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Vision Correction

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DRIVE: Vision Research Trials

The DRIVE (Development and Research for International Vision correction and Equity) randomised control trials aim to provide a tapestry of evidence, featuring peer-reviewed data and powerful stories of impact about the simple solution that can change the quality of life for more than one billion people.

This evidence will help to start a vital conversation about the economic and ethical opportunity that glasses can provide and unveil a roadmap towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Initial research

In 2018, we completed initial research, PROSPER 1: the first randomised controlled trial exploring the impact of vision on productivity. The study was conducted in Assam, India, and focused on 750 mostly female tea leaf pickers, aged over 40 with poor eyesight. The results showed a 21% average increase in overall productivity from the group that had their vision corrected versus the one that had not.

Following PROSPER 1’s success, The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation funded and provided support for another set of research trials, united by the name DRIVE. They explore the relationship between vision and education, productivity and well-being.

DRIVE trials

BRIGHT classrooms will examine the potential benefits of natural lighting in classrooms in abating the development of short-sightedness. SWISH, meanwhile, will investigate the impact that access to glasses has on the academic choices of secondary school students.

PROSPER 2 will continue to measure the impact of glasses on the productivity of manual workers, but within the textile industry in India. PROSPER 3 will look more closely at workplace retention. It will examine whether improving the near vision of textile workers in their 40s and 50s allows them to remain engaged in the workforce for longer.

Additionally, The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation has partnered with The Wellcome Trust to fund four ongoing trials under the ‘ENGINE’ project: CLEVER, STABLE, THRIFT and ZEAL. The studies will examine the potential of treatment for both short and long-sightedness to improve road safety, educational achievement, older people’s mental health and financial independence.

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)

In January 2021, following its celebrated success, Clearly merged with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation provided funding to the IAPB for its advocacy and campaigning efforts.

Our chairman, James Chen, assumed leadership of IAPB’s Campaigns Group, which helps the organisation’s 200+ members raise awareness about the importance of eye health, encourages commitment to universal access to eye care, and drives positive change in the sector. James also became one of IAPB’s Global Ambassadors alongside HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Ambassador Aubrey Webson.

One of the most important results achieved by IAPB, with the support from The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, was the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Vision – the first of its kind – in 2021. It commits all 193 countries of the UN to tackle preventable vision loss and ensure eye care for everyone by 2030.

The Foundation also funds other advocacy activities of the IAPB, such as establishing World Sight Day as a significant milestone on the global calendar and creating “Love Your Eyes”; an award-winning campaign aimed at achieving universal access, availability, and affordability of eye care by 2030.

Since its inception in 2021, the ‘Love Your Eyes’ campaign has reached nearly 1 billion people and generated over 56,000 media articles, ensuring that more individuals are aware of the importance of maintaining their eye health.


Clearly was launched in 2016 as a global campaign to enable access to glasses for everyone in the world. 

The goal of the campaign was to educate the public and world leaders by raising the profile of the issue; championing innovation and spreading best practice that ensures sight tests and affordable glasses are available to all in different sectors and in different countries; and connecting people committed to tackling this issue so we can all be a catalyst for change.

In January 2021, Clearly merged with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), a network of over 200 members working in international eye health and a leading global advocacy body for the sight sector.

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Vision for a Nation

Vision for a Nation (VFAN) was established to develop domain expertise on the issue of vision correction for the developing world and to provide innovative solutions to overcome the barriers to delivering eye care. Rwanda was chosen as the first programme country.

Partnering with the Ministry of Health, over 2,700 nurses in local communities were trained on how to deliver an eye test. Where required, the nurses provided eye drops or prescribed glasses, or referred patients to an optometrist. In just over five years, VFAN established a nationwide service, fully integrated into the health system and national insurance scheme, and financially self-sustaining.

This allowed Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to assume full responsibility for managing the services in January 2018.

In acknowledgement of this success, VFAN was awarded the top prize in the coveted International Aid and Development category at the 2016 UK Charity Awards – the longest-running and most prestigious awards in the sector.

In 2022, VFAN transferred its programmes, knowledge and expertise to Vision Action.