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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.

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

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.

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

Monica sits outside with around 15 people from her family behind her.

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]

 

Strategies

Education strategy (2013-2018)

This document outlines Sightsavers’ strategic directions in education, identifying our goals and highlighting the approaches and fields of activity that will enable us to achieve them.

View the education strategy [pdf]

View the strategy summary [pdf]

 

Empowerment and inclusion strategic framework (2015)

This framework explains our rights-based approach of mainstreaming disability throughout our programming and operations, and complements our other global strategies on eye health, education and research.

View the strategic framework [pdf]

 

Eye health strategy

Our eye health strategy provides a clear vision on how the organisation will move forward between 2013 and 2018, It outlines where we’ll invest resources, and how we’ll work with stakeholders to achieve our objectives.

View eye health strategy [pdf]

View eye health strategy, French version [pdf]

View strategy summary [pdf]

More on policy and advocacy

A woman standing in a roomful of other people. She is covering one eye with her hand.
Sightsavers blog

How can Malawi overcome the final hurdle to eliminate trachoma?

We have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that no one is left behind, but if we can eliminate one NTD, we can then focus on eliminating the others.

Effie Kaminyoghe, July 2020
Three social inclusion participants are in a line smiling at the camera.
Sightsavers blog

Building back inclusively after COVID-19

COVID-19 has shown the need for systems to accommodate the new risks we face. Why not take the opportunity to build them back in a way that is inclusive?

Imran Khan, July 2020
A man who uses a wheelchair is assisted by another man to use a water tap to wash his hands.
Sightsavers blog

Disability and COVID-19 in Bangladesh: why urgent action is needed

Sightsavers has identified focus areas for influencing the government and donor agencies to protect people with disabilities from the adverse impacts of COVID-19.

Ayon Debnath, July 2020

We fight for equality for people with disabilities

Join our campaign