the African Vision Research Institute 

Aims to reduce the burden of blindness and visual impairment in africa.

We do this by conducting research that is relevant to disease control, human resource development and infrastructure development.

AVRI is affiliated to the University of KwaZulu-Natal.



avri logo

The African Vision Research Institute (AVRI) is an African-based institute that links, institutions, organizations, academics and intellectuals in the pursuit of confronting the challenges of Africa’s eye health issues. The institute was conceptualized in recognition of the need for an organization that focused on enhancing research capacity on the African continent and thereby positively impacting on the evidence base and publications output by African researchers involved in vision care.  

Asking questions

AVRI accommodates research support at all levels and from all regions in Africa.

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Post-Graduate Application

Students from Africa are eligible for scholarships and bursaries in Post-Graduate studies. 

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Ethical Policy

All research is presented  to the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Ethics Committee for approval. 

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why us
Our History

AVRI was founded in 2005 after a need to develop research capacity in Africa was recognised. 

Our Work

AVRI aims to reduce the burden of blindness in Africa by encouraging research activity among African scientists that is relevant to the control of eye diseases, human resource development and infrastructural capacity enhancement for increased eye care service delivery on the African continent. The mission of the Institute is to develop research capacity and appropriate skills in an effort to eliminate visual impairment and avoidable blindness in Africa, in support of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight campaign initiated by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in 2000. This global campaign draws stakeholders involved in eye care to escalate and coordinate efforts towards eliminating avoidable blindness in the world by the year 2020. Research priorities are therefore decided by AVRI in alignment with the VISION 2020 core principles of disease control, human resource development, Infrastructure & technology and integration with other health delivery mechanisms. Moreover, AVRI research activities are further aligned with the research priorities that emanated from the IAPB Africa and IAPB global research priorities workshops.  

Our Team

Our team is made up of highly skilled and respected professionals from across the African continent. They are committed to reducing the burden of blindness and visual impairment in Africa.

Our Priorities

Health Systems Research
Operational Research
Policy Research
Interdisciplinary Research
Multidisciplinary Research

Collaboration and Networking

Capacity Building

Human Resource Development

Research Dissemination

Pedagogical Research

Effectiveness of training/ models, graduate attributes

Impact Studies

Economic/ Social/ Quality of life

Structured Research

Widespread prevalence

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Our Commitment

Since inception AVRI has established structures and policies relevant to delivering on the mandate of the Institute; a significant milestone being achieved in becoming an affiliate body to the University of KwaZulu-Natal. AVRI has participated in a number of local and international research projects, and has built up its publication profile. Research collaboration, developing research capacity and the dissemination of research findings in the form of workshops and publications are integral components to AVRI’s mandate. 

The Institute places strong focus on providing assistance to and supporting NGOs in research activities and writing up of project findings, as well as assisting staff with research conceptualization and writing skills. Postgraduate students continue to receive support and are further assisted with converting their research findings into one or more publications. An important goal of AVRI is to attain recognition for the essential research activities the institution conducts, facilitates and provides support to conduct and facilitates high level research for the advancement of science, technology and innovation. We are committed to contributing to good eye health practices in Africa through sound research and evidence generation that leads to policy change. Thus far, the Institute has made in-roads into developing linkages in East, West and Central Africa and North-South collaborative partnerships with the US, UK and Australia to strengthen delivery of its mandate.

We are cognizant of the following:

Research Team and Magnets

The research team should comprise of a profound research leader/expert, efficient research grant proposal writers, committed research funders, and the group of researchers and individuals that facilitate in the research. AVRI recognises that good research should have clear objectives that give the research direction; a leader who is a critical thinker, team builder and motivator; as well as a critical mass of committed and motivated research team members that provide support to other researchers and students.

Research Plan

A plan of action that indicates that research should be multi-disciplinary and contribute to knowledge production, be innovative, have local relevance, and can be applied within the global context. The findings of the research should be able to be disseminated widely as scientific publications and should be able to get into policy and practice.

Research Elements

The essential elements in research are building and strengthening of existing partnerships and networks; adequate and stable funding; facilities and infrastructure; and support services that can promote research.

Research Capacity Building

The motivation and development of young and emerging researchers.

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