Research centre

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

A handwritten table of data


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

Three school children from Ghana smiling outside their school.
Sightsavers blog

It’s all about the numbers: how economics is helping us to save sight in schools

By using economics, we can make sure our school eye screening programmes are affordable and efficient, ensuring thousands of children in poorer countries can get the eye care they need.

Guillaume Trotignon, July 2019
A woman affected by lymphatic filariasis (LF) sits outside her home.

Sightsavers’ research on NTDs and disability is published by Oxford University Press

The research, carried out by Sightsavers, looks at the relationship between disabilities and neglected tropical disease treatment.

May 2019
A group of volunteers sit around a table in a village in Nigeria.
Sightsavers blog

Putting learning into practice: using research to reach people at risk of NTDs in Nigeria

Nigeria carries around 25 per cent of Africa’s NTD burden. However, progress is being made and research is playing a key role in helping to eliminate the diseases.

James Yashiyi Nuphi, March 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