 2010, “Registered Charity vs. Non-Profit Organization” accessed 15 October 2015: The federal government regulates charities in Canada, requiring them to submit an annual information form (T3010) within 6 months of the organization’s fiscal year-end, including financial statements.  134 Rod Watson, “Charity and the Canadian Income Tax: An Erratic History”, The Philanthropist 5, Issue 1, January 01, 1985 accessed June 01, 2017: 135 Ibid., p. 4.  60 recovery approach to their operations (similar to all NPOs). Profit generation risks loss of a charity’s tax-exempt status.136 Charities can own subsidiary for-profit corporations and operate at “arms length” from them. Examples include a charity that has a for-profit subsidiary selling goods and/or services, earning net profits, up to 75% of which may be donated to the charity tax-free. However, this arrangement can prove awkward and expensive for the charity to oversee as it involves both management and governance roles. It also does not guarantee an income stream to the charity since that is dependent on the subsidiary’s financial success translating into a donation to the charity, or not.  In Bangladesh, NPOs are also governed by non-distribution rules, but are permitted to blend charitable and social enterprise approaches within the NPO in pursuit of charitable mission. The Bangladesh government does not limit revenue-producing initiatives within charitable grant-receiving NPOs serving public benefit. Bangladesh has a long history of revenue-producing NPOs, given the birth, growth, and importance of the modern microfinance movement in Bangladesh within a charitable grant-receiving NPO framework. The government continues to direct much of its attention to the source of foreign funds being used in development efforts and general oversight of the NPO sector rather than curtailing enterprise initiatives within a charitable NPO.  BRAC is a charitable grant-receiving NPO and has permission to receive foreign funds. This requires application and registration with the government. The Non-Governmental Organizations Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) was established in 1990 and is charged with providing one-stop services and regulatory oversight to NGOs operating in the country, both those funded locally and those receiving foreign funds.137 NGOs receiving foreign                                             136 Blumberg, Mark, “The Non-Profit Organization Risk Identification Project (NPORIP) Report – finally released”, Canadian Charity Law, Toronto, ON, August 11, 2016.  137 In my research, I used the umbrella term, nonprofit organization—NPO. Nongovernmental organizations—NGOs—are one type of NPO, as are charities.   61 funds must apply and register with the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Ordinance”.138 Since 1971, the number of local and foreign NPOs working in Bangladesh has grown rapidly.139 BRAC University economics professor, Sajjad Zohir, outlines three waves in the development of the NPO sector in Bangladesh. The first was characterized by relief operations in the immediate aftermath of Independence; the second, by the growth of microcredit and the networks established through this process; and a third by more specific attention to commercial motives.140 The contributions of NPOs to Bangladesh’s remarkable trajectory of social-economic development have been well documented (See Chapter 3). In fact, Bangladesh may be “the world’s leader in using NGOs as vehicles of social development” and is one of the most studied in the world. 141  2.2.2 NPO sector funding changed:  Under neoliberal approaches, governments have increased the out-sourcing of once-public services. NPOs have stepped into the breach, albeit often on a short-term, contractual basis, which brings close scrutiny of program metrics and subjection to cost-benefit analyses.142 This shift challenges NPOs in two principal ways. Short-term contracts are often ill-fitted to the kinds of work NPOs undertake, much of which                                             138 Originally established in 1978, this Act was replaced in October 2016 when the Parliament of Bangladesh adopted the Foreign Donation (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Bill 2016. Rights-based groups have criticized the passage of this bill due to its curtailment of freedom of expression by NPOs. (see “Bangladesh: Parliament adopts NGO Law aimed at eradicating any critical voice”, Worldwide Movement for Human Rights, October 06, 2016:, accessed June 06, 2017; “Bangladesh: New Law Will Choke Civil Society”, Human Rights Watch, New York, NY, October 19, 2016:, accessed 06 June 2017; and Staff Correspondent, “NGOs can’t have right of freedom of expression”, The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh, October 20, 2016 accessed June 06, 2017: 139 John K. Davis, “NGOs and Development in Bangladesh: Whose sustainability counts?”, in Global Poverty: Sustainable Solutions, Proceedings of the Anti-Poverty Academic Conference with International Participation, Institute for Sustainability and Technology, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia, 2006.  140 Sagged Zohar, “NGO Sector in Bangladesh: An Overview”, Economic and Political Weekly 39, no. 36, 04-10 September 2004, pp. 4109-4113. 141 Wahiduddin Mahmud, M. Niaz Asadullah and Antonio Savoia, “Bangladesh’s Achievements in Social Development Indicators”, Policy Brief 31012, IGC (International Growth Centre), April 2013, pp. 5-7 142 Outsourcing of government services is also extended to the corporate/for-profit sector.   62 involves fostering behaviour change over time. Second, it is difficult to retain talented staff when contracts come and go: personnel changes add to costs and can over-load core staff in underfunded organizations.  By adopting business oriented and/or market-oriented approaches to funding, governments and multilateral agencies have changed their relationship with NPOs to the extent that many NPOs no longer consider themselves wholly separate from the state. The steep rise in interdependence of NPOs and the state has prompted much debate about whether NPOs can provoke the changes that they seek in the world within a neoliberal, interdependent state-NPO structured relationship. NPOs were rarely established to back-fill gaps in societal services or to substitute for public sector service delivery. Under current circumstances (sometimes referred to as the “non-profit Industrial Complex”, the “shadow state,” and the “cooption of charities”) the ability to maintain funding supersedes the commitment to change.143  Private philanthropy has also changed since the late 1990s. The emergence of ‘new economy’ wealth in the USA, led by computer technology entrepreneurs (followed by the finance sector) put staggering wealth in the hands of a few people and unleashed a new generation of philanthropists.144  Dubbed “philanthrocapitalism” by The Economist in 2006, this approach to philanthropy draws on modern business practices, close attention to measuring and maximizing                                             143 Nina Farina, “Sitting Silently at Home: A Critique of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex”, UCLA Women’s Law Journal 17, Number 2, 2008, p. 279; Jennifer R. Wolch, The Shadow State: Government and Voluntary Sector In Transition, np.; Kathryn Chan, “The Co-option of Charities by Threatened Welfare States”, Queen’s Law Journal, pp. 561-608; Jennifer Ceema Samimi, “Funding America’s Nonprofits: The Nonprofit Industrial Complex’s Hold on Social Justice”, Columbia Social Work Review 1, no 1, 2010, pp. 17-25.’ 144 The ‘new economy’ “describes aspects or sectors of an economy that are producing or intensely using innovative or new technologies. This relatively new concept applies particularly to industries where people depend more and more on computers, telecommunications, and the Internet to produce, sell and distribute goods and services (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, 26 August 2004 accessed October 01, 2016: Sean Parker (co-founder of Napster, and founding president of Facebook) states that “a new global elite, led by pioneers in telecommunications, personal computing, Internet services and mobile devices, has claimed an aggregate net worth of almost US$800 billion of the $7 trillion in assets held by the wealthiest 1000 people in the world” (Parker, Sean, “Sean Parker: Philanthropy for Hackers, The Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2015).  63 impact, and an entrepreneurial spirit to get more for its money. 145 Philanthrocapitalism has strong antecedents in the late 19th century in which business (and science-based) approaches were employed by some philanthropists, including Americans John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Two qualities set this “new” philanthropy apart. First, the scale of new wealth eclipses earlier wealth generation in both amount and concentration. Second, philanthrocapitalist approaches link rising financial profitability with growing social good. This is underpinned by a growing array of financial tools beyond those of traditional charitable grant-based philanthropy and exemplified by “for profit” investing, called “venture philanthropy”.146  Venture philanthropy leverages and coalesces with already-established impact investing and newer mission-based corporate organizational forms in the NPO-philanthropic sector.147 Venture philanthropy, exemplified by Pierre Omidyar (eBay) and the Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative (Facebook) utilizes investment tools and structures to achieve mission-aligned goals for public benefit.148 Omidyar refers to his network as a “philanthropic investment firm, [supporting] market-based approaches with the potential for large-scale, catalytic impact…[O]ur investing style transcends typical boundaries that separate for-profit investing and traditional philanthropy. Because we believe that each sector has a role, we make investments in for-profit companies as well as grant to non-profit organizations”.149 One of the reasons for this is the binary nature of the tax code—                                            145 The term ‘philanthrocapitalism’ was coined by Matthew Bishop, New York bureau chief for The Economist and former UK Department for International Development (DFID) manager, Michael Green, in their book: philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World. New York: Bloomsbury Press. 2008. 146 Linsey McGoey, “Philanthrocapitalism and Its critics”, Poetics 40, 2012, p. 193.  147 For an introduction to impact investing see the Global Impact Investing Network, “dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing”: “What You Need to Know About Impact Investing” accessed June 10, 2017: As well, see the work of Jed Emerson, founder of the blended value concept, 2000 accessed 11 June 2017:,.  