To break through the lens of eyecare as a health issue and demonstrate how achieving vision correction can power the Sustainable Development Goals.
By leveraging the potential of eyecare to simply transform lives, we can make better, faster progress to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, to which all UN members have already committed. These trials will provide a tapestry of evidence, featuring data and powerful stories of impact about the simple solution that can change the quality of life for more than one billion people.
Glasses, an invention more than 700-years-old are a simple, safe and reversible treatment for a global concern. And while technology searches for the next great invention, sometimes the answer is right in front of our eyes.
If policymakers design a world where affordable eyecare is universally available then it won’t require any leaps of logic and innovation. Simply the willpower and the investment to scale the solution globally.
The funders and researchers involved in DRIVE want to unveil a roadmap towards the Sustainable Development Goals that starts a vital conversation about the economic and ethical opportunity glasses can provide. Offering a tool for governments to give their people what they need to thrive and a blueprint for a more equitable world to come.
Through these trials, we hope to accelerate progress towards the following Sustainable Development Goals.
Rooted in evidence-based research, DRIVE will provide further proof of the importance of vision correction in improving life quality for all demographics across the lifecycle and around the world.
These trials recognise that good vision is a signpost and a golden thread to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which in themselves are a blueprint for a better, healthier and more equitable future.
In proving the developmental impact of eyecare and vision correction, DRIVE will activate policy and interventions that drive investment in solutions, such as procurement of glasses and increased vision screening.
“These trials look at the role of vision correction in powering not only better health outcomes for individuals, but in delivering sustainable development for countries around the world.”
DRIVE (Development and Research for International Vision correction and Equity) is the combination of nine research trials, funded by the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, Wellcome Trust, USAid, The MOH Foundation and Medical Research Council (UK). Together, they look at the role of vision correction in powering not only better health outcomes for individuals, but in delivering sustainable development for countries around the world.
The first DRIVE trial, PROSPER I, was completed in 2018 and proved that the productivity of a control group of tea-pickers in India significantly increased when provided with glasses to treat previously unaddressed sight problems.
A low-cost solution to a problem that impacts 2.2 billion people worldwide, the peer reviewed findings of PROSPER I helped to inform commitments from the Commonwealth Heads of Government and the United Nations, to back initiatives for universal affordable eyecare.
Focused on a range of demographics, from students at school and universities, to textile factory workers and older households, the next eight trials under the DRIVE umbrella – Bright Classrooms, CLEVER, PROSPER II, PROSPER III, STABLE, SWISH, THRIFT and ZEAL – will show that improving eyecare is both urgent and important for sustainable development.
The ultimate aim is not to deliver an invention, but to demonstrate that low-cost interventions exist and can be simply applied by policymakers to populations. In doing so, we believe they will improve education, literacy, productivity, financial independence, and mental and physical health.