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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

A young African girl smiling with a hand near her mouth.

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]

 

Read more about Sightsavers’ thematic strategies

Our strategy documents

More on policy and advocacy

A table is laid out in front of a sign that says 'Disability Inclusive SDGs: Leaving no one behind'
Sightsavers blog

Achieving the SDGs: three lessons from the High-Level Political Forum

Every year, as we examine progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, it is clear to see that setting ambition is easier than achieving it.

Andrew Griffiths, July 2021
A group of people with disabilities raise their hands.
Sightsavers blog

How inclusive voluntary national reviews can help us work towards the SDGs

Sightsavers' Aissata Ndiaye shares key highlights from a discussion at the UN High-Level Political Forum about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Aissata Ndiaye, July 2021
A long line of children queue to see an eye health worker.
sightsavers_news

Statement: Sightsavers’ response to UK aid reduction decision

Sightsavers' director of policy and programme strategy, Dom Haslam, responds to the "devastating" outcome of the vote to keep the budget for international development at 0.5% of national income.

July 2021

We fight for equality for people with disabilities

Join our campaign