Sightsavers want avoidable blindness to be eliminated. They want equality for people with disabilities.
Sightsavers is a large organization with multiple program areas that focuses on preventing avoidable blindness and supporting people with impaired vision. Their work to prevent and treat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and, more specifically, advocating for, funding, and monitoring deworming program (through mass-drug administration) was reviewed by GiveWell. Sightsavers have demonstrated a strong track record and excellent cost-effectiveness for deworming.
Where they work:
Pakistan | India | Bangladesh
Senegal | The Gambia | Guinea Bissau | Guinea Conakry | Sierra Leone | Liberia | Mali | Ghana | Togo | Benin | Burkina Faso | Niger | Côte D'lvoire | Nigeria | Cameroon | Chad | Republic of Congo | Republic of Sudan | South Sudan | Uganda | Kenya | Tanzania | Zambia | Malawi | Zimbabwe | Mozambique
What do they do?
Sightsavers is focused on helping blind people to see again, and preventing people from going blind.
They are a large organization with multiple program areas that focuses on preventing avoidable blindness and supporting people with impaired vision.
Sightsavers mainly target the following eye diseases and conditions:
- River blindness (onchocerciasis)
- Refractive error
- Glaucoma (a group of eye conditions)
- Eye examinations: referring people for treatment to prevent blindness and restore sight.
- Distribution of medication to prevent blinding diseases.
- Funding operations, train eye care workers and surgeons.
- Training specialist teaching staff, supply glasses, Braille kits and other learning tools.
- Educating communities.
Sightsavers supports their partners to carry out millions of eye examinations and refer people for treatment to prevent blindness and restore sight. Through community volunteers in developing countries, they enable the distribution of medication to prevent blinding diseases. They fund operations for people who need them, and train eye care workers and surgeons.
They work with partners to train specialist teaching staff; supply glasses, Braille kits and other learning tools; and educate communities to reduce stigma around visual impairment and blindness. Because of Sightsavers, people who are visually impaired or have other disabilities are supported to live independently, get an education and earn an income.
Campaigning for change
Sightsavers works with national governments, strengthening systems that tackle the problems at the root of avoidable blindness – the sorts of things most of us take for granted, like access to clean water, sanitation facilities and education. They make changes for the long term, and help change systems from the inside to ensure support continues to be given to the people who need it.
Why are they recommended?
Sightsavers is recommended by GiveWell.
Deworming / mass drug administration (MDA)
GiveWell states that they have only reviewed Sightsavers' work to prevent and treat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and, more specifically, advocating for, funding, and monitoring deworming programs; their recommendation is just for Sightsavers' work on deworming, which has relatively strong evidence for the positive impact.
Sightsavers has provided GiveWell with moderate-quality monitoring indicating that it has achieved fairly high coverage rates for some of its past NTD programs. Sightsavers has a moderately strong process for assessing whether the mass drug administration (MDA) programs it supports are successfully reaching their intended recipients. However, GiveWell has seen very limited results from Sightsavers' deworming programs specifically.
Sightsavers has demonstrated standout transparency. They have shared significant, detailed information about their programs with GiveWell.
Room for more funding
GiveWell has established that Sightsavers can use additional funds to scale up its work on deworming.
For every £1 that Sightsavers receive (including donated supplies):
- 91% goes on vital charity work.
- 9% goes on growing awareness and their funding.
Their impact thus far includes:
- 295 million people protected against River blindness.
- 6.1 million sight-restoring Cataract operations.
- 43 million people treated with Trachoma antibiotics.