For a summary of program related investments: Brest, P., “Supplement: Investing for Impact with Program-Related Investments”, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2016, Stanford Social Innovation Review website accessed July 10, 2017:  148 See Philanthropic Foundations Canada for their Glossary of Terms commonly used by foundations accessed October 10, 2016: 149 “Investment Approach” Omidyar Network accessed October 02, 2016:   64 “an activity is either charitable or it is not, taxable or tax-exempt…Right now, if you want to do some innovative social enterprise or advocacy work, you face limitations within traditional notions of philanthropy”.150  Employment of charitable and investment approaches in the charitable sector can provide increased opportunities for social purpose funding as it raises criticism regarding the extent to which “investment” approaches can be deployed in pursuit of public benefit. Arguments against philanthrocapitalism coalesce around three broad themes: the rise of personally directed philanthropic capital to charitable causes of the donor’s own choosing; applying business approaches to social change processes; and the absence of investigation into the very capitalist processes that create such great personal wealth and more deep-seated inequality in broader society. Sociologist Linsey McGoey, in her stern critique of philanthrocapitalism, asks whose interests are served by a philanthropic environment increasingly directed and shaped by a few foundations.151 She notes how much of private philanthropic capital is being directed by philanthropists into their chosen fields of interest, rather than what “society” wants and needs them to fund.152 This concern is not new—there are long histories of personally directed philanthropy furthered by favourable tax treatment (The Canadian government introduced its system of income tax deductions for donations to charitable                                             150 “Will the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Change Philanthropy?”, Knowledge@Wharton, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania blog, December 16, 2015 accessed June 10,2017: 151 See McGoey, “Philanthrocapitalism and its critics”, pp. 185-199.  152 George Joseph, “Why Philanthropy Actually Hurts Rather Than Helps Some of the World’s Worst Problems”, In These Times, Chicago, December 28, 2015 accessed June 01, 2017:  (Interview with Linsey McGoey). McGoey cites inequality as one example of a clear societal challenge and no significant effort in philanthropy to address it. Subsequent to McGoey’s book, the Ford Foundation, the USA’s second largest foundation (assets under management), announced in 2015 that it is directing its entire philanthropic effort at inequality and its roots causes (“Challenging Inequality” on Ford Foundation website accessed June 10, 2017:   65 organizations in 1930).153 Again, it is both the increasing amount and concentration of privately directed philanthropic capital (often referred to as the “new global elite”) that is of concern, specifically its deployment in a time when governments have curtailed funding to many public benefit services.154  Jim Collins, business leadership author of Good to Great, and the subsequent monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors, denounces the claim that the path to greatness in the social sectors lies in organizations becoming more business-like. Rather, he states, a culture of discipline is central to greatness and the social sector needs a language of greatness.155 Collins argues that organizations in the for-profit sector promote growth in economic returns, but that organizations in the social sector are directed at delivering a “superior performance relative to…mission”.156 In the for-profit sector, money is an input and output. In the non-profit sector, traditionally, it is only an input. Making money an output in the social sector, Collins notes, offers “no guaranteed relationship between exceptional results and sustained access to resources”.157 In fact, strong financial results can result in diminished grant funding.158 This is exacerbated by the growing schism between for-profit sector investment approaches in which investment is made in the organization and the social sector in which donors increasingly restrict the use of the grant to a specific project or program, telling the NPO how it should be used, rather than investing in building a “great” organization.159                                             153 Rod Watson, “Charity and the Canadian Income Tax: An Erratic History”, The Philanthropist 5, Issue 1, January 01,1985 accessed online August 15, 2017: 154 Kavita Ramdas, “Philanthrocapitalism Is Not Social Change Philanthropy”, Stanford Social Innovation Review, December 15, 2015, np. 155 Jim Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors, Boulder, CO: Harper Collins, July 24, 2005, p. 2.  156 Ibid., p. 18. 157 Ibid., p. 24. 158 See Clara Miller, “Hidden in Plain Sight”, The Nonprofit Quarterly, Spring 2003 accessed August 15, 2017:  159 Ibid., p. 25.  66 Michael Edwards, a prolific writer on civil society issues, unleashes a series of criticisms of philanthrocapitalism in his book, Small Change: Why Business Won’t Save the World. Edwards states: “the business-is-best philosophy remains a powerful and seductive hook. It promises to supply a new magic bullet that removes the messiness of social change”.160 He asserts that social change brings inefficiencies as new systems and approaches are developed. Inefficiency is a quality that is eschewed in profit-seeking, business-based approaches. He acknowledges that business can be put to effective use in serving public benefit—for example in producing goods and services that the under-served need and at a price that they can afford. But he insists that this is only one process of social change.  Edwards argues that attention to philanthrocapitalism “will divert attention from the deeper changes that are required to transform society, reduce decisions to an inappropriate bottom line and lead us to ignore the costs and trade-offs involved in extending business principles into the world of civil society and social change”.161 Similarly, Ford Foundation’s Kavita Ramdas has wondered whether philanthrocapitalists are willing “to ask themselves hard questions about a model of economic growth that has made their phenomenal acquisition of wealth possible”.162  Ramdas’ and Edwards’ pressing concerns are not addressed in this research. Yet, they are an important marker in what is still largely a zero-sum game in philanthropy in which maximum wealth generation occurs on one side of the ledger (both wealth creation and foundation endowment investment practices) and “giving it away” (with significant tax incentives) occurs on the other. In this paradigm, the maximization of profit and investment returns is paramount. The majority of philanthropy is still approached with this economic/financial philosophy. Yet this ignores the great amount of work                                             160 Michael Edwards, Small Change: Why Business Won't Save the World. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2008. p. xi.  161 Michael Edwards, “Philanthrocapitalism: after the goldrush”, openDemocracy, March 20, 2008 accessed  June 10, 2017:  162 Ramdas, “Philanthrocapitalism Is Not…” Social Change Philanthropy”, np.   67 synthesizing philanthropy and investing in the NPO sector—underwriting the rise of social enterprises and other forms of social purpose organizations.  Further it fails to address broader societal shifts in which sector “blurring is multi-directional…in which changes to the non-profit sector [are part of] a larger societal context [abandoning] the notion of the non-profit sector as wholly separate”.163 These changes have occurred due to increased citizen pressure for change (including academic and practitioner research, demonstration projects, and activism), regulatory frameworks (including, in Canada, the federal Employment Equality Act and federal environmental regulations) and corporate self-interest (including corporate social responsibility, environmental protection practices, workplace charity, cause-related marketing, corporate-charity sponsorships, corporate philanthropy, and the emergence of B-Corp and other mission-based corporate legal forms). Each of these is notable in marking a shift toward the incorporation of more “public good elements” into organization practices—greater than the changes that could be made by the NPO sector alone.164  NPOs have embraced market-based initiatives to service delivery in response to the rise of neoliberalism and changing donor practices that have increased dependence on fee-for-service and social enterprise revenues. However, the rise of social enterprise also reflects shifts within NPOs themselves in their quest for self-determination, independence from the vicissitudes of donors, and the desire to scale their work for greater impact for societal benefit.  2.2.3 Social enterprises in the NPO sector—and within charities The term “social enterprise” emerged in the 1980s concomitant with the rise of broader neoliberal processes and the resultant ‘business-ification’ of language and practices in the NPO sector. Enterprising social purpose organizations have long existed operating                                             163 Patricia Bromley and John W. Meyer, “’They Are All Organizations’: The Cultural Roots of Blurring between The Nonprofit, Business, and Government Sectors”, University of Utah/Stanford University, Research Project, July 2014, pp. 3-7.  164 Ibid., pp. 8-9.  68 under different names and employing different approaches. This includes the work of cooperatives, religious institutions, non-profit organizations, and charities. In the 1990s the rise of social entrepreneurship expanded conversations and the practices of revenue generation for social purposes shifting commercial revenue generation from a subordinate goal to an “equal and parallel organizational goal”.165 Over the last three decades the concept of social enterprise has become “arguably the most important redefinition of the work of nonprofits around the world”.166 The breadth of social enterprise approaches leads to descriptions of them as both non-profit with revenue-generating initiatives and for-profit corporations with a social mission.167 I direct attention at NPOs operating social enterprises and, in particular, charitable grant receiving NPOs.  Today it is a rare charity that is not engaged in some form of revenue generating activity. Enterprising initiatives have increased rapidly including selling training and/or services to clients who are able to pay in order to subsidize those clients who cannot; selling goods and services to the broader community; and training and empowering clients within the social enterprise by employment within the SE itself.168 In fact, given the heterogeneity amongst social enterprises, both in strategy and structure, there is no one definition.  Authors variously describe the social enterprise “space” as muddled, inconsistent, blurred, and unclear. Yet, there is general agreement that social enterprises represent an important pathway to meeting mainly social objectives even as they are often poorly supported by government regulatory frameworks, have trouble raising capital, and struggle to create a viable and sustainable business. Scholarly articles underscore the                                             165 Raymond Dart, “Charities in Business, Business in Charities, Charities and Business—Mapping and Understanding the Complex Nonprofit/Business Interface”, The Philanthropist 18, no. 3, 2004, p. 182. 166 John Casey, The Nonprofit World: Civil Society and the Rise of the Nonprofit Sector. Boulder, CO: Kumarian Press. 2016. p. 153.  167 For-profit corporations with a social mission are commonly referred to as social enterprises, social purpose business, and social businesses.  