Estimated duration
5 Years
Estimated total value
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB); World Health Organization; Standard Chartered Bank

Seeing is Believing – ‘A New Vision’


With the US$20 million raised by this campaign, SCB hopes to establish Comprehensive Eye Care (CEC) in 20 of the most under-resouirced areas in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Care will be delivered through a three-tier structure which will reach people needing treatment from the grassroots and community levels all the way to the top-level, specialist facilities. These include:
– At the primary level: vision centres run by community technicians and individual volunteers will deal with basic problems and diagnosis and make referrals up the chain.
– At the secondary level: non-specialist services at local hospitals will be provided by qualified staff and eye doctors.
– At the tertiary level: surgeons and specialists will carry out sophisticated and specialist interventions at specialised facilities.
Working alongside Seeing is Believing to execute the projects in country are a range of secondary NGO partners. The first partners identified are: Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Fred Hollows Foundation, Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU), Sightsavers International, Helen Keller International and ORBIS.
Through its global employee volunteering scheme, SCB staff will also be encouraged to volunteer on projects, donating time and expertise to local projects, from helping with physical tasks to mentoring the NGOs in running projects to organizing fundraising activities.
Through this commitment, SCB hopes to achieve three goals:
1. To fundraise US$ 10 million. Standard Chartered Bank will match all donations.
Criteria for Success:
– Number of staff fundraising initiatives launched and amount of funds raised.
– Number of major donor initiatives and funds donated value of in-kind donations.
– Survey to gauge staff engagement in programme.
– Survey to gauge senior management engagement in programme.
2. To develop sustainable eye care services in less advantaged areas across 20 cities.
– Baseline Data (target number of eye care centres to be refurbished or built and number of people trained to provide eye care) to be collected before establishment of projects and compared with annual data collected to assess overall progress. The project will involve the establishment or expansion of at least 20 eye-health centres. These will range from vision centres to specialist units in eye hospitals
3. To provide eye care services to 20 million people.
– Baseline Data (target number of people provided with eye care services and educated about blindness) to be collected before establishment of projects and compared with annual data collected to assess overall progress.
To assess progress of the three objectives, information will be collated from a number of sources:
– Reports from projects: Biannual progress reports are submitted to the central Seeing is Believing team within Standard Chartered Bank and IAPB from projects funded, detailing objectives, annual work plans, income and expenditure accounts, budgets, cash flow projections, recorded project outputs, and staff engagement activities.
– Quarterly calls by the Group Governance Office and by the central Seeing is Believing team to country CEOs at Standard Chartered Bank.
– Projects funded are audited on a sample basis in partnership with IAPB annually.
– On-site project visits will be made to verify progress across a sample of projects.
Seeing is Believing is also working in line with the wider wider Vision 2020 campaign to help meet its goals of raising awareness and global support for action against avoidable blindness and the provision of eye health care in general.


Every five seconds, one more person somewhere in the world goes blind. There are 45 million blind people in the world – 90% of them living in the developing countries. There are a further 314 million people who have a serious form of visual impairment. Many are the poorest of the poor, without access to eye care or money to pay for treatment. Without immediate, effective action – the number of blind people worldwide will rocket to 76 million people by 2020. But 80% of blindness can be avoided – it can be prevented, treated and even cured.
For many, going blind can mean the end of their education, or the loss of their job, their livelihood, their personal and economic independence. Whole families, even whole communities are affected. Children are removed from schools to permanently care for their elders; sisters are kept at home to look after their brothers. Scarce social resources are used to deal with chronic disabilities. Communities are deprived of the productivity of both the cared for and the carers. This is all the more acute, given that 90% of avoidable blindness occurs in developing countries. It becomes a vicious circle of poverty and reduced resources to deal with health issues.
Restoring someone’s sight can enable that person to be economically productive and independent. It liberates carers to go back to work, or attend education. It means social resources can be used to bring relief to other people in need.

Progress Update

May 2012
Since Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) launched ‘Seeing is Believing – A New Vision’, its staff across the globe have led numerous fundraising initiatives to drive matching contributions to the program. The organization leveraged the bank’s sponsorship of 9 marathons across the globe to raise money for Seeing is Believing, offering customers the opportunity to redeem credit card reward points in the form of charitable donations to the program and involving suppliers in business-integrated fundraising programs. Fundraising for the commitment is now complete.
22 comprehensive eye care projects have been set up across 16 countries, working with 9 international NGO partners and guided by the advice of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness. One project has completed in Tanzania, while the remainder are ongoing. All but one project are due to complete by the end of 2014.

Partnership Opportunities

We would love to hear from:
– People or institutions with experience in monitoring the economic impacts of health programmes to share lessons and ideas.
– Institutions interested in sharing best practice in sustainable approaches to health care interventions.
– Advice on social marketing and awareness raising within hard to reach communities.
– People or institutions that would like to partner with us to fund the establishment of new eye care projects.

NOTE: This Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action is made, implemented, and tracked by the partners listed. CGI is a program dedicated forging new partnerships, providing technical support, and elevating compelling models with potential to scale. CGI does not directly fund or implement these projects.