Research centre

Supporting Sightsavers’ research in eye health, neglected tropical diseases, education and social inclusion.

A man research data on a mobile phone.


In 2017, Sightsavers was awarded Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status by UK Research and Innovation, making the organisation one of the only international non-governmental organisations to hold this status in the UK.

As an IRO, Sightsavers is eligible for grants from the seven UK research councils, including the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council. To qualify as an IRO, organisations must prove to UK Research and Innovation that they “possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the national research base” and that they are able to “demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programmes.”

Vision statement

Gathering and disseminating sound research evidence is the best way to ensure our programmes are effective in achieving their goals and meeting the needs of the people they are designed to serve.

Our research strategy sets out four objectives:

  1. Keep up to date with the existing body of evidence and ensure its effective use in our programmes and advocacy
  2. Conduct high quality research to generate new evidence to address global knowledge gaps and our operational challenges
  3. Build organisational capacity and effective partnerships to generate, understand and use research evidence
  4. Ensure effective dissemination of research findings within and outside the organisation

Our research strategy

People riding bicycles, Bangladesh

Publications and resources

View our publications

Research news and blogs

A group of female and male community volunteers stand for a portrait holding dose poles.
Sightsavers from the field

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day: highlights from around the world

On 30 January, Sightsavers joined in celebrations for the first ever World NTD Day around the world.

January 2020
A woman with LF cleans her affected limb.
Sightsavers blog

Catching the mosquitoes that spread lymphatic filariasis

Sightsavers’ research, which involves testing mosquitoes for signs of the disease, can help us to ensure treatment is directed where it’s needed most.

Dr Rogers Nditanchou, September 2019
Children washing themselves in a stream.
Sightsavers from the field

How our research is finding new ways to fight river blindness

For more than 20 years, medication has been distributed in Cameroon to stop the spread of river blindness. Yet people are still testing positive for the disease. We wanted to know why.

August 2019
Man with glasses on.

Evidence gap maps

Evidence gap maps are a visual tool for presenting the state of international development in particular thematic areas. They summarise and appraise evidence to make it more accessible and user-friendly.

View our gap maps