168 See PLAN International, a large charity with an online store: The store sells livestock, learning materials, mosquito nets and other items to support clients of PLAN. See Aravind Eye Care System, India. Aravind provides eye care both for market costs and for free. Aravind website accessed June 10, 2017  69 definitional breadth of the term social enterprise commenting that it is “a fluid and contested concept” coalescing around three central traits: 1) addressing social needs and/or problems; 2) having a social mission that is central and explicit; and 3) using their assets and wealth to create community benefit.169  Definitions of social enterprises emphasize the desire for both social and economic returns with only some mentioning environmental concerns. British Columbia’s Centre for Social Enterprise does include environment as one possible segment of the stated goals of a social enterprise: “Whether operated by a non-profit organization or by a for-profit company, a social enterprise has two goals: to achieve social, cultural, economic and/or environmental outcomes; and, to earn revenue”.170  Professor Raymond Dart from the School of Business at Trent University, describes two elements that undergird social enterprises: a rational approach in response to reduced public sector funding and philanthropic funding shifts (as discussed in the section above on “NPO sector funding changed”) and an institutional approach in which moral legitimacy—“the normative domain of propriety rather than self-interest”—is held as central to the operation of SEs.171 Dart pays close attention to the latter stating that what sets NPOs apart is their prosocial behaviours, mutuality, and production of collective goods”.172 He offers that moral legitimacy is not controlled directly by the social enterprise but rather by “the legitimacy of its practices and ideas to which it is pinned”.173 Therefore, he states that attention needs to be paid beyond the                                             169 Simon Teasdale, “What’s in a Name? Making Sense of Social Enterprise Discourses”, Public Policy and Administration 27, no. 2, 2011, p. 99; and François Brouard and Sophie Larivet, “Social Enterprises: Definitions and Boundaries”, Paper presented at the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research 2011 Conference, Fredericton, NB, Canada, May 19, 2011. 170 Corriveau, “The fine print: Vital information for Canadian…”, np. 171 Raymond Dart, “The Legitimacy of Social Enterprise”, Nonprofit Management & Leadership 14, no. 4, Summer 2004b, pp. 412, 418. 172 Raymond Dart, “Being ‘Business-Like’ in a Nonprofit Organization: A Grounded and Inductive Typology”, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33, no. 2, June 2004a, p. 292, 294. 173 Dart, “The Legitimacy of Social Enterprise”, p. 420.   70 organizational goals of a SE, to investigations of the organization’s values, processes and organizational structures”.174  Stacey Corriveau of BC’s Centre for Social Enterprise underscores Dart’s comments adding that being a registered charity is the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval…[Maintaining] charitable registration generally requires much greater reporting, transparency, and government regulation than within a non-profit organization, [so] the public could feel more comfortable with supporting charities”.175  Corriveau’s comments link to a foundational characteristic of most charities—that of trust bestowed on them by both clients and donors. Through service provision, charities are often the front-line agencies in communities. Over time, often decades, they build deep-seated skills, understanding of, and relationships of trust with, the people and communities they serve. These organizational assets cannot be converted into robust social enterprise initiatives within a charity in Canada (as noted in the section, “What is an NPO?”). Within this paradigm, charities cannot break free from dependence on some form of charity that funds them. They are held back. In the corporate world, a growing number of enterprises embrace social and/or environmental initiatives and standards within their core operations. Charities in Canada that stretch the other way to embrace more enterprising activities are held back.   Regulatory limitations on charities operating social enterprises are directed at two broad concerns, one strategic and operational, and one financial. First, there is concern of mission drift and “value displacement” if business operations become more central to a charity’s operations thus becoming primary rather than subordinate.176 The concern is that management will be distracted from the primary work of the charity in their attempt to operate businesses. Yet, it is the very same management that has to spend significant amount of time and money fundraising in order to be able to operate                                             174 Dart, “The Legitimacy of Social Enterprise”, p. 291. 175 Stacey Corriveau, “The fine print: Vital information for Canadian charities operating social enterprises”, BC Centre for Social Enterprise, Abbotsford, BC, January 2010, p. 3. This is a good paper for detailing the regulations for charities and social enterprises in Canada.  176 Dart, “Charities in Business…”, p.190.   71 charitable programs (most charities are too small to have dedicated fundraising staff). This directly impedes management oversight of charitable initiatives.  Charitable regulators view the use of tax-subsidized dollars (charitably receipted donations) toward “business” initiatives as conferring unfair advantage on a charity operating an enterprise. In Canada, critics have argued that current Canadian tax provisions for charitable contributions “cost” the Treasury CAD$5 billion per year even as the federal government extends at least CAD$3.3 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas industry alone each year. 177 According to the IMF, a more accurate assessment of Canadian subsidies to oil and gas is “an incredible CAD$ 34 billion each year in direct support to energy producers and uncollected tax on externalized costs”.178 The foregone federal tax revenue due to charitable donations pales when the enormity of federal subsidies is taken into account. Further, significant donor funds are directed at the negative externalities generated by industry—socially, economically, and environmentally—and from government cutbacks.  2.3 My reasons for examining BRAC, its SEs, and connecting them to place and resilience Charities are an important sector of the Canadian economy and in the lives of many Canadians. Yet they are significantly impeded in Canada from developing robust social enterprises, whereas charitable grant receiving NPOs in Bangladesh are not. Canada’s charities regulatory framework is out-dated when compared internationally and regulations are holding back the sector from more progressive change. I turn to Bangladesh and a study of BRAC in order to explore a NPO engaged in competitive social enterprises while it also reaches out to the extreme poor in Bangladesh through 100% charitable funding. Perhaps there are lessons we can learn in the Global North                                             177 Jack Mintz, “Jack Mintz: Liberals are right to cancel charitable tax breaks”, Financial Post, August 12, 2016 accessed June 01, 2017: And International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), “Unpacking Canada’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies”, undated (~2016) accessed June 18, 2017: 178 David Coady, et al., “How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?”, IMF Working Paper, WP/15/105, Washington, DC, May 2015.   72 (and apply in Canada) from studying a Global South NPO’s efforts over decades to interweave charitable and enterprising initiatives. BRAC introduced enterprising initiatives into its charitable programming in its first few years of operation (by the mid-1970s). Its enterprise approaches emerged before Global North conversations in social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, and social innovation; before the rise and effects of neoliberalism and its globalization; and before the emergence of a new elite in philanthropy and shifts in donor funding. Abed, BRAC’s founder was an accountant with Shell in Bangladesh at the time of the Liberation War. When he founded BRAC as a relief organization in the wake of the war, he brought his management skills and orientation into the new organization and has continued to imbue BRAC with an enterprising foundation to its work. Subsequent to BRAC’s founding and the rise of neoliberalism, BRAC has become intertwined with these events and debates.  Bangladesh is no longer the war-torn, newly independent country in which BRAC was founded. Today it is a vibrant, lower-middle income country, still experiencing substantial struggles, including extreme poverty, environmental degradation, often-weak governance, and climate change. However, it has achieved remarkable progress (see Chapter 4), exceeding social development indicators in other countries with a higher per capita income.179 Much of this success is due to the large and distributed NPO sector in Bangladesh.180  As noted in Chapter 1, I chose Bangladesh and BRAC for my research for multiple reasons, including my desire to investigate organizations that seek solution building and approaches that are having success at scale in building more inclusive societies—engaging with the most marginalized members of society. In particular, I wanted to learn                                             179 India has a higher per capita than Bangladesh while Bangladesh out performs India on social development indicators. See Joanna Sugden, “How Poorer Bangladesh Outpaces India on Human-Development Indicators”, The Wall Street Journal, June 05, 2015 accessed June 17, 2017: 180 Lucy Scott, “Resilient People, Fragile Governance: Bangladesh”, United Nations University, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan, January 31, 2012 accessed June 18, 2107:  73 from the Global South, both from specific organizational experiences and from the robust literature written on Bangladesh’s NPO sector, directed at its power and place in Bangladesh’s history, public life, and development.  On my first trip to Bangladesh, I asked about local/regional academic literatures on social enterprise and social innovation and received this quick reply: “You study these things in the North. We are so busy solving problems in the South”. I found this to be true in my experience at BRAC. The energy, all day every day, to solve for complex, large-scale problems consumes the attention of staff. Yet I learned that BRAC is motivated to support researchers engaging in topics with which BRAC is grappling in order that BRAC can benefit from their learning.  Each of BRAC’s enterprise initiatives grew out of a charitably funded programmatic need. The enterprise initiatives grew up organically and internally and still reside in BRAC today. BRAC is a charitable grant-receiving NPO per Bangladesh’s regulatory framework. BRAC operates multiple social enterprises to expand its reach and impact, and to augment unrestricted funding for its development programs. It is not prevented from both receiving charitable grants and operating enterprises within the NPO.  Since inception, BRAC has worked directly with its clients in their communities. With its national network of offices and staff reach, BRAC is deeply embedded in place, delivering services throughout Bangladesh. It has learned its most important lessons from its successes and failures in place.  BRAC is also concerned with building resilience in a climate-vulnerable country. Resilience is a buzzword: including climate resilience, resilient cities, disaster resilience, and resilient children. BRAC’s resilience program is multi-faceted and directed at disaster preparedness and climate change. I engage with resilience more broadly, not engaged singularly with disaster resilience, per se. Rather I take qualities of resilience thinking into my investigation to see how they find expression or not within two BRAC social enterprises and their related BRAC development programs.     74 Chapter 3: Place and Resilience In this chapter I explore the literatures of place and resilience. I bring these literatures together as resilience unfolds in places, although ‘place’ in both its fine granularity and dynamic multi-scalar character is rarely explored in resilience studies. Qualities of place and resilience provide framing for my research in which I consider the growth and linking of charitable and social enterprise initiatives in support of sustainable and inclusive initiatives. 