Model & Strategy

EYElliance is a coalition of multi-sector public, private, NGO partners, and stakeholders that collaborate to address the global unmet need for eyeglasses.  The EYElliance secretariat was convened to call attention to the importance of the issue area and ensure it is appropriately prioritized by the international donor community, national governments and private sector with the goal of mobilizing new resources to solve the problem at scale.  The EYElliance secretariat and its members work across sectors to address the systemic barriers to increased access to, and adoption of, eyeglasses.  As a systems-level change agent, we function as a leader, convener, and coordinator to channel collective efforts and bring clarity and clear action to address the global unmet need for eyeglasses.

EYElliance logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2014
Systemic Poverty
Location of work: International, Africa, Asia, Latin America
EYElliance
33 Irving Place, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
Glasses change lives
Jordan and Liz headshots
Meet Jordan Kassalow and Liz Smith

Jordan Kassalow is the Founder of VisionSpring, and of the EYElliance.  Jordan also founded Scojo New York and the Global Health Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Prior to his position at the Council, he served as Director of the River Blindness Division at Helen Keller International.  Jordan is a fellow of Draper Richards Kaplan, Skoll, Ashoka, and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He was named one of the Schwab Foundation’s 2012 Social Entrepreneurs, was the inaugural winner of the John P. McNulty Prize, and was recently was named to Forbes Impact 30. VisionSpring has been internationally recognized by the Skoll Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and the World Bank; is a three-time winner of Fast-Company’s Social Capitalist Award; and a winner of Duke University’s Enterprising Social Innovation Award.  Additionally, Jordan is a partner at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, a leading contact lens and laser specialty practice in Manhattan.  Jordan earned a Doctorate of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry and a Fellowship in Preventive Ophthalmology and Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins.

 

An early entrepreneur, Liz started her own independent record label while still in college.  After several years working in the music industry, Liz shifted careers and has spent the last 10 years working in international development with a focus on inclusive business and access to global markets.  Liz’s personal interest in facilitating less developed countries’ full participation in global markets stems her time from living and working with young entrepreneurs in East Africa.

In 2008 Liz organized a conference supported by the Ford Foundation to help build capacity in the East African music industry with artists and key music industry players from Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.  This initiative lead to a long-term consulting role with the UN Office of South-South Cooperation forwarding the work of the Creative Economy for Development Agenda.  In 2011 Liz joined VisionSpring as Director of Business Development where she and Jordan began their initial exploration of the viability of a cross sector collaboration to close the gap in access to eyeglasses on a global scale.

Liz graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, is a member of the Explorers Club, and is a two time National Geographic Society grant recipient for her work documenting endangered song.

Impact

Co-authored Eyeglasses for Global Development: Bridging the Visual Divide with membership, published by the World Economic Forum.

EYElliance’s efforts led to the US government’s allocation of $2.5M for a low-cost eyeglasses pilot program overseen by USAID.

Developed a new training module for the WHO that will be integrated into a broader e-learning module for community-level health workers.  Due to our efforts, eyeglasses are part of the “Big 5 Assistive Devices” that the WHO is focusing on along with wheelchairs, hearing aids, prostheses, and personal digital assistants.

As a result of our advocacy efforts, for the first time, USAID’s Office of Education is exploring opportunities to integrate vision correction with eyeglasses into their next strategy. Due to EYElliance’s promotion of the issue area, ATscale has launched with the prioritization of eyeglasses, along with wheelchairs, hearing aids, and prosthetics.

Executed a 4-year MOU with the Government of Liberia that will embed proven eyeglasses delivery models into government systems in both policy and practice, reaching 1M children annually and 1.2M adults in remote communities.

  • A pleasure to join this discussion yesterday @JKassalow and I were especially interested to hear @OmerImti and… https://t.co/okBRJX2Pa4
  • Truly inspired by these words and energized by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s continued leadership through @TheElders @WHOhttps://t.co/ECOoOD1g7z
  • So pleased to see the tremendous work of consortia partners in Liberia being featured by @VisionCost. Over 50,000… https://t.co/2zPdb0tR9P
  • Honored to share with @VisionCost the kind of accelerated impact that’s possible with collaboration. Thanks to Libe… https://t.co/ayoaCO0TKq
  • RT @peekteam: The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 goals developed by the @UN to achieve a better and more sustainable future…
  • Inspired by what’s possible with dedicated leadership, persistence, and attention. We have learned a ton from the… https://t.co/cGt4IOx9iM
  • Tremendous advice shared by member, friend, and collaborator @ViceDeanFrick We continue to be amazed by Kevin’s end… https://t.co/Jpd6BYnvG4
  • EYElliance learns from those solving complex problems @lastmilehealth “it’s more than the capital, it’s thinking ab… https://t.co/2KqLWvKTB9
  • Powerful depiction of the kind of impact that’s possible with persistence, focus, and attention. If everyone had ac… https://t.co/kzCuHrF6IA
  • RT @A_AMilne: "Without Pooh," said Rabbit solemnly, "the adventure would be impossible." "Oh!" said Piglet, and tried not to look disappoin…
  • Super insightful report on catalytic capital: ”Catalytic capital is critical for enabling impact investing to conti… https://t.co/AJRIlOu56m
  • RT @UNICEF: Ahmed dances with joy after receiving a new leg. He lost his to a landmine in Afghanistan. More than 4,000 people were killed…
  • RT @VisionCost: Love this: “As they get economic status within the community, their self-esteem starts building and then instead of focusin…
  • Rohit Jain is part of the solution. Thanks to ⁦@SeeChange4all⁩ eye mitras have sold 10M pairs of glasses globally
  • @SeeChange4all⁩ glasses change lives, and clear vision is cause for celebration!
  • @jayanthb⁩ telling the story of how the Eye Mitra model was pioneered in India and is now being replicated globall… https://t.co/2XqjDZQXsf
  • @SeeChange4all⁩ threw an incredible party today! What are we celebrating?? Eye Mitras selling glasses in India, I… https://t.co/aZPyIPomL8
  • RT @GV2020_org: We are now members of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness @IAPB1 Working with other dedicated organiza…
  • RT @WISHQatar: When we’re talking about children eye health, where vision should be part of the school health package. When channelling thi…