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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 and advocacy

We promote inclusive health because we believe that everyone should be able to receive quality, affordable health care.
Read about our health work

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Disability rights

Our Equal World disability rights campaign calls on international leaders to make sure global development is inclusive of people with disabilities.
Learn about the campaign

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Data disaggregation

Globally, there’s a lack of accurate data on disability, so our Everybody Counts programme is 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

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Sightsavers blog

How inclusion ambassadors are reducing disability stigma and discrimination in Ghana

Sightsavers’ Joseph Mensah explains how the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie programme is helping to change negative social attitudes and behaviour.

Joseph Mensah, April 2022
A man stands in a fast-flowing river examining foliage for black flies.
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Sightsavers partnership aims to research the impact of climate change on NTDs

Sightsavers and the Walker Institute will explore different climate change scenarios to predict areas that will be most affected by neglected tropical diseases in the future.

March 2022
An illustration from the Put Us in the Picture website, featuring a woman with blonde hair wearing glasses next t a colourful wheel of fortune.
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Sightsavers Ireland’s education site wins Website of the Year award

The Put Us in the Picture website teaches schoolchildren in Ireland about inclusive education and disability in low income countries.

February 2022

We fight for equality for people with disabilities

Join our campaign