3.1 Place “Place” evokes a specific geographic location embedded with social interactions, a location full of memories and emotions, or as geographer Tim Cresswell has stated: “a meaningful location that is a site of everyday practice”.181 The interaction between humans and environment situates ‘place’ as one of the anchors of inquiry in human geography and in other disciplines including philosophy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, ecology and architecture.182  Anthropologist, linguist, and ethnographer Keith Basso opens his book, Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache, by asking, “What do people make of places?”183 He shows that the Western Apache bring their landscape into being through narratives involving place making and naming, moral development, the role of ancestors, and ultimately, the development of wisdom which he is told: “…sits in places…you need to drink from places…you must think about it and keep on thinking about it”.184                                             181 Tim Cresswell, Place: A Short Introduction. Chichester, UK. Wiley-Blackwell. 2004. p. 7; Tim Cresswell, “Place”, in Thrift, N. and R. Kitchens, (editors). International Encyclopedia of Human Geography Volume 8. Oxford: Elsevier. 2009. p. 177. 182 Cresswell, Place …”, 2004; Allan Pred, “Place as Historically Contingent Process: Structuration and the Time-Geography of Becoming Places,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 74, 1984, pp. 279-297; Edward Relph, “A Pragmatic Sense of Place”, Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology Newsletter, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. 2013. 183 Keith Basso, Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 1996: p. xiii. 184 Basso, Wisdom Sits in Places …, p. 127.  75 Reflective, reflexive, and meaning-making approaches to studies of place emerged in scholarly debates in the 1970s.185 In Geography, the enthusiastic embrace of spatial science, quantitative approaches, and positivism in the 1950s and 1960s had focused attention on topological transformations of Euclidian space and “dehumanized geography”.186 In reaction, the early 1970s saw a “reawakened awareness of humanist principles” in geography.187 Places were filled with people, their cultural practices, their stories, and their experiences. Geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, in Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (1977) wrote a key early work in this new direction. Tuan emphasized the deep connections that people can make to places. “Place is not only a fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it is also a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning”.188  Geographer John Agnew states that places are constituted by three components: the physical setting; the events, situations or activities that occur within that setting and the meaning and value which humans ascribe to those settings and activities.189 Notions of place are, therefore, both deeply personal and collective. Places generate feelings of belonging, a sense of “insideness” or “outsideness” and of inclusion or exclusion.190 In                                             185 Cresswell, “Place” in International Encyclopedia…”; David Ley, “Cultural/humanistic geography”, Progress in Human Geography 5, 1981, pp. 249-257; Veronica Ng, “A Critical Review on the problematic nature of ‘place’.” British Journal of Arts and Sciences 5, no. 1, 2012, pp.103-122; Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1977. 186 Dictionary of Human Geography 2009, pp. 356; and David Ley “Cultural/humanistic geography”, Progress in Human Geography, Volume 5, 1981, p. 249-257.  187 David Ley, and Marwyn Samuels, “Introduction: Contexts of Modern Humanism in Geography”, Chapter 1 in Ley, David and Samuels, Marwyn (eds.), Humanistic Geography: Prospects & Problems, Chicago: Maaroufa Press, 1978, pp. 1. 188 Tuan, Space and Place, p. 387. 189 Agnew, J., Shelley, F., Pringle, D.G., “Classics in human geography revisited: Agnew, J.A. 1987: “Place and Politics: the geographical mediation of state and society”, Progress in Human Geography 27, no. 5, 2003, p. 605-614. Geographer Edward Relph (1976) and sociologist Thomas Gieryn (2000) also characterize place as having these three qualities. 190 P. Block. Community: The Structure of Belonging. San Francisco. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2008; David Seamon and Jacob Sowers, “Place and Placelessness, Edward Relph”, in P. Hubbard, R. Kitchen & G. Vallentine, (eds.), Key Texts in Human Geography, London: Sage Publishing, 2008, pp. 43-51. Belonging, inclusion, and exclusion are characteristics consistent with our understanding of social capital. Social capital has been defined as “the connections among individuals—social networks and the norms of  76 talking about place, we need to be mindful that an aggregate view of ‘place’ does not take into account the heterogeneity of various beliefs, values, and practices that make up the aggregate. The co-existence of heterogeneous and homogeneous characteristics of place has significant ramifications—both opportunities and challenges—for designing and delivering services over time in place-based work. Developing an understanding of the dynamic qualities of place is at the very core of BRAC’s decades long approach toward empowerment and poverty reduction.  Claims that place is local—home-like and fixed in time, or quaint and nostalgic—have been challenged by scholars who view place as dynamic and part of larger systems.191 The dualisms of place and space, local and global, inclusion and exclusion are seen as too dichotomous for a dynamic concept like place, which is in a constant state of becoming.192 This dynamic approach to place does not deny the importance and socio-emotional-economic-environmental power of meaning, memory, nostalgia, and history in places. It simply urges us to locate these temporal and spatial meanings within the unbounded and dynamic nature of places.193  3.1.1 Place: beyond the local: The late geographer Doreen Massey expanded conceptualizations of place by moving beyond the idea of place as “local” and linking the local and the global to develop the notion of “a global sense of place”. It is in local places that global actions occur.194                                                                                                                                              reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (Robert Putnam. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York. Simon & Schuster. 2000. p.19). Social capital contributes to community wellbeing, a person’s sense of belonging and value, and can assist in combatting community challenges such as poverty. However, in its negative expression, strong social capital can be represented in powerful elites and gangs, which are exclusive and detrimental to societal wellbeing. There is a robust literature on belonging and community development. See Block, Community: The Structure of Belonging, 2008; Kretzmann and McKnight, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community’s Assets, 1993; McKnight and Block, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighbourhoods, 2010.  191 Doreen Massey, “A Global Sense of Place” in Space, Place and Gender. 192 Cresswell, Place …, 2004; Gustafson, P., “Meanings of place: Everyday experience and theoretical conceptualizations”, Journal of Environmental Psychology (2001) 21(1), 5-16. 193 Massey, “A Global Sense of Place” in Space, Place and Gender, p. 1.  194 Doreen Massey, “Doreen Massey on Space”, Social Science Bites, February 01, 2013 accessed September 15, 2016:   77 Massey spoke to the multiplicity of the world and the need for us to open our minds to it, to be outward looking, “not self-enclosing and defensive”.195  Massey developed her views on place through a long engagement with Marxist ideas applied in her urban and regional geography research. However, she rejected a purely structural approach to her investigations arguing that the broader influences of capitalism were not wholly deterministic and that time-space compression was not uniformly responsible for the erosion of place. Massey argued that places are shaped by specific local context and by relations between places. She was concerned with how changing flows and connections within a neoliberal globalized economy empowered some and not others, how mobility was changing—by choice or necessity—and how the locus of control of these processes was shifting away from the ‘local’. In promoting her vision of place, Massey shifted earlier thinking about place as “[vertical]—as rooted in time immemorial—to thinking of it horizontally, as produced relationally through its connections”.196 Place is a meeting point of diverse material and meaningful elements drawn from a broad array of experiences and temporal-spatial scales. Places hold both ‘roots’ and ‘routes’.197 This dynamic intersection—the melding and co-mingling of the local and global in a continuous process of change ‘in place’—is central to my understanding of the work of BRAC.  3.2 Resilience Modern-day conceptions of resilience have their roots in the work of C. S. Holling whose 1973 paper “Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems” presented a novel and (at the time) radical argument that there are multiple stability states within an ecosystem.198                                             195 Massey, “A Global Sense of Place” in Space, Place and Gender, p. 1.  196 Tim Cresswell, “Place: Part 1”, Chapter 15 in John A. Agnew and James S. Duncan (Editors), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Human Geography. First Edition, Chichester, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2011, p. 238. 197 Cresswell, “Place”, Encyclopedia…” p. 8. 198 C.S. Holling, “Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems,” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 4, 1973, p. 1-23.  78 Holling defined resilience as the capacity of an ecosystem to tolerate disturbance without collapsing into a qualitatively different state that is controlled by a different set of processes.199    Holling distinguished between ‘engineering’ resilience and ‘ecological’ resilience in order to highlight the tension between efficiency and persistence, constancy and change, and predictability and unpredictability.200 Engineering resilience refers to the time required for a system to return to equilibrium following a disturbance and concentrates on stability near an equilibrium steady state.201 It can be equated with hierarchical, top-down, ‘command and control’ management practices intended to establish a fail-safe design.202 Ecological resilience “emphasizes conditions far from any equilibrium steady state, where instabilities can flip a system into another regime of behaviour—that is, to another stability domain”.203 Here resilience is measured by “the magnitude of disturbance that can be absorbed before the system changes its structure”.204   Before 1973, ecology and economics focused on the persistence of a system near equilibrium behaviour—stability—and on fixed carrying capacity in an effort to minimize                                             199 C.S. Holling, “The Resilience of Terrestrial Systems: Local Surprise and Global Change” in W.C. Clark and R.E. Munn (eds.) Sustainable Development of the Biosphere. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 1986. pp. 292-320; S. Carpenter et al., “From Metaphor to Measurement: Resilience of What to What?”, Ecosystems 4, no. 8, 2001, pp.765-781; B. Walker et al., “Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability in Social-ecological Systems”, Ecology and Society 9, no. 2, 2004; Carl Folke, “Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses”, Global Environmental Change, Volume 16, 2006, pp. 253-267; C. Folke, et al., “Resilience Thinking: Integrating Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability”, Ecology and Society 15, no. 4(20), 2010:, no pagination.  