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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

The main debating chamber at the United Nations.
Sightsavers blog

How does the UN disability committee election work?

An important election is taking place later in November that will have huge implications for the rights of people with disabilities across the world.  

Ross Gilligan, November 2020
A woman holds a sign saying #EqualUN.
Sightsavers blog

“Gender and background make a huge difference in how we experience disability”

It is important to ensure gender balance and equity to ensure that women have the right to a voice.

Sif Holst, November 2020
Eufémia Amela smiles and holds a sign saying #EqualUN.
Sightsavers blog

“Representation means speaking for ourselves”

It is important to ensure gender balance and equity to ensure that women have the right to a voice.

Eufémia Amela, November 2020

We fight for equality for people with disabilities

Join our campaign