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Policy and advocacy

Sightsavers influences the development and implementation of health and inclusion policies at local, national and global level.

A group of young adults sit in a row, looking to one side. In the centre a young woman is smiling.

Our policy and advocacy team works to ensure that people can access the health and education services they are entitled to, and that people with disabilities are not excluded or discriminated against, but empowered to claim their rights.

Policy is critical because it shapes people’s lives: no matter who you are or where you live, your life is shaped by the policy environment around you. Sightsavers works to influence policy in the areas of global health, education and neglected tropical diseases, and social inclusion. Our policy and advocacy work is supported by our research.

We’re exploring how to address the global lack of disability data, helping people with disabilities and older people to conduct and analyse research with their peers, and promoting the financial independence of people with disabilities through innovative economic empowerment projects. We’re also testing how to make more inclusive health projects and promoting accessible political participation.

Our policy campaign for disability rights calls on the international community to make global development inclusive of people with disabilities, and since 2013 it has contributed to an increasing focus on disability-inclusive development both in the UK and around the world.

Sightsavers’ policy and advocacy work aligns with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fully supports their commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ in creating a fairer world.

Sightsavers’ Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame addresses the 10th Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Our key areas

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Health policy & advocacy

Globally, 253 million people are visually impaired, 36 million of whom are blind, while neglected tropical diseases affect 1.4 billion people.
Read about our health work

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Disability rights

Sightsavers’ disability rights campaign calls on international leaders to make global development inclusive of people with disabilities.
Learn about the campaign

Members of local disabled people's organisation standing outside. All smiling at the camera.

Data disaggregation

Globally, there’s a lack of accurate data on disability, so we’re looking at new ways to collect data about the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Read about our data

Resources

Handbooks

Advocacy in programmes handbook

This toolkit outlines an approach to the integration of advocacy plans and strategies in Sightsavers’ country offices. Our advocacy ultimately aims to hold governments to account and influence them to put policies in place that will reach the furthest behind people first.
View Advocacy in programmes handbook [pdf]

 

Disability Inclusive Scorecard manual

One role of civil society organisations is to amplify the voices of people who are most excluded in society. Our manual addresses this challenge by guiding readers through the process of generating and using a Disability Inclusive Scorecard (DISC), focused on educational provision for learners with disabilities.
View the DISC manual [pdf]
View the DISC learning document [pdf]
View the advocacy brief [pdf]

Read more about Sightsavers’ thematic strategies

Our strategy documents

More on policy and advocacy

Three people in protective clothing and masks stand outside conducting Covid research.
sightsavers_news

Research shows ‘shocking’ exclusion of people with disabilities during pandemic

The research, part of the Inclusive Futures initiative, found many people with disabilities were unable to get help with food, medicine and other relief efforts.

September 2021
A group of young children playing on a climbing frame outside a school
Sightsavers from the field

Education, not discrimination: Malawi’s inclusive pre-schools

An inclusive education project in Malawi is challenging stigma and changing lives by enabling young children with disabilities to attend pre-school alongside their peers.

September 2021
A group of smiling people hold signs that say Equal UN Mali.
sightsavers_news

Mali passes new law to protect the rights of people with disabilities

The Prime Minister of Mali has signed the new social decree into law, which promises to improve the lives of people with disabilities and make it possible for people to claim their rights.

September 2021

We fight for equality for people with disabilities

Join our campaign