200 L. G. Gunderson and C.S. Holling, (editors), Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. 2002, Holling and Chambers, C. S. Holling and A. D. Chambers, “The nurture of an infant”, Bioscience 23, no. 1, 1973. 201 Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding…”; C.S. Holling and Gary K. Meffe, “Command and Control and the Pathology of Natural Resource Management”, Conservation Biology, Volume 10, Number 2, 1996, p. 328-337. 202 Ibid., p. 330. 203 Holling and Chambers, “Nurture of an Infant…”, 1973., pp 13-20. 204 C.S. Holling, “Engineering Resilience versus Ecological Resilience”, in Peter C. Schulze, Engineering Within Ecological Constraints. Washington, DC.: National Academy Press.1996. p. 31: Retrieved from  79 variability.205 These beliefs translated into hierarchical, expert-led, quantitatively based, management of fish, fowl, trees, and herds. Referred to as maximum-sustained-yield management (MSY) this approach sought to extract an efficient, steady supply of the resource for an indefinite period.206 Any disruption to the ecosystem was met with more control of that system, including the socio-economic institutions affiliated with its management.207 But Holling insisted that any reduction in the range of natural variation in a system reduced its resilience.208 In this view, managing a stock in ways that minimize variability is dangerous because ecosystems are complex adaptive systems characterized by “a densely-connected web of interacting agents each operating from its own schema or local knowledge”.209 They are self-organizing and unpredictable, offering surprises and unintended consequences due to their non-linear and inter- and intra-system                                             205 L.H. Gunderson, “Ecological Resilience…”, p. 426; C.S. Holling, “A Journey of Discovery”, Final Draft, Resilience Alliance website, 2006, retrieved from: 206 MSY originated in Europe and made its way to North American in the 19th century. There is a rich literature regarding sustained yield management. In North America, Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) is remembered as the “father” of American Conservation. He was appointed the first Chief of the US Forest Service, embedding a minimum-waste/maximum-yield scientific approach to forest management.  For an introduction, See: Gifford Pinchot: For a more contemporary example, see: Graeme Wynn, “This Is More Difficult Than We Thought”, in Dean Bavington, Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse.  Vancouver: UBC Press. 2010. pp. xi-xxiii. 207 Carl Folke et al., “Adaptive governance of social ecological systems” Annual Review of Environmental Resources 30, 2005, pp. 441-473; C. S. Holling and G. K. Meffe, “Command and control and the pathology of natural resource management”, Conservation Biology 10, no. 2, April 1996, pp. 328-337. 208Holling and Meffe, “Command and control…”, p:328. 209 James W. Begun and Brenda Zimmerman, “Health Care Organizations as Complex Adaptive Systems”, in Mick, S.M. and Wyttenbach, M., Advances in Health Care Organization Theory, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003, p.155.  80 linkages.210 Together these qualities can push the natural resources unexpectedly and abruptly into degradation or collapse.211 Holling presented a paradox asserting that transformation and persistence co-exist in living systems, working together so that the living systems with multiple stable states can assimilate certain and diverse levels of disturbance, innovation, and change without qualitatively flipping into another state.212 This quality of persistence he named resilience. Holling said nothing about returning to the original state after a disturbance. Rather, he investigated behaviours far from equilibrium and on stability boundaries to increase understanding of the processes at work.213 The focus became variability not constancy. High variability became an attribute to maintain existence and learning.214 This approach reframed change and variability as necessary to ecosystem persistence—as renewal and innovation—not something to “manage” away through reduction of variance to achieve a stability point.  In 1973 Holling was already committed to inter-disciplinary scholarship. With A.D. Chambers, he published “The Nurture of an Infant”, a rarely cited paper (that was initially rejected for publication because it was not considered a serious enough piece of work).215 It reviewed the opportunities and challenges of deeply inter-disciplinary work as revealed by a series of “Resource Science Workshops”. These workshops were an “attempt to bridge not only gaps between disciplines but also between institutions and                                             210 Brian Walker and David Salt, Resilience thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2006. 211 Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Penguin Group. 2005; A. S. Garmestani and M. H. Benson, “A framework for resilience-based governance of social-ecological systems”, Ecology and Society 18, Number 1(9), 2013. 212 Carl Folke, “Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analysis” Global Environmental Change 16, 2006, pp. 253-267; Francis Westley and Brenda Zimmerman, Michael Q. Patton, Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed. Toronto: Vintage Canada. 2006. 213 Carl Folke et al., “Resilience thinking: Integrating resilience, adaptability and transformability”, Ecology and Society, Volume 15, Number 4, 2010. 214 Folke, “Resilience: The emergence…”, p. 254. 215 A.D. Chambers was, at that time, a resource scientist with the Science Council of Canada, an organization created by the Federal Government in 1966, to advise the government on science and technology policy. It was closed in 1993. See the Canadian Encyclopedia article accessed online June 15, 2016:  81 social roles—between academics and bureaucrats, for example”.216 They focused on documented environmental challenges and how three hundred years of ignoring these [ecological and social system] limits have left us with “a baggage of approaches and solutions that are only admirable as instruments for resolving fragments of problems”.217 This study group also explored the nature of inter-disciplinary work and the singular importance of creating a flexible open system that “can accommodate conflicting views and the inevitable errors and traumas that will develop”. They hoped that their workshop could develop the same kind of resilience that has evolved in natural systems—a capacity to accommodate the unknown. The price of doing so was to reduce efficiency, and initially at least, precision. But they insisted that efficiency could only be attained if the goals were trivial. Acknowledging that the best they could hope for was to identify steps toward a solution rather than to come unerringly to a best solution, they concluded: “We would rather have an inefficient management system that can accommodate creativity and independence than an efficient team with PERT charts (task management tool) dictating goals.218  Holling and Chambers further lamented the “serious institutional gaps that inhibit the flow of new knowledge of these large-scale problems into policy formulation, testing and implementation that are responsive to people’s needs”. They also argued the importance of bridging communication gaps between constituencies “if the new approaches are not to yield social as well as ecological DDTs”.219  Interest in environmental issues—in the finite nature of the earth’s resources and stewardship of them—had increased markedly in the 1960s and early 1970s and                                             216 Holling, and Chambers, “Nurture of an Infant…”, p.14.  217 Ibid., p.13. Also there is a vast literature on the subject of ecological and social limits to growth starting with the seminal work by George Perkins Marsh, Man and Nature: Or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action, 1864. 218 Holling and Chambers, “Nurture of an Infant…”, p. 18. 219 Ibid., p.13. (DDT is a notorious synthetic pesticide. Rachel Carson’s widely acclaimed book, Silent Spring (1962), addresses the collateral damage of DDT on ecological systems, specifically how DDT’s chemical composition not only eradicated intended pests but lingered in ecological systems threatening fish and bird populations. Carson was not shy in pointing our humankind’s hubris in the treatment of ecological systems on which humans depend.)  82 Holling’s work soon drew attention outside of ecology in anthropology, political science, and systems science.220 His belief that “directions toward solutions” were more important/attainable than solutions themselves” influenced his approach in profound ways.221 In a 2006 paper, aptly named “A Journey of Discovery”, Holling reflected:   “I learned that the key [element in any] design was to identify large, unattainable goals that can be approached, but not achieved; ones that relate to fundamental values of free speech, freedom, equity, tolerance and education. And then to add a tough design for the first step, in a way that highlights or creates options to design, later, a second step—and then a third and so on. We found that the results were steps that rapidly covered more ground than could ever be designed at the start. At the heart, that is adaptive design, where the unknown is great, learning is continual and actions evolve”.222 In addressing natural resource management, Holling and Chambers (1973b) urged the importance of being iterative and adaptive. Holling’s 1973 notion of resilience—as change and persistence—was augmented with considerations of the effects of human foresight, intentionality, communication, and technology on ecological processes.223  A quarter of a century after Holling’s original publication, an international consortium of fifteen research groups comprised of ecologists, mathematicians, political scientists, social scientists, conservation biologists, and others came together to form The Resilience Alliance to advance resilience theory. The Resilience Alliance came to define                                             220 1960s-1970s rise in literature regarding environmental concern, see: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, A Mariner Book, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962; Meadows et al., Limits to Growth, White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 1972; E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered”, London: Harper Perennial, a division of Harper Collins Publishers,1973; United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, 1972; B. Ward and R. Dubos, Only One Earth, New York: W.W. Norton, 1972. For influence of Holling’s work outside of ecology, see: Vadya and McCay, “New directions in ecology and ecological anthropology”, Annual Review of Anthropology 4, 1975, pp. 293–306. 221 Holling and Chambers, “Nurture of an Infant…”, p.13. 222 C.S. Holling, “Journal of Discovery…”, p. 8. 223 C.S. Holling, “Understanding the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems”, Ecosystems, Volume 4, 2001, pp. 390-405.  83 resilience as “the capacity of a social-ecological system to absorb or withstand perturbations and other stressors such that the systems remain within the same regime, essentially maintaining its structure and functions. It describes the degree to which the system is capable of self-organization, learning and adaptation”.224 Two heuristics—the adaptive cycle and panarchy—express these system dynamics.  