HCP | CureBlindness Among Top 100 Proposals for Macarthur $100 Million Grant

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently unveiled HCP | CureBlindess (Himalayan Cataract Project) as one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges.

HCP was selected as one of eight semifinalists in the previous 100&Change grant cycle in 2017.

As a public health issue, the cost effectiveness and impact of treating blindness is known to be among the greatest in medicine. The economic multiplier of this work is immense. With an increase of $100 million over the next five years, HCP would restore sight to over 500,000 people in Africa and Asia to scale its proven eye care systems to reverse needless blindness worldwide.

The Top 100 were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposalsthis spring.

“Avoidable blindness is one public health problem we can solve,” HCP Chairman Dr. Geoffrey Tabin said. “Globally, 18 million people are blinded by cataracts, but they don’t have to be. Being selected as a Top 100 proposal highlights the importance of addressing the global problem of needless blindness.”

MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. “Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change.”

In the past 25 years, HCP has worked closely with partners in Nepal, dramatically improving eye care by creating a proven delivery model worthy of worldwide replication, resulting in a 59% decline in the prevalence of blindness in the country. Those methods continue to spread through Asia and Africa. In fact, this week, a multinational-clinical team are curing blindness in over 1,000 people in Hosanna, Ethiopia at no cost to the patients

“With 200-250 surgeries performed daily, outreach events like this provide unique hands-on training and skills transfer opportunities for local surgical teams,” Tabin said. “Through this process we are restoring sight to those in need and simultaneously teaching the next generation of surgeons, nurses, and technicians through high-volume exposure.”

Bold Solutions Network Launches

The Bold Solutions Network launched today, featuring HCP as one of the Top 100 from 100&Change. The searchable online collection of submissions contains a project overview, 90-second video, and two-page factsheet for each proposal. Visitors can sort by subject, location, Sustainable Development Goal, or beneficiary population to view proposals based on area of interest.

More About 100&Change

100&Change is a distinctive competition that is open to organizations and collaborations working in any field, anywhere in the world. Proposals must identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and durable change.

The second round of the competition had a promising start: 3,690 competition registrants submitted 755 proposals. The identity of the judges and the methodology used to assess initial proposals are public. Applicants received comments and feedback from the peers, judges, and technical reviewers. Key issues in the competition are discussed in a blog on MacArthur's website. 

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