The event then moved on to two virtual sessions that enabled country level staff, from clinicians to project staff, to engage with staff from other countries to reflect on both what had been successful in improving quality and increasing coverage of eye care services, as well as the risks and blockages encountered, and ways found to move forward at the project level.
Session 2, Celebrating Success, was planned to maximise interest in the huge achievements of both the service delivery projects but also to highlight the impact of projects funded through the Innovation Funding stream. Time only allowed for two innovation projects to be presented ‘Red Flex Screening: Saving sight and life in East African Children’ from the LSHTM; and ‘Improving vision to empower female factory workers in Vietnam’ by the Fred Hollows Foundation. Both presentations can be viewed here. Afterwards Breakout sessions hosted by 9 facilitators from recent SiB projects welcomed delegates to share their own project’s success and learning in thematic discussion rooms.
After lunch we reconvened for Session 3 that was organised in a World Café style for shared learning around project risks and challenges. Through a series of rapid-fire roundtables, delegates identified common challenges and discussed mitigating strategies across the portfolio of projects. The fast-moving sessions were facilitated by staff from SiB projects who introduced key risks and challenges by topic. The facilitators moved between groups of delegates every 13 minutes, which kept everyone challenged and alert to rapidly changing conversations.
The coffee and lunch break sessions had also been left intentionally unscripted, and it was great to see how many delegates chose to pop into these rooms. And then how exchanges from across continents and areas of expertise spontaneously occurred. This demonstrates an appetite for sharing and learning from others who are actively engaged in eye care delivery.
The day ended with a Panel Discussion: Looking Forward that was hosted by IAPB’s Peter Holland. Expert panellists from across the private sector, government and civil society, discussed opportunities on how progress and learning from SiB can be applied to the eye health sector going forward. You can watch the recording of the session below: