At its September meeting, the IAPB Board agreed to a new 3-year plan for the Secretariat. It set four key priorities for the next three years: Global Advocacy, Connecting Knowledge, Strengthening the Network and Providing Services.
These will be a critical three years for the eye care sector as we transition from VISION 2020. We face real challenges such as the uncertain funding environment, the hostility NGOs face in some countries and the constant battle to get eye care on governments’ agendas.
But there are also real opportunities: New technologies are creating new, cost effective ways of diagnosing and tackling vision impairment and sight loss; the WHO’s World Report on Vision is intended to provide the strategic framework for global eye care services for the next decade and will provide a real impetus to integrate eye care into Universal Health Coverage; and there is enormous energy and enthusiasm. In the past year, there have been some significant successes in raising the profile of vision impairment and avoidable blindness, including commitments from the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
The plan sets out how the Secretariat will support members to tackle the challenges we face in the next three years and achieve our shared goals. It describes our four key priorities:
- Global Advocacy: A core role for the Secretariat is to represent members to key international institutions. Our objective will be to raise the profile of eye care so it receives the attention and resources needed to achieve universal access to eye health. We will facilitate a strategy for the eye health sector which sets out how we develop eye care in the context of Universal Health Coverage and support the implementation of the World Report on Vision.
- Connecting knowledge: Underpinning our activities is our role in providing authoritative data and information and enabling access to up to date knowledge, information and practice. Our objectives will be to be the authoritative source for data and information about eye health; and to enable the sharing of knowledge and experience to promote the development of good policy and practice.
- Strengthening the network: We will support active partnership building both between members and with other key sectors. We will aim to strengthen the network by facilitating partnership building to tackle the barriers to delivering eye care for all.
- Providing Services: We will aim to provide good quality services which add value to members, which are economically viable and, where appropriate, contribute a surplus.
If you want to know more about the Secretariat’s three-year strategy, see attachments below.
Image on top: Children in Khalid Al Sheikh School answering questions from Eye Awareness team about Eyehealth and eye facts; Photo by Rania Elkhidir.