3.2.1 The adaptive cycle and panarchy The adaptive cycle is a model generated from observations of ecosystem dynamics.225 Developed initially by Holling (1986), it holds that systems pass through four phases: rapid growth and exploitation; conservation; collapse or release (creative destruction); and renewal or reorganization.226 “The sequence of gradual change is followed by a sequence of rapid change triggered by disturbance and/or collapse (See Figure 1). Hence, instabilities organize the behaviours as much as do stabilities”.227  The ‘front end’ of the loop (from “r” to “K”) moves from the gradual accumulation of resources and capital—exploitation and conservation—in the growth part of the cycle to the conservation phase, in which resources are “increasingly ‘locked up’, and the system becomes progressively less flexible and responsive to external shocks”.228 It is a period of increasing efficiency during which managers, leaders, and scientists managing resources often ignore emergent signals of possible system failure. In the absence of flexibility and openness to new approaches, “the rigidity of this configuration serves to                                             224 The Resilience Alliance accessed December 01, 2016: 225 Folke, “Resilience: The emergence …”, 2006; Carl Walters, “Challenges in adaptive management of riparian and coastal ecosystems”, Ecology and Society, Volume 1, Number 2(11), 1997. Retrieved from: 226 Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations…, 2002. 227 Fikret Berkes, Johan Colding, and Carl Folke, p. 225. Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Building Resilience for Complexity and Change. New York. University of Cambridge Press. 2003. p. 258. 228 Walker et al., “Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social-ecological systems”, Ecology and Society, Volume 9, Number 2 (5), 2004. p. 5 accessed December 10, 2016:  84 thwart efforts at renewal, and underscores the observation that the impetus for reorganization generally comes from the fringe”.229  Figure 3.1: A representation of the four ecosystem functions and the flow of events among them (Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations… 2002, p. 34). The ‘back loop’, from “Ω” to “α”—release and re-organization—marks system collapse, the freeing of capital for other roles (for example, biomass in an ecosystem), and opportunities for re-organization and restoration of resilience.230 This part of the adaptive cycle is largely ignored in command-and-control stability management, which attends to the front loop’s exploitation and conservation phases.231 Yet, the back loop demonstrates that “disturbance is part of development, and that periods of gradual change and periods of rapid transition coexist and complement one another”.232 Re-organization is characterized by a system returning to previous functionalities or to a system moving into a qualitatively different state.                                              229 Berkes, Colding, and Folke, Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: …, p. 225. (See Thomas Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago. University of Chicago Press. 1970).  230 Holling, “Journey of Discovery”, 2006. 231 Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations…, 2002. 232 Berkes, Colding, and Folke, Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: …, p. 258.  85 Adaptive cycles are nested in a “panarchy” reflecting the multiple scalar and temporal connections that occur between phases of an adaptive cycle at one level and phases at another.233 Panarchy reminds us that no system can be understood or managed at one single scale because this ignores cross-scale dynamics and cross-temporal dynamics, and feedback associated with them (See Figure 2). Further, panarchy dismisses the top-down control inherent in a hierarchy by presenting ‘control’ as comprised of both bottom up and top down processes “whereby processes at one scale affect those at other scales to influence the overall dynamics of the system”.234   Figure 3.2: Panarchical connections. (Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations… 2002, p. 75) In this framework, resilience will emerge where there is enough inter-scalar connectivity to permit new learning within the existing system, here referred to as “remember” (persistence), while, at the same time, offering enough modularity to prevent “revolt” (change) from cascading throughout the panarchy and destabilizing it. In order for resilience to grow, the panarchy needs diversity, novelty and ongoing possibilities for change, subject to its own conditions and context. 235                                             233 The Resilience Alliance accessed December 02, 2106: 234 C. R. Allen et al., “Panarchy: Theory and application”, Ecosystems 17, 2014, no pagination. 235 Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations…, 2002  86 3.2.2 Traps, adaptive capacity, and social dimensions in resilience Resilience can be reduced by persistent recurring disasters that limit system adaptability (poverty trap) or by maladaptive conditions within the system (rigidity trap).236  A poverty trap emerges when an adaptive cycle collapses because potential, diversity, and connections within the system have been eradicated (by either internal or external forces) such that change is not achieved.237 Systems caught in poverty traps may have adequate social and ecological resources, but typically lack both leadership and the capacity to concentrate resources and adapt or change the system.238 These would seem to be the circumstances in social-ecological systems beset by persistent, recurring disasters such as drought or famine.  A rigidity trap may develop when high connections, resilience, and potential exist within inflexible self-reinforcing systems exemplified by the “maladaptive conditions present in hierarchies, such as large bureaucracies”.239 Maximum-sustained-yield management’s preoccupation with efficiency, which severely decreases diversity in the system, offers another example.240 Traps remind us that resilience is not always positive and that systems can be immeasurably resistant to change, including poverty, environmental degradation, or despotic regimes.241  Traps signal the role of human behaviour in social-ecological resilience, including power and agency. Who has it and how decisions are made? Humans are agents of change—                                            236 Ibid.  237 Stephen R. Carpenter and W. A. Brock, “Adaptive capacity and traps”, Ecology and Society 13, no 2(40), 2008, np; Gunderson and Holling, 2002. 238 Westley et al., Getting to Maybe… 2006. 239 Gunderson and Holling, Panarchy: Understanding Transformations…, 2002, pp. 95. 240 Ibid. 241 M. Cote and A.J. Nightingale, “Resilience Thinking Meets Social Theory: Situating Social Change in Socio-ecological Systems (SES) Research.” Progress in Human Geography 36, no. 4, 2012, pp. 475–89; and Walker et al., “Resilience, adaptability and transformability …”    87 whether wielding power or by the absence of power—within SESs and need to be viewed as such in investigations of resilience.  Traps are among “a range of problems that can be understood as unintended outcomes of collective social behaviour”.242 At issue here is the capacity of individuals and social groups to learn, adapt, and/or transform in the face of disturbance. In resilience literature, this has become known as adaptive capacity: “the ability of a system to adjust to changing internal demands and external circumstances”, or “system robustness to changes in resilience”.243 In coupled social-ecological systems (SESs) in which “human actions dominate…adaptive capacity amounts to the capacity of humans to manage resilience”.244  Resilience scholar Carl Folke and his co-authors draw attention to four crucial requirements for dealing with dynamic social-ecological systems: learning to live with change and uncertainty; combining different types of knowledge for learning; creating opportunity for self-organization towards social-ecological resilience; and nurturing sources of resilience for renewal and reorganization”.245 These four qualities stretch resilience far into the “social” of coupled social-ecological systems, calling on concepts such as social memory, learning, social networks, governance, and the agency of people and organizations to respond to change in coupled social-ecological systems.246                                              242 W.J. Boonstra and F.W. de Boer, “The historical dynamics of social-ecological traps”, Ambio 43, no. 3, 2014, no pagination. 243 S. Carpenter and W.A. Brock, “Adaptive capacity and traps”, Ecology and Society 13, no. 2, no pagination; Lance H. Gunderson, “Ecological Resilience—In Theory and Application”, Annual Review of Ecological Systems 31, 2000, p. 435.  244 Paul Josef Crutzen, “The Anthropocene: The Current Human-Dominated Geological Era”, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Acta 18, Vatican City 2006 accessed online December 10, 2016:; Brian Walker, et al., “Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability in Social-ecological Systems”, Ecology and Society 9, no. 2(5), 2004 accessed online December 10, 2016:, no pagination. 245 Carl Folke, et al., “Adaptive Governance of Social-Ecological Systems”, Annual Review of Environmental Resources 30, 2005, p. 452.  246 Over the past 15 years there has been greater attention to individual, household and community agency, social capital, and coping capacities within the field of resilience. Social resilience is defined as “the ability of groups or communities to cope with external stresses and disturbances as a result of social,  88 Adaptive capacity is “context-specific” and dynamic, and its determinants are interdependent.247 It is influenced by multiple parameters including kinship and support networks, environmental conditions, local governance, and regional and/or national policy and regulatory regimes.248 It is bottom up, top down, and cross-scale because some of its determinants are local (for example family and support networks), and others reflect political-economic systems (such as policies and regulatory frameworks), operating at regional, national, and/or international scales.  Adaptive capacity is linked to persistence and transformation. High adaptive capacity correlates with stronger system resilience.249 Yet many adaptive strategies are persistence driven and directed at reducing vulnerabilities to specific risks in the face of disturbance, rather than focussing on transformation toward greater system resilience. In other words, adaptation is often approached as a technical or technological set of responses to specific constraints. By contrast, a resilience approach is “concerned with developing sources of resilience in order to create robustness to uncertainty and to maintain the flexibility necessary to respond to change…[it] recognizes that vulnerabilities are an inherent part of any system”.250 It is concerned with the transformational—the long-term in which opportunities arise through disturbances.251   3.2.3 Struggles with resilience: Resilience thinking has evolved since its inception. It was based first on Holling’s 1973 work in ecology, then extended by Gunderson and Holling’s (2002) panarchy heuristic                                                                                                                                              political, and environmental change” (W. Neil Adger). “Social and ecological resilience: are they related?”, Progress in Human Geography 24, no. 3, 2000, p. 347. 247 Barry Smit and Johanna Wandel, “Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability”, Global Environmental Change 16, 2006, pp. 287-288. 248 There is much literature on the subject of adaptive management and governance—the process, rules and regulations in creating adaptability and transformability in SESs. See The Resilience Alliance website article accessed January 15, 2017:  249 The Resilience Alliance, online article “Adaptive Capacity” accessed December 05, 2106: 250 Donald R. Nelson, W. Neil Adger and Katrina Brown, “Adaptation to Environmental Change: Contributions of a Resilience Framework”, Annual Review of Environmental Resources 32, 2007, p. 412. 251 Gilberto C. Gallopín, “Linkages between vulnerability, resilience, and adaptive capacity”, Global Environmental Change 16, 2006, p. 300.   