A major factor in the success of VISION 2020 has been the advocacy work of many of the stakeholders in eye health. At IAPB we have focussed on two key areas:
- Advocacy for policy change and planning to promote eye health programmes
- Advocacy to secure the resources to implement prevention of blindness plans.
As a consequence of advocacy by IAPB and other VISION 2020 stakeholders we achieved three World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions – 56.26 (2003), 59.25 (2006) and 62.1 (2009). These global resolutions, urging the development of national plans have been followed by regional resolutions on blindness prevention in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Americas. These resolutions have directly led to the development of over 100 VISION 2020 national plans.
Recently, thanks also to the work and contributions of IAPB members, a new WHA resolution has endorsed the new Global Action Plan for the for the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment 2014–2019 – Towards Universal Eye Health.
Successful advocacy has helped bring about significant new resources for VISION 2020. Many funding programmes are funded through national governments – notably India, Pakistan and China. Bilateral donors have provided major funding support most notably the Australian Government through the $65 million Australian Blindness Initiative and Standard Chartered Bank $100 million for “Seeing is Believing”.
Future Priorities Advocacy at country level
A national plan is a crucial first step. Keeping governments to account requires effective internal lobbying. To support these actions IAPB has produced a good practice guide for National Eye Health Coordinator Manual and is working on a manual and training programme in effective advocacy.
Click here to access advocacy related papers and reports