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Published: 17.12.2019
Student beneficiary wearing spectacles supported by SiB Pakistan Urban Peadiatric Eye Care project/ Story: 2019 in Review: Seeing is Believing

2019 has been the penultimate year for Seeing is Believing (SiB).  The Seeing is Believing teams at both IAPB and at Standard Chartered are now focusing on preparing for a “neat and tidy” close-out of the whole programme with all our implementing partners by the end of 2020.  To date, 24 of 60 Type 1 and Type 2 Phase V projects have already closed, of which 10 closed in 2019.  These SiB projects are implemented by IAPB members, so we want to thank you all for all your hard work across the various projects.  Locally developed projects and Innovation fund projects are also now closing, and so (finally!) active SiB projects are declining in numbers.

SiB 15 year celebration/ Photo credit: Benjamin Wetherall
SiB 15 year celebration/ Photo credit: Benjamin Wetherall

At the start of 2019, before we could focus on the active projects we had to allocate some funds to new projects, as the final funds raised exceeded the US$100million target, which had been reached by the time of the celebration at the British Museum which marked 15 years of SiB.

Click here to view the video celebrating 15 years of SiB.

In 2019 we have been actively sharing learning from SiB projects and connecting managers, practitioners and other key staff from across SIB projects and countries. We also aim to improve sharing of SiB funded research and evaluations of projects to inform future plans and approaches in eye care service delivery.  We have been mainly doing this through two modules: SiB newsletter & webinars

SiB Learning


We have been running the SiB webinars since 2016. These webinars have gone from strength to strength in 2019 – with improvements in both the quality of the presentations and the reach to eye care staff at the district and regional levels within countries.  Many of these staff do not usually participate in or access “live” external webinars or updates on developments and learning on issues related to eye care delivery, the SiB Webinars are bridging this gap.  The webinars allow them to ask questions at the end of the presentations, creating an opportunity to “meet with” other eye care staff – who are often grappling with similar issues.  In 2019 webinars topics were: Integrating eye health into primary health systems & Eye health financing.

Past SiB and other IAPB webinars can be accessed here.


Another key route since 2012 to share key learning and knowledge from SiB programmes has been the SiB Newsletter. SiB partners share their learning on a range of different themes, recent topics have been: Sustainability; Community Eye Health; & Strengthening Patient Referral Systems. As with the webinars, the themes for the newsletters are created in consultation with the implementing partners.  We work hard with our implementing partners to send this direct to front line staff – working in district level hospitals, or in school health. With the recent high number of active SiB projects and amount of issues and learning to share and highlight, the SiB Newsletter is now produced six times per year.  It is always interesting to see which articles are most “opened” once it has been distributed.

Three Highlights from the two:

Lady health worker

In the April SiB webinar Sightsavers Pakistan shared how they work with lady health workers to integrate eye health into the primary health care system to increase the uptake of referrals from the community level.




RAAB in Zimbabwe

The RAAB in Zimbabwe funded by SiB in 2016 both corrected the prevalence against which all project targets had been set (previous estimates were x3 too low) and also identified many misconceptions towards eye health including harmful practices. CBM Zimbabwe later shared how they addressed this in their SiB project in the SiB September.

Eye exam in China


The Fred Hollows Foundation China shared research they conducted on financing eye health, in both the SiB webinar & SiB newsletter in 2019



SiB looks forward to having more to share and celebrate in 2020.

Image on top: Student beneficiary wearing spectacles supported by SiB Pakistan Urban Paediatric Eye Care project/ Photo Credit: Munazza Gillani for #MakeVisionCount photo competition

Year 2019 in Review

2019 in Review: At a crossroads

Transition to 2020: Victoria Sheffield

2019 in Review: Peter Holland

2019 in Review: A Year in Photos

Key Launches: IAPB Africa

#StrongerTogether: IAPB Western Pacific

Evidence Generation: South East Asia

Raising the profile: Global Advocacy

2019 in Review: IAPB Standard List