89 premised on coupled social-ecological systems (SESs). Over the past fifteen years, it has continued to grow, most markedly in two subject domains: adaptation to climate change and disaster preparedness. This has so stretched resilience thinking that it has lost conceptual clarity in meaning and measurement.252  In a widely cited paper, Resilience Alliance member and human geographer, W. Neil Adger argues “simply taking the concept of resilience from ecological sciences and applying it to social systems assumes that there are no essential differences in behaviour and structure between socialized institutions and ecological systems. This is clearly contested in the social sciences”.253 A decade later Debra Davidson of the University of Alberta insisted in a similar vein that resilience was still a useful concept but that its application to social systems required “improved articulation of the relationship—or more precisely the multiple relationships—between complexity and disturbance in a less deterministic manner than is afforded in ecological systems”.254   In moving from ecologically based approaches (often involving mathematical modelling) into social-ecological systems, resilience studies were censured for their inattention to the socially contingent nature of resilience. Critics lamented the neglect of qualities such as power, agency, social capital, and individual and collective capacity. Among them, social scientist Katrina Brown argues that the fundamental focus of resilience studies upon external disturbances in ecological systems means that the “internal, endogenous and social dynamics of the system” are given short shrift.255  In similar vein, scholars such as Cote and Nightingale have found fault with resilience studies while arguing for the excavation of relations and processes underpinning practices and institutions. They comment, “when we tread into the domain of what                                             252 F.S. Brand, and K. Jax, “Focusing the Meaning(s) of Resilience: Resilience as a Descriptive Concept and Boundary Object”, Ecology and Society 12, no. 1(23), 2007. 253 W. Neil Adger, “Social and ecological resilience: are they related?”, Progress in Human Geography 24, 3, 2000, p. 350. 254 Debra Davidson, “The Applicability of the Concept of Resilience to Social Systems: Some Sources of Optimism and Nagging Doubts”, Society & Natural Resources 23, no. 12, 2010, p. 1142. 255 Brown, K., “Global environmental change 1: A social turn for resilience?”, Progress in Human Geography 38, no. 1, February 2014, p. 3.   90 ‘ought’ to be we have moved firmly out of the science of description and prediction as it is understood today and into moral and ethical terrain. In this sense resilience thinking is a power-laden framing that creates certain windows of visibility on the processes of change, while obscuring others”.256 Who chooses these windows of visibility in resilience scholarship? This is not a value-free engagement—asking “resilience for whom and at what cost to which others?”257  Resilience scholarship is expert-driven—it includes scholars from a range of disciplines and industry/professionals such as urban planners, emergency planning experts, and economic development professionals. Much of SES resilience scholarship concentrates upon governance—by institutions and the state—at the ecosystem level, not on “the social context of participant communities”.258 People (and their variegated ways and cultures) are conspicuously absent from most resilience studies. This led geographer and social anthropologist Melissa Leach to claim the importance of understanding the diverse social dynamics within communities in order to identify the social conditions that contribute to resilience in communities.259  Development geographer Hans-Georg Bohle and his co-authors investigated further social dynamics with their analysis of Dhaka’s urban food system within an “actor-oriented, agency-based resilience framework”.260 They found that resilience is increased when those who are most vulnerable are empowered to choose livelihoods that enhance their preferred social sources of resilience. In this view, resilience encompasses “much more than responsiveness or preparedness for crises”.261 It is                                             256 Cote and Nightingale, “Resilience Thinking…”, p. 485. 257 Lester R. Brown, Mobilizing to Save Civilization. New York. W. W. Norton. 2008; Cote and Nightingale, “Resilience Thinking…”, p. 485. 258 Emily Jane Davis, and Maureen G. Reed, “Multi-level governance of British Columbia’s mountain pine beetle crisis: The roles of memory and identity”, Geoforum 47, 2013, p. 34. 259 M. Leach, editor, Re-framing Resilience: A Symposium Report, STEPS Working Paper 13, Brighton, UK: STEPs Centre, 2008; and Brown, “Global environmental change…”. 260 H.G. Bohle, et al., “Resilience as agency”, IHDP Update Newsletter of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, 2009, p. 12. 261 A. Mehmood, “Of resilient places: Planning for urban resilience”, European Planning Studies 24, no. 2, 2016, p. 407.  91 about “shaping the challenges we face” and organizing desirable change from within systems.262 Human agency is at the centre of deciding whose stories get heard and who exercises political power in shaping desirable change, and it is the most contentious issue “in the application of an ecological framework to social systems”.263 Where is agency located and at what scale? If agency changes at one scale, what happens at another? Participatory decision-making and management can initiate changes that cascade through and across scales, increasing vulnerabilities or creating new ones.264  Social systems are often shaped by privileged and established social structures and by unequal power relations. This generally forecloses opportunities for wider questions of progressive social change that require “interference with and transformation of, established ‘systems’”.265 Much current resilience work focuses on shorter-term preparedness and response in the face of disturbance (disaster resilience). This is separate from and inter-related with long-term change and system transformation—an inherent quality of SES resilience, persistence, and transformation.  Resilience studies often direct attention to adaptive capacity and cross-scale interactions. Discussions of adaptive capacity generally presuppose that there is institutional and/or procedural capacity sufficient to debate desirable futures and to achieve them. This is not the case in many communities, especially in developing countries. Discussions of cross-scale interactions reveal the difficulties of teasing out relationships in SES resilience by begging questions about how to address “social” issues of power and agency interactively with those of ecology and environment at multiple scales.                                              262 Simin Davoudi, “Resilience: A Bridging Concept or a Dead End?”, Planning Theory & Practice 13, no. 2, 2012, p. 306; and Brown, “Global environmental change…”. 263 Davidson, D., “The Applicability of the Concept of Resilience to Social Systems: Some Sources of Optimism and Nagging Doubts”, Society and Natural Resources 23, 2010, p. 1145. See Béné et al, “Testing resilience thinking in a poverty context: Experience from the Niger River basin”, Global Environmental Change 21, 2011, p. 1182. 264 Cote and Nightingale, “Resilience Thinking…”, p. 480. 265 Danny Mackinnon & Kate Driscoll Derickson, “From resilience to resourcefulness: A critique of resilience policy and activism”, Progress in Human Geography 37, no. 2, 2012, p. 254.  92 Lund University human ecologist Alf Hornborg argues that resilience “reflects an ideological assimilation of environmental concerns by an establishment keen to avoid alarmist messages [that would challenge] business as usual”.266 In his view, resilience perhaps wilfully ignores the differentiations of power, political structures, and processes in society. The question, then, is whether the rapid rise of resilience approaches has worked to forward neoliberal thinking by attempting to gloss over the consequences of rolling back the state and the enfeeblement of state supported public benefit programs.  Resilience has become a buzzword as well as a research and policy tool for cities, foundations, governments, and multilateral and aid institutions. The attention to system persistence in much of resilience thinking “plays to neoliberal ideas of individual and community responsibility [in a world in which] “processes which shape resilience operate primarily at the scale of capitalist social relations”.267 According to Peck and Tickell, in a neo-liberalized world with asymmetrical power, ‘local’ societies are forced to react to global scale political-economic-financial power and they typically ‘lose’ when they are left to ‘deal’ with their problems—the sudden closure of a factory, a toxic spill—as they are forced to shoulder responsibility without authority.268 In this line of critique, to be resilient—to adapt to circumstances beyond one’s control—is to forego the very power of resistance.   3.3 Place, resilience, and NPOs: socially contingent, contextual, and dynamic Place and resilience are contested, dynamic and relational terms that are engaged frequently to understand and address complex global problems in the search for justice, dignity, and sustainability. Both are shaped by the uneven distribution of power, money, information, and time that impinge upon people. 269 The terms themselves interweave                                             266 Alf Hornborg, “Revelations of resilience: From the ideological disbarment of disaster to the revolutionary implications of (p)anarchy”, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses 1, no. 2, 2013, p. 118. 267 Mackinnon and Derickson, “From resilience to resourcefulness…”, p. 255.  268 Peck and Tickell, “Neoliberalizing Space…”. 269 Andrew Herod and Melissa W. Wright, (editors) “Placing Scale: An Introduction” and “Introduction: Theorizing Scale” in Geographies of Power: Placing Scale. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 2002, p. 11.  93 and, in doing so, draw attention to the contextual aspects of place and resilience building. Doreen Massey revealed how the dynamics of neoliberal globalization, including the rise in power of multinational corporations, were changing social relationships in place—relationships of “power, meaning and symbolism”.270 Massey’s conceptualization of place as simultaneously local and global draws attention to dynamic processes at multiple scales, a similar approach to that of social-ecological resilience. Both place and resilience concepts, then, are presented “not as a resource or an asset, but as…process[es] of change”.271  With change as a constant, NPOs find themselves in two co-evolving roles: responding to external “disturbance” while simultaneously pursuing their own missions. Both the rise of neoliberalism and changing donor approaches continue to be powerful external disturbances to the NPO sector. Yet, resilience thinking reminds us not to fixate entirely on responses to external disturbance but rather to see the opportunities “that disturbance opens up in terms of recombination of evolved structures and process, renewal of the system and emergence of new trajectories”.272 Resilience embraces the ongoing tension between persistence and transformation since too much of either can reduce resilience precipitously. (See Appendix D for a summary table of definitions and key relationships explored in this research.)  BRAC, in its more than four decades of development work, continues to seek transformation in the lives of the poor such that they can become agents of change in their own lives. Simultaneously though, the poor need productive livelihoods quickly and reliably. Further BRAC must intervene in the lives of the poor within a Bangladesh that participates in globalized markets and policies—markets and policies that too often devalue Bangladeshi lives (poor wages) and well-being (inaction on climate change).                                             