Research dignity, meaning mutual respect among health researchers, while common in higher-income countries, remains rare between those settings and low- and middle-­income countries. This reflects the almost universal dominance of research agendas and products by academics situated in more high-income countries, even when the research occurs in poorer settings. 

Building independent research capacity in low- and middle-­income countries, arguably the most important and challenging dimension of international development, is the only road to achieving mutual respect, and with it the confidence of local individuals to define the problems and find the solutions. 

Seva Canada and its partner the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), perhaps more than any other non-governmental eye care organizations, have invested in very long-term programs to build research capacity one person at a time, and one institution at a time, both through funding research training, and also through mentoring and supervising. 

Nothing is more rewarding to us, or as important to these individuals and institutions, than our partners asking for our help to study their program problems and utilize their research findings. 

Along with research dignity comes a level of gratitude seldom seen and profoundly treasured. 


Research image from Africa

Sight Stories and News

  • Peek-A-Boo! I See You!

    When Lilia in Burundi was 6 months old, her parents knew something was very wrong with her vision. She couldn't follow her parents' movements with her eyes, cried constantly and didn't want to eat. Lilia's parents were devastated.

    Blog | October 18th, 2021
  • Supporting Women Leaders in Eye Care Research

    Less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women and, in low-income countries, the percentage is far less. Seva Canada has actively engaged, recruited and mentored women in research because a gendered approach to research increases the range of interventions and breakthroughs that come from looking at problems from different perspectives.

    Blog | September 20th, 2021
  • Development with Dignity

    "Dignity is a word that overturns traditional assumptions about north and south, developed and developing. While charity is bestowed by the haves to the have-nots, dignity does not work like that at all. If I fail to treat someone with dignity, it is me, not them, who is undignified." -Jonathan Glennie

    Blog | September 10th, 2021