Doing research and sharing findings, no matter how compelling they might be, is not enough to have a real impact on lives. Sightsavers’ research strategy aims to closely integrate research and programmes at every stage – from generating research questions through to ensuring findings are used to inform decisions.
Other teams across the organisation play a significant role in the implementation of our research. Our country offices and thematic technical experts in eye health, neglected tropical diseases, education and social inclusion help to identify research questions and programme-specific knowledge gaps. Our policy and advocacy team lead on developing recommendations arising from new research, while a new team of global advisers dedicated to research uptake and learning work ensure that our research has an even greater impact.
To increase our impact, all our research projects are conducted in partnership with academic institutions, government entities and ministries of health in the countries where we work. Our staff are an integral part of the research design and implementation, and are involved in all stages of the research process. We also work closely with the UK Department of International Development’s research and evidence division, as part of the Inclusive Futures initiative.
We are seeking to expand our research partnerships, particularly in new research areas and in the countries where we work, and collaborate with other international non-governmental organisations.
Sightsavers’ research strategy is complemented by our research governance framework outlining the guiding principles and processes we apply to all our research. This covers study protocols and methods, the tools we use, internationally accepted principles and procedures, training, and safeguards around participation, independence and inclusion. Our research is also subject to wider organisational policies and standards as set out on our policies page.
Our research also helps us to measure the impact of our programmes and ensure they meet the needs of the people they are designed to serve. Read how our research showed how Sightsavers helped to halve blindness in the remote Indian SundarbansOur impact in the Sundarbans