Annual Report from the Atlas Alliance 2011 - NABP
Results from the organisation’s development work during 2011
NABP had in 2011, 24 projects in financed by Norad/Atlas, three projects financed by ODW
and one financed by own income. The projects are in a total of 12 countries.
Focus areas for 2011 has been:
1. Strengthen existing and/or new organisations of the blind and partially sighted by
emphasising organisation building programmes.
2. Improve the lives of the blind and partially sighted through rehabilitation,
education, vocational training and income generating programmes.
3. Combat blindness by initiating eye health treatment, prevention of blindness programmes
and training of local health personnel in eye health.
NABP enables blind and partially sighted people to fight for their rights
A team lead by Annika Nilsson evaluated the international work of NABP in 2011.
One of the main comments from the report was:
“The evaluation found that NABP works in partnership with WBU, ICEVI, Vision 2020/IABP,
AFUB, ABU, national associations of the blind and national Ministries of Health to:
1. Enable blind and partially sighted people to fight for their rights and improve their living
a. strengthening of organisations of the blind
b. supporting rehabilitation, education, vocational and income generation programmes
2. Contribute to the global fight against blindness by initiating, supporting and building
capacity of eye health and prevention of blindness programs.
The long term support from NABP to 10 sister organisations of the blind in Asia and Africa
has enabled them to develop a strong voice for the rights of blind and partly sighted in their
respective countries. Partners have become influential members of national disability
coalitions and/or government advisory committees. Most of them have been able to attract
other donors, although NABP is still the biggest contributor.”
We consider this to be a good indication that our work to build strong organisations of the
Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) is present in every district and is one of the
strongest DPOs in Malawi
According to the evaluation done of NABP this is a statement about MUB highlighting our
success in strengthening this organisation:
“MUB is now is considered one of the two strongest DPOs in Malawi. This is because it has
presence in every district and massive grassroots membership of more than 9000 members.
MUB is perceived as strong at advocating for the rights of their members and persons with
disabilities in general. MUB has governance, office and policy systems that ensure internal
democracy, accountability and transparency. MUB has managed to win confidence of many
202 664 persons checked for eye health-problems, and 18 194 eye surgeries
NABP is a member of International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) that is a
partner with WHO in the global initiative VISION2020. The goal of VISION2020 is to
eliminate all avoidable blindness by the year 2020. NABP is contributing to this initiative
through our eye health projects
NABP had in 2011, a total of 164 618 patient consultations (OPD) in all our eye care
projects. In addition to this 38 046 persons were screened for eye problems through our
rehabilitation programmes, bringing the total of persons reached to 202 664.
Surgeries are an important part of the eye care programmes. A total of 18 194, were
performed during 2011. Of these approximately 15 206 were cataract operations.
it is considered that more than 90% of all the operations were successful and reached the
The eye care programmes carry out patient’s consultations and operations as well as formal
and informal training of local health personnel, supply and production of eye related
medicines and mobile clinics/outreach activities.
Prevention of blindness is prevention of poverty. NABP and partners
performed 15 206 cataract operations at a sustainable cost level
In 2011, the total cost for all eye care programmes was NOK. 4 590 576.This includes all
costs related to the projects, including salaries, medicines, investments, training of local
health personnel, mobile clinics, local administrative expenses, 8% administration cost for
NABP Norway, travel costs for NABP staff from Norway and all other costs.
We consider this to be very cost effective as the projects do outreach, clinical work, training
of health personnel, operations etc. Just to illustrate how cost effective this is we can
demonstrate this with simple calculations. If we just take total cost for all our eye care
programmes and divide by the total number of consultations done, the cost of each
consultation would be less than NOK 28. Consultations are of course only a small part of the
activities. Another example could be that we take all budget costs and divide by numbers of
operations each operation would then cost NOK 252. To put this into perspective a cataract
operation in Norway would cost from NOK 10 000-13 000.
Still the financial and psychological impact on the persons that get their vision back can
hardly be measured in money terms.
Blind Cambodians able to participate in national elections
Traditionally many parents with blind children have not bothered to even get a birth certificate
for their blind child as they have been considered “useless”. In order to vote it is necessary to
register for national voting. To do this an ID card is needed. To get an ID card, birth
certificate is necessary. ID card is also necessary if a blind wants to be employed. The road
is long for blind people in Cambodia who want to have a say in the national elections. Our
partner in Cambodia Association of Blind Cambodians (ABC) helped 100 blind people to get
a birth certificate, 24 to have an ID card and 47 to register for voting in 2011.
Government promises of inclusive growth and development
ignore persons with disabilities
With the support of NABP (Norway), All India Confederation of the Blind undertook a major
employment related research project during the year 2011. The project aimed to ascertain
the coverage of the visually impaired persons in two Government run self-employment and
rural employment schemes, one disability specific and one mainstream. Another aim of the
project was to identify problems and issues which come in the way of available benefits of
these schemes by the visually impaired as well as to assess the impact on the life quality of
the target group.
It becomes clear from this research study that a number of steps need to be taken to improve
self-employment and rural employment scenario with respect to the visually impaired.
These facts raise serious questions with regard to the efficacy and earnestness of the
concerned Government initiatives to include persons with disabilities in the inclusive
The research study puts forward 30 recommendations to make the poverty reduction and
self-employment schemes under reference more meaningful for visually impaired persons.
In 2012, AICB will use the study in their lobby and advocacy work in India with the aim to
improve the programmes so they can benefit visually impaired people in India.
More than 3000 blind children benefit from schoolbooks in braille
In 2011, AICB our partner in India, produced 7 853 949 braille pages. This includes 148 new
titles. As a result of this, blind children in four Indian states have access to school books in
braille. The best part is that after a lot of lobby work and a court case the states pay for the
books produces by AICB and AICB makes a profit from it.
The first step towards an independent life; 1753 blind people trained in
orientation and mobility in India
To learn how to move around in your local environment, take care of yourself and do the
daily work around the house might not sound as much. But if you have been totally
dependent on assistance to move around and been treated as a burden all your life then this
is a very important achievement. A total number of 1753 blind have received training in
orientation and mobility through the work of our rehabilitation programmes. Almost all of
these report that they have improved their ability to move around independently in their local
environment and that they are able to do daily work like cleaning, washing clothes etc. at
New life from training and small loans
As part of the rehabilitation, partner organisations offer vocational training and small loans to
start up income generating activities. This can be to keep goats, chicken, buffalos, farming,
set up and run small shops, making and selling bricks, repairing musical instruments or sell
food. In this way the individual can earn some money and contribute to the income of the
family. A secondary effect is the positive influence on the family and the villagers of seeing
blind and partially sighted contributing to the economy and managing their work. Seeing they
are contributors and not a burden to their families, helps change attitudes in the local
communities towards the blind and partially sighted and makes it a bit easier for the blind of
today and tomorrow.
Empowerment of blind women
Asian Blind Union conducted five country-specific legal literacy workshops for BPS in
Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, Kuwait and India. These workshops benefited 147
women. Before the workshops most of the women had no knowledge of their legal rights and
supportive provisions in their countries.