IAPB Strategy: where we’re at

Work to develop our next strategic plan, which will take IAPB and its members to the year 2020, is in full swing.

The IAPB Board of Trustees prepare to meet in Dubai between 4-5 April, with much of the meeting dedicated to strategic discussions and group work. Let’s have a look at what’s been done so far to ensure our next strategy reflects our collective needs and ambitions.

Early in February we circulated a general survey far and wide to all our contacts. This was aimed at collating feedback from any individual with an interest in IAPB, whether or not part of a member organisation, around the value of our key activity strands over the last few years, as well as on the opportunities and challenges going forward.

291 responses were received by the end date (a record in my 6-year tenure in charge of IAPB’s surveys!) and the results showed general consensus with IAPB’s direction of travel over the last few years, as demonstrated by the average rankings each of the IAPB’s priority areas scored on a value scale from 1 (no value) to 5 (great value):

  • To influence global/regional inter-governmental and bilateral organisations’ policies, practices and resourcing decisions to ensure inclusion of eye health – average value 3.32
  • To provide advocacy tools, messages and opportunities to influence national governments’ eye health policies and resourcing decisions – average score 3.51
  • To convene meetings and provide spaces enabling eye care professionals to connect, collaborate and learn from each other – average score 3.58
  • To provide a knowledge hub and ‘go-to’ place for all matters relevant to prevention of blindness and vision impairment – average score 3.73
  • To facilitate coordination between eye care organisations working in a specific theme or region – average score 3.47

Word cloud of survey respondents

Word cloud of survey respondents


Following from that, a second, more detailed, questionnaire was circulated to 126 member organisations. This questionnaire aimed at gathering organisational feedback from members, as opposed to the individual responses collected in the first survey. By the deadline, 38 members had responded (just over 30%).

Overall, members’ responses appear to validate that WHAT IAPB is currently focusing on – mainly around advocacy, knowledge and partnerships – seems to largely meet expectations, with possibly some room for improvement in HOW we deliver those objectives.

Finally, the inputs from the two surveys are being backed up by a report on the external environment for networks and alliances. This is being finalised now and will consist of an opinion piece by IAPB’s Director of Advocacy as well as interviews with about 10 leaders of other networks and alliances from the broader development and health worlds.

Detailed reports from all three exercises listed above will keep IAPB trustees busy over the course of a two-day Board meeting in Dubai this April. With the help of a Consultant we hope to come out of it with a clear framework for our strategy going forward, which will once again be shared with the wider membership for input and feedback.

The final strategy for 2018-2020 is scheduled to be approved at the Council meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 17-18 September 2017.