270 Massey, Space, Place and Gender, p. 158. 271 T. Swanstrom, “Regional Resilience: A Critical Examination of the Ecological Framework”, Building Resilient Regions Network, Institute of Governmental Studies, Working Paper 2008-07, University of California, Berkeley, California, 2008, p. 14. 272 Carl Folke, “Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses”, Global Environmental Change 16, 2006, p. 259.   94 This ongoing tension between responding to short-term needs and the greater long-term opportunity of empowerment motivates BRAC in its programmatic approaches.      95 Chapter 4: BRAC and Bangladesh:  4.1 Bangladesh and BRAC: BRAC, the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, came into being on the tail end of two horrific events in the history of East Pakistan.273 First, the Great Bhola Cyclone of November 1970 careened into Bangladesh killing at least 500 000 people.274 Then a War of Liberation erupted in March 1971. Between one and three million Bangladeshis were killed in nine months. Eight to ten million more fled to India only to return destitute at the war’s end.275 In this unimaginable imbroglio of misery, despair, and “total insanity”, BRAC opened in February 1972 to provide basic relief services.276 Remarkably, in the context of the international aid that was pouring into the country, BRAC was Bangladesh-founded to act on behalf of the Bangladeshi people.  BRAC focused initially on serving rural villages in Sulla, a remote region in northeastern Bangladesh. BRAC chose this region fearing that “nationwide relief efforts would not reach this area due to its remoteness.” Initially, BRAC concentrated on building houses, rehabilitating agriculture, and distributing fishing nets and boats to fishermen”.277 In the process, it learned a great deal about emergency assistance work. BRAC learned how socio-cultural processes were key factors in the impoverishment of Bangladeshi people; about wealthy people profiteering on the plight of the poor and destitute; and the important roles of women in local economies. BRAC also understood that Bangladesh needed much more than emergency relief. In its fourth year of operations, BRAC                                             273 In 1947, Bangladesh became a part of Pakistan as East Pakistan. Bangladesh became an independent country on 6 December 1971 following its victory in the War of Liberation. 274 The Bhola Cyclone caused the greatest loss of human life of any natural disaster to date. For comparative purposes, the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami led to approximately one-quarter million deaths. 275 Bangladesh’s population in 1971 was 67.63 million according to a web search accessed on December 15, 2106: 276 Interview with BRAC employee, November 2013; and Jon E. Rohde (editor), Learning to Reach Health for All: Thirty Years of Instructive Experience at BRAC. Dhaka: The University Press Limited. 2005. p. 33. 277 Md. Akramul Islam, et al., Making Tuberculosis History: Community-based Solutions for Millions. Dhaka: The University Press Limited. 2011. p. 9.  96 adopted its current long-term mission to deliver a broad range of services to Bangladeshis so that they might lift themselves out of poverty.  Fazle Hasan Abed, a Bangladeshi, founded BRAC.278 In 1969, he was a young British-educated chartered accountant employed as a Shell Oil executive in Bangladesh’s Chittagong region on the eastern reaches of the Bay of Bengal. Following the devastating 1970 cyclone, he took a one-year leave of absence to do relief work, starting a small organization called HELP. Abed’s experience with HELP was profound. Lifted out of his comfortable corporate life, Abed confronted the most extreme human misery imaginable among his own people. The Liberation War a few months later created a politically untenable situation between Abed and Shell Oil—Abed was placed as a liaison between West Pakistan army interests and oil companies located in Bangladesh.279 He fled to England on the strength of his ingenuity and British passport, resigned from Shell and supported the Liberation War from abroad. He returned when the war ended in January 1972. With funds from the sale of his home in England and an initial grant from Oxfam, Abed founded BRAC. What he thought would be two to three years of tough relief work turned into a lifetime commitment. At eighty-one years of age, he remains active as Chair of BRAC and continues to be the heart and soul of BRAC.  The Bangladesh Liberation War erupted on the 25th March 1971. Decades of rising Bengali nationalist sentiments had exploded in the wake of Pakistan’s national elections in December 1970, in which East Pakistan’s political party, Awami League, had won a landslide victory that was not recognized by Pakistan’s military junta (located in the capital city of Karachi, West Pakistan). Between January and March 1971, attempts were made to create a coalition government. These attempts failed and offered the                                             278 Ian Smillie’s book on BRAC is a superb analysis of the story of BRAC: Freedom from Want: The Remarkable Success Story of BRAC, the Global Grassroots Organizations That’s Winning the Fight Against Poverty. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press. 2009. Also, see BRAC’s website: Mr. Smillie, a Canadian, is well known in the international development community. CARE sent him to Bangladesh, soon after the Liberation War in 1972. He met Abed in those early days of BRAC and has returned many times to Bangladesh over the decades to work with BRAC and other NPOs. 279 Smillie, Freedom from Want…, p. 23.  97 Pakistani junta time to plan a military operation that would quell the heightened Bengali nationalist furor. The Pakistan army moved troops and ammunition into East Pakistan. On the 25th of March, they deployed “Operation Searchlight”, an action characterized by targeted killings and wholesale slaughter of Bengalis. The next day, 26th March, Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan and the civil war began. It lasted nine months with India’s support. Pakistan surrendered on 16 December.  Decades of unrest in East Pakistan preceded the Liberation War. The Dominion of Pakistan was created in the Partition of India, 1947. This partition created two states: a Hindu-dominated India and a Muslim-dominated Dominion of Pakistan. Pakistan was a country with two geographically and culturally distinct constituent parts, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (today Bangladesh). These two regions of Pakistan were more than 1600 kilometres apart and separated by India (See Map 1 below). Islam was Pakistan’s single common denominator, although it was expressed more conservatively in West Pakistan than in East Pakistan. Urdu was spoken in the West and Bengali in the East. The differences were stark and bitter resentment and anger festered under Pakistan’s rule of its citizens in East Pakistan. These years were characterized by economic, ethnic and cultural discrimination against East Pakistanis and asymmetric power by a domineering West Pakistan. A shared religion had no ability to unite these two fundamentally different countries under such rule.280                                             280 For more on this historical background and the founding years of BRAC, see Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair, “BRAC—An Enabling Structure for Social and Economic Development”, IESE Business School, Study No. 34, January 2006 accessed March 01, 2014:  98 Map 4.1: Post-Partition Indian Sub-continent. See Appendix E for Map Source Statement The aftermath of the Liberation War was devastating. First, another humanitarian crisis emerged—cholera, dysentery, and a virulent small pox epidemic (the last in the world) ravaged the population.281 Second, the country had lost much of its intellectual capital—teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers, writers, engineers and artists. Pakistani forces had assassinated them throughout the war, with the largest two executions occurring on the 25th of March and on the 14th of December when it was evident that Pakistan was losing the war. This final assault was intended to shatter the building of a new nation.282                                              281 Jon E. Rohde., Learning to Reach Health for All: Thirty Years of Instructive Experience at BRAC. Dhaka: The University Press Limited. 2005, p. xv. 282 The largest massacres took place two days before the Pakistani Army surrendered; over 200 intellectuals were murdered in one night, their bodies dumped in the swamp in Rayerbazar, in Mohammadpur, Dhaka.  99 At independence, Bangladesh was one of the poorest countries in the world. Its per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$92 placed it above only Upper Volta (today, Burkina Faso).283 Life expectancy was 47 years and one in four children died before the age of five. Bangladesh was in such a grim state that many wondered if it would survive as an independent state and, if so, whether it would ever be able to wean itself off international aid.284 I realized, as I read about Bangladesh and BRAC ahead of my first visit there in 2013, that any notions that I had about Bangladesh were frozen in time. My first engagement with Bangladesh had been in 1974, when mass starvation killed an estimated 1.5 million people in ten months.285 I wrote a high school paper at that time on population growth and over-population. In that school report, still tucked away in a binder at home, there is a yellowed newspaper photo on the cover page showing a Bangladesh mother holding her emaciated infant. My caption read: “While you are reading these words four people will have died from starvation…most of them children”. In the mid 1980s, I started following the rise of microfinance in Bangladesh as I began working in this field. But I focused on the methodologies and specific practices of microfinance rather than on Bangladesh’s society and economy. I knew little of the country’s struggles and opportunities. In any event, I could not then have appreciated the remarkable changes that would unfold in Bangladesh in the coming decades. Nor could I imagine the range of innovative poverty alleviation strategies that would be developed there.                                              283 Gross Domestic Product per capita is the “sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output. GDP per capita is gross domestic product divided by mid-year population. Growth is calculated from constant price GDP data in local currency”. UNICEF website accessed January 28, 2014 ( 284 The Economist accessed online January 28, 2014: 285 Howard LaFranchi, “From famine to food basket: how Bangladesh became a model for reducing hunger”, The Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 2015 accessed October 15, 2015:  100 On July 1, 2015, the World Bank announced that Bangladesh had moved from a low-income to a lower-middle-income country, along with Kenya, Myanmar, and Tajikistan.286 Bangladesh now shares the same World Bank ranking as India, Morocco, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Commenting on its surprising trajectory, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen wrote: “Self-assured commentators who saw Bangladesh as a ‘basket case’ not many years ago could not have expected that the country would jump out of the basket and start sprinting ahead even as expressions of sympathy and pity were pouring in”.287   4.2 Bangladesh: Geography, economy, and climate:  The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a tiny (147 570 sq. km), low-lying country on the world