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Vision: 

Sightsavers wants avoidable blindness to be eliminated, and equality for people with disabilities.


Sightsavers is a large organization with multiple programmes to prevent avoidable blindness and support people with impaired vision. It works to prevent and treat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and advocates for, funds, and monitors deworming programmes (through mass-drug administration). Sightsavers has demonstrated a strong track record and excellent cost-effectiveness for deworming. 


Founded: 1950

www.sightsavers.org

Impact Area: Preventable Blindness

Where?

Asia: Pakistan | India | Bangladesh

Africa: 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

Caribbean


Action:

Sightsavers helps blind people to see again, and prevents people from going blind.

It has multiple programmes to prevent avoidable blindness and support people with impaired vision. 

Target areas

Sightsavers mainly targets the following eye diseases and conditions: 

  • Trachoma
  • River blindness (onchocerciasis)
  • Cataract
  • Refractive error
  • Glaucoma (a group of eye conditions)

 

Programmes

  • 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
  • Advocacy
 

Preventing blindness

Sightsavers supports its 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, it enables the distribution of medication to prevent blinding diseases. It funds operations for people who need it, and trains eye care workers and surgeons.

 

Supporting equality

It works 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. Sightsavers helps to support people who are visually impaired or have other disabilities 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. It makes changes for the long term, and helps change systems from the inside to ensure support continues to be given to the people who need it.


Why recommended? 

Sightsavers is recommended by GiveWell. 

Deworming / mass drug administration (MDA)

GiveWell states that it has only reviewed Sightsavers' work to prevent and treat neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), specifically, advocating for, funding, and monitoring of deworming programmes; GiveWell's recommendation is just for Sightsavers' deworming work, 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 NTD programmes. Sightsavers has a moderately strong process for assessing whether the mass drug administration (MDA) programmes it supports are  reaching their intended recipients. However, GiveWell has seen very limited results from Sightsavers' deworming programmes, specifically.

Transparency

Sightsavers has demonstrated standout transparency. It has shared significant, detailed information about its programmes with GiveWell.

Room for more funding

GiveWell has established that Sightsavers can use additional funds to scale up its work on deworming.

Cost-effectiveness

For every £1 that Sightsavers receives, including donated supplies: 

  • 91% goes on vital charity work
  • 9% goes on growing awareness and its funding

Its 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