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 Research Councils UK, 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 Research Councils UK 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 selection of brightly coloured glasses for children.

Research reveals drivers are getting behind the wheel with uncorrected sight problems

Up to 80 per cent of UK drivers break the law by not wearing their glasses when driving, according to research by Sightsavers to mark World Sight Day.

Thomas Engels standing in front of a banner at the World Ophthalmology Congress, holding his certificate.

Sightsavers wins outstanding abstract award at World Ophthalmology Congress

The award is given to researchers based on the scientific quality of their work and is evaluated by a panel of reviewers.

A health worker talks to an LF patient.

Research calls for new approach to treating neglected tropical diseases in urban areas

Research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases says distributing medication on a large scale in urban areas may not be the most effective solution.

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