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