IAPB Work Group FAQs

These IAPB Workgroups FAQs should answer most of your questions on how to join them, form new groups or to participate in them effectively. If you have any more questions, please do leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

What sort of areas can IAPB Work Groups address?

Whereas the IAPB Board may from time to time set up strategy groups to focus on specific areas of the IAPB strategic plan (with clear rules on membership, expected outcomes and timetable to achieve those), all members can initiate expert groups to address ongoing longer term issues and promote knowledge, collaborative activities and good practice around those.

For example, members’ expert groups may concern ‘vertical’ topics such as specific eye diseases, particular areas around the management of eye care projects, fundraising practices, or more; or groups may be formed with a ‘horizontal’ focus, for example similar organisations getting together to share common challenges and solutions (such as eye hospitals, or research institutes, etc.).

What groups are already in place and how do I join them?

IAPB has already a number of active work groups dealing with key topics in eye health. Before thinking of starting a new group check whether your particular area of interest is already addressed by one of them:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy – focusing on the development, testing and scale up of innovative models for the prevention, treatment and management of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Refractive Error – providing leadership for IAPB Members and other stakeholders on priority matters relating to refractive errors.
  • Low Vision – setting standards for better low vision practice and raising awareness of this often neglected area.
  • Human Resources for Eye Health – leading on key focused activities which support human resource development, one of the six building blocks of a health system.
  • Long Term Global Indicators – looking at mechanisms to collect a common set of long term outcome indicators to enable more consistent reporting on the impact of efforts to address avoidable blindness.
  • Environment Sustainability – tackling issues around environmental sustainability, one of the biggest global health priorities.
  • School Eye Health –  find solutions to reach more children, raise a higher level of awareness, and educate children and their parents about the importance of eye health.
  • Gender Equity – To provide an important forum for raising awareness, sharing ideas and disseminating evidence on gender equity approaches.

If you want to know more, or are interested in joining any of the work groups above, do get in touch.

How do I set up an IAPB Work Group?

All requests to create a work group must include:

  • Specific area or theme the group wishes to address;
  • The name of at least five member organisations promoting the initiative;
  • Draft terms of reference.

There is no single recipe for how to run a work group, however successful and effective groups are normally characterised by clear provisions with regards to:

  1. The group’s objectives
  2. The role and rotation of the Chair and Secretary
  3. Structure and decision-making processes
  4. Expectations and responsibilities of members
  5. Meeting logistics and notes keeping
  6. Transparency and accountability

Click here for a template terms of reference to use as guidance.

Membership of IAPB expert groups must be open to all members who wish to participate and have the necessary expertise and/or commitment to engage constructively.

All requests to set up an IAPB Work Group are assessed by the Board, or a delegated body thereof. Simply email the Secretariat with your request in order to start the process.

Are there any rules IAPB Work Groups must abide to?

Once up set up, IAPB work groups are predominantly self-running entities; however, a few clear rules will help keep their focus and alignment with IAPB’s values.

  • Work groups are safe spaces for members to share and exchange expertise and good practice and all members are expected to participate in an open and constructive way, respectful of any different approach or position that may be present within the membership.
  • It is expected that any position statement a work group may wish to put forward is, as far as possible, based on evidence.
  • Before a new position statement related to the work group’s theme can be formally declared as an IAPB position, it must be approved by the IAPB Board. External communications based on already approved positions do not need clearance.
  • Work groups should have clear goals and regularly report to the Board of Trustees about activities undertaken in the pursuit of those.
  • Work groups are expected to maintain clear records of their discussions and be prepared to share them via the IAPB website.
  • The Board, or delegated body thereof, will periodically review activities of all work groups and make any relevant decision about their focus and continuity.

What support is available from the Secretariat?

The IAPB Secretariat will provide the support needed to create and populate work groups-related pages on the IAPB website to ensure transparency and disseminate information to the wider membership. The work groups will be responsible for all content and updates of their work including meeting minutes, discussion papers, reports, etc.

The Secretariat would also endeavour to allocate space and time to work groups that request to meet around IAPB Board and Council meetings and assist with online forums such as webinars – but timings will need to be subsidiary to the needs of governance and priority will be given to board committees and strategy groups.