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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, Put Us in the Picture, 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

Put Us in the Picture is Sightsavers’ campaign that 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

The Global Disability Summit

On 24 July DFID co-hosted a global disability summit in London. It aimed to celebrate the achievements and rights of people with disabilities.

Learn more

Resources

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

People sitting watching a speaker who is a wheelchair user, with a sign language translator standing next to her.
sightsavers_news

Sightsavers launches global #EqualUN campaign

Sightsavers has launched a global campaign calling on the United Nations to ensure that the work of all its agencies is fully inclusive of people with disabilities.

Three women, one of whom is using a wheelchair, holding up signs reading '#EqualUN for an equal world'.
Sightsavers blog

Why we’re calling for an equal UN

Globally, it’s recognised that people with disabilities are vulnerable to being left behind in efforts to eradicate poverty. Yet there’s still not enough progress being made.

A large crowd of people standing in a conference hall with a banner promoting the Africa Health Agenda International Conference.
Sightsavers blog

Five takeaways from the Africa Health Agenda conference

The conference, in Rwanda, brought together more than 1,500 participants from all kinds of sectors, all working on ways of ensuring better health outcomes for everyone.

We fight for equality for people with disabilities

Join our campaign