High-quality research is critical to help Sightsavers deliver its strategy and programmes successfully.

Christiana Solomon has lymphatic filariasis. She lives in Lokoja, Nigeria, with her family.
A lady with a turquiose top on is holding a notepad with a phone resting on top. You cannot see the ladies face.

Gathering and disseminating sound research evidence is the best way to ensure our programmes demonstrate scalable, cost-effective approaches that meet the needs of the people they are designed to serve.

Research evidence is also a strong tool for advocating with governments and policymakers for improved policies that help to eliminate avoidable blindness and enable people with disabilities to participate equally in society.

We support research in eye health, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), education and social inclusion. Collaborative working with a broad range of research partners is key to developing research capacity both within the organisation and among our partners, and we continue to strive to extend our network of partnerships in the countries in which we work.

Our research strategy sets out four objectives:

  • Keep up to date with the existing body of evidence and ensure its effective use in our programmes and advocacy
  • Conduct high-quality research to generate new evidence to address global knowledge gaps and our operational challenges
  • Build organisational capacity and effective partnerships to generate, understand and use research evidence
  • Ensure effective dissemination of research findings within and outside the organisation.

View our research strategy [pdf]

Our research projects

Children waving.

Everybody Counts

Globally, there’s a lack of accurate data on disability. We aim to change this by looking at new ways to collect data about the inclusion of people with disabilities, and are testing the Washington Group Short Set of questions in our programmes.

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Sankarlal walking in the community.

Voices of the Marginalised

People in excluded situations rarely have their voices heard, and this is compounded by a lack of relevant data. This study aimed to share experiences of people with disabilities and older people in developing countries.

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Reports and reviews

Gap maps

Evidence gap maps (EGMs) are a visual tool for presenting the state of evidence relevant to international development in certain thematic areas. They summarise and appraise evidence from systematic or literature reviews to make evidence accessible and user-friendly, and to highlight gaps for future research.

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Disability-inclusive elections in Africa: a qualitative systematic review

In many low-income countries, including those in Africa, people with disabilities are often unable to cast their vote or stand for political election in their local institutions. They are therefore excluded from political and social engagement and cannot fully exercise and enjoy their guaranteed rights.

View the report [pdf]

More about research

A health worker talks to an LF patient.
News / NTDs /

Research calls for new approach to treating neglected tropical diseases in urban areas

Research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases says distributing medication on a large scale in urban areas may not be the most effective solution.

A street in an urban slum in Lahore.
Sightsavers blog

Going where the need is greatest: eye care in Lahore, Pakistan

It’s vitally important to investigate and address eye health disparities in urban areas, says Sightsavers' Guillaume Trotignon.

A girl standing in front of writing that says welcome to class

Sightsavers awarded Independent Research Organisation status

The organisation is one of the only international non-governmental organisations to hold this status in the UK.

We campaign for equality for people with disabilities

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