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2023 in Review: Knowledge – Monitoring progress

Published: 17.11.2023
Jissa James Knowledge Manager
Jude Stern Head of Knowledge Management

“All knowledge is interconnected, and the joy lies in forging these connections.”  Arthur C Aufderheide 

At IAPB, our approach to knowledge is to be the catalyst, the facilitator to illuminate these interconnections, enabling us to gather collective wisdom and shared experiences within our sector. It drives us to discover solutions and explore more effective means of presenting our sector’s insights to the world. 2023 has been a big year in knowledge,  we have been able to develop new ways to monitor progress on global eye health, map and share the work of members, been inspired and shared knowledge together in person at 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE and online via the Knowledge Hub, underpinned global campaigns and our work groups have created opportunities, forums and resources to accelerate action on global eye health. 

Two years into the 2030 In Sight strategy for eye health sector, we have reached an exciting milestone. Our progress measurement framework is now in place, with key indicators to monitor our collective progress towards achieving the strategy’s goals in the areas of elevate, integrate, and activate. This is a valuable resource for members, essential partners, the Secretariat, and the entire sector. 

In 2023, we successfully piloted three new survey tools marking another significant milestone for knowledge. We are now able to track global and national commitments to eye health, monitor national progress on integrating eye health in systems and map the critical work of the IAPB members and network on strategy implementation.  

Thanks to key informants, we have collected data from 20 countries through the 2030 In Sight Country Progress Survey, and recorded 9 global, 3 regional/multinational and 10 national commitments on the 2030 In Sight Commitment Tracker. Through the IAPB Member implementation mapping, we have mapped strategy implementation at a national level in 19 countries in Africa. A prototype dashboard has been developed to display the data.  It’s evident that our strategy is gaining traction and that we’re making substantial progress towards our vision. Now that we have the tools and methodologies established, we need to scale the collection of data. There are opportunities available for members to be involved in the data collection, reporting, and publications for 2024. 

The Vision Atlas continues to be a valuable platform for the sector, providing the essential evidence required for eye health advocacy, campaigns and planning for eye health services. It brings us great delight that this year we had over 63,000 viewers engaging with the Vision Atlas and it has been cited in over 200 publications so far. But that is not all. In 2024 we will integrate the new data and surveys into the Vision Atlas. This means even more comprehensive, customizable data & insights will be readily available for your work. We are always open to exploring partnership opportunities for investing in and further supporting this platform as we move ahead. 

The IAPB Knowledge Hub is the go-to centre for curated shared knowledge to inform global eye health. 2030 In Sight strategy approaches collective action from a systems lens. The sharing of experiences, learnings, challenges, and failures are essential to leading and driving change that lasts. The Knowledge Hub is the showcase of our ongoing commitment and capability to drive change, scale our efforts, and adapt effectively to the evolving landscape. Over 12,000 people from 135 countries have begun to use the new hub, featuring the experience and expertise of our members & experts, guides, resources, toolkits and much more. We are regularly adding new opinion pieces, Q&As to the hub. This year we have also published over 35 stories from IAPB members highlighting the use of knowledge in practice. We are sure you will find these articles insightful. Highlights from this year include the IAPB Eye Health Technology Guide, the Q and A exploring the key findings of Investment in eye health to prevent sight loss report, our explainers on eREC and eCSC, the Advocacy to Action – Stories from the regions – a ‘lessons learnt’ series featuring case studies of advocacy action from Ghana & PNG. We thank everyone for their support and contributions. We invite you to continue exploring and sharing your knowledge, insights and experiences within the knowledge hub. 

The programme at 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE in Singapore was a highlight of 2023 for many of us. The excellent design and delivery of the programme was critical to the success of the event, creating many opportunities for shared learning, new connections and opportunities for collaboration. With a focus on diversity and inclusion, we are proud to have delivered a 27-session programme that featured 92 speakers (more women than men) from over 34 countries. 

New to the event this year were Masterclasses, designed to build capability in core skills of systems change, advocacy, campaigns, and climate action. All masterclass sessions were full and rated highly. Our Work Group side meetings had record attendees participating in Singapore. Your participation and collaboration have been invaluable. 

The success of the data, evidence and resources used in the Love Your Eyes campaign is encouraging and reminds us that knowledge work underpins and accelerates our actions to preventing avoidable sight loss by 2030. The Report on global productivity losses due to avoidable blindness for Love Your Eyes 2023  was marked in 141 publications, with a reach of over 25 million. Love Your Eyes Workplace Resources so far has over 9600 downloads in a two-month timespan. 

Knowledge supports and coordinates with IAPB work groups to inform the wider membership about best practices, experiences, lessons learnt and opportunities. Highlights from the work groups include; The Climate Action Work Group produced CAWG Mythbuster v1.pdf for World Earth Day, the Diabetic Retinopathy Work Group coordinated a symposium with support from the Fred Hollows Foundation at IDF Congress in Lisbon, the Gender Equity Work Group supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation, Orbis, Sightsavers, Seva, Santen, Mission for Vision, HCP Cure Blindness, Light for the World, Operation Eyesight hosted an exhibition booth at Women Deliver Health conference in Rwanda, the Refractive Error Work Group held an in person workshop at 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE covering evidence for scaling quality refractive error initiatives and the Indigenous Peoples Special Interest Group presented its first Position Statement ‘Promoting Eye Health Equity for Indigenous Peoples Globally’ this year. 

Your support, contributions & engagement is what makes our work meaningful. We are committed to deepening our sectors’ learning and engagement around key topics of global eye health and the 2030 In Sight Strategy. Thank you to everyone who produced, shared, or connected knowledge this year and we look forward to an exciting 2024!