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Plan: Develop an eye care strategic plan

A current and comprehensive national eye care strategic plan should be the aim of a policy dialogue about IPEC.

Policy dialogue

A policy dialogue usually includes structured discussions which aim to develop or implement policy change.

Policy dialogue includes series of formal events and informal consultations – any communication between people who contribute to a process leading to policy change.

Consider your setting

  • The engagement of relevant senior staff from the Ministry of Health should occur early in the process to help build high-level commitment.
  • Which stakeholders or sectors would you engage in a policy dialogue?
  • What type of workshop, meeting, consultation or campaign would be best for a policy dialogue?
  • How much advocacy experience do partners facilitating or supporting the process have?
  • What public commitments and targets has your country made on eye care?
  • Has your country co-sponsored or participated in the WHA or UN General Assembly Resolution on IPEC?
  • What existing health policy priorities align with IPEC, such those that focus on Universal Health Coverage and improved primary health care?
  • Is funding available to support the policy dialogue process and ECSAT?


Develop a strategic plan

National eye care strategic plans aim to identify, sequence and schedule actions for the health sector in a comprehensive way. They should include goals, objectives, actions and indicators.

  • Goals are a long-term aim for where eye health should be.
  • Objectives should generate progress towards that goal.
  • Actions define how the goal and objectives will be achieved.
  • Indicators help us measure progress.

Our actions should achieve our objectives, which in turn should achieve our goal. Each objective and action should include a similar level of detail.

An IPEC strategic plan should be adapted to the specific context of your country and priorities identified in the ECSAT.

What goal and objectives would be relevant in your country or region?

Prioritising actions

Setting criteria can help determine the level of priority for each action towards IPEC.

The plan should reflect priorities, but also include all major areas impacting on the development of eye health in your setting.

  • How does the action align with priorities of key stakeholders, including government and NGO partners?
  • How large is the health impact likely to be?
  • How essential is the activity for service provision?
  • How realistic is the completing the action in the local context?
  • Are there barriers?
  • How much risk is involved?
  • Is there likely to be funding available?
  • How affordable is the action?
  • How much impact will the action generate compared to the cost?

Which specific actions towards IPEC would you prioritise in your country or region, considering importance, feasibility and cost-effectiveness?
Would you include actions in the plan that may not realistically be achieved, as an advocacy tool?


Indicators allow us to see whether the eye health strategic plan is achieving its aims and having an impact.

  • What indicators would you use to measure progress towards your chosen actions?
  • Are data available to measure these indicators?
  • Could you measure baseline and progress towards eREC and eCSC in your country?
  • Which actions should be implemented first?

Costing the plan

This step involves estimating how much it will cost to complete the actions in the eye care strategic plan.

  • Do you know the current budget for eye health in your country or region?
  • How much funding for eye health does the non-government sector provide in your country?


Consultation involves presenting the plan to stakeholders, asking for feedback and then revising the plan. This will improve the plan and create greater support for it.

Stakeholder engagement, especially from the Ministry of Health, is very important to ensure buy in and accountability.

It is important that stakeholders can express their views on the draft eye health strategic plan through consultation and feedback, including those at the sub-national level.

  • How decentralised is the health system in your country?
  • How could it be ensured that IPEC is implemented effectively in each region?

What should you do if progress towards endorsement of the eye care strategic plan is challenging, for example if:

  • consensus can’t be reached?
  • key stakeholders leave and are replaced, or don’t participate?

Resilience, dedication, communication and collaboration are all critical in such situations.