Research centre

Welcome to Sightsavers' research website, where you can find information on our latest projects and publications and learn how research is helping to change lives around the world.

Three women and a man are gathered around a table looking at a blood sample

Research projects

We run research projects worldwide, working with partners to generate evidence with impact.
Our research projects

A health worker examines the eyes of a young child outside.

Published research

We contribute to the global knowledge base by publishing our research results in peer-reviewed journals and reports.
Publications and resources

Man with glasses on.

Evidence gap maps

Our evidence gap maps are a visual tool to present available evidence and highlight gaps for future research.
Evidence gap maps

Our in-house research makes us different

Sightsavers holds Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status. We are one of the only international non-governmental organisations to hold this status in the UK. As an IRO, we are eligible for grants from the seven UK research councils, including the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Our research team is made up of more than 30 people based around the world, with skills ranging from epidemiology and economics to geographic information system mapping and community-based participatory research. Our research activities also extend beyond the team, involving many more people across the organisation as well as our partners.

Research that changes lives

The immediate goal of research at Sightsavers is to generate evidence that our programme teams can use to improve lives around the world.

Research strategy [PDF]

Bringing research findings to life

We use community-based participatory research approaches which can help break down social injustice and power structures. In our NTD research, we’ve trained frontline health care workers and people living with NTDs to be ‘co-researchers’, and we use local artwork to help bring findings to life for the benefit of people with NTDs, researchers and programme planners.

Find out more about how we’ve been using participatory research to improve people’s lives as part of the COUNTDOWN programme.

Research news and blogs

A person writes on a paper spreadsheet. Only their hand is visible.
Sightsavers from the field

“A thing of joy”: celebrating seven years of the COUNTDOWN programme

This major research programme, which ended in 2021, has supported people with neglected tropical diseases to speak out about their illnesses and how they would like to be treated.

November 2021
Kareen Atekem is shown in a yellow Sightsavers top standing outside next to a Sightsavers vehicle.

Sightsavers researcher wins recognition for innovative NTD project

Kareen Atekem's work on a new project to help control and eliminate two neglected tropical diseases has been recognised by the NTD Innovation Prize competition.

September 2021
Edith with Atugonza, one of the graduates of the Connecting the Dots programme.
Sightsavers blog

Why tackling disability discrimination is key to employment projects

As part of our Connecting the Dots project in Uganda, we tested a new way of boosting employment rates by influencing communities, families and businesses to act more positively toward people with disabilities.

Edith Kagoya, June 2021
An illustration showing a group of people of different ethnicities, standing together. The people are pictured wearing brightly coloured clothes. One of the people in the group is a wheelchair user.

Sightsavers study highlights gaps in research into disability discrimination

The study looked at interventions that have been used to tackle stigma, and highlighted gaps in the evidence base. Researchers are now calling for more effort to be put into filling these gaps.

June 2021
Sightsavers from the field

“Taking photos helps people to understand our problems”

People in Nigeria with diseases affecting the skin have shared their photos as part of a research project into how these conditions can be better managed.

May 2021
A person's hands are shown, entering data into a mobile phone.
News /

Sightsavers and partners share inclusive data learnings

Sightsavers and its partners are holding a special event on 28 January, to share what we've learned about producing data that includes everyone.

January 2021