Impact: $170 cures one person of blindness. Read More
Cataract Surgery Program meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit averts a disability-adjusted life year for less than the country's G.D.P. per capita.
Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of World Cataract Foundation.
Governance: Passes checks
To restore sight to those who are blinded by cataracts though teaching, service and research.
Cataract Surgery Program
Donations processed by the nonprofit.
Cataract Surgery Program
Cataract Surgery Program
World Cataract Foundation performs cataract surgeries to cure beneficiaries of preventable blindness.
People living in poverty
People with disabilities
Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.
Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.
Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.
Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.
A person cured of blindness
To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.
Output data collected during the program. World Cataract Foundation publicly reports data on how many surgeries it performs, which we use to calculate how many people it cures of blindness.
July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017
Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.
We estimate the number of people the nonprofit cured of blindness by comparing the number of people whose blindness was actually cured to the number of people whose blindness would have been cured even in the absence of the nonprofit (the "counterfactual"). Some people might have had access to cataract surgery from other providers; these counterfactual successes must be netted out of the success we observe. Otherwise, we would be attributing a change (being cured of blindness) to the nonprofit when it would have happened anyway. Few nonprofits estimate the counterfactual themselves, so we construct our own counterfactual estimate based on research and publicly available data — namely, the percentage of the population with existing access to cataract surgery and the percentage of the population with existing access to essential health services.
We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g. a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e. counterfactual outcomes).
Cost data reported by World Cataract Foundation and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.
$124,827 program costs + partner costs + beneficiary costs = $124,827 total costs
After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners. In-kind donations, of labor or supplies, are not counted.
$124,827 total costs / 789 people cured of blindness = roughly $200 cures one person of blindness.
Numbers may not divide precisely due to rounding and time discounting.
We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.
Impact ratings of cataract surgery programs are based on the cost of a disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted relative to the G.D.P. per capita of the country in which the program operates. Programs receive 5 stars if they avert a DALY for less than than the G.D.P. per capita, and 4 stars if they avert a DALY for less than three times G.D.P. per capita. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.
The nonprofit averts a disability-adjusted life year for less than the country's G.D.P. per capita.
We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:
There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.
After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.
We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.
The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.
The rated program is cost-effective.
The rated program is highly cost-effective.
Not provided. This may be because we lacked contact information for World Cataract Foundation or it chose not to comment. If you are a representative of this nonprofit, contact us to review and comment on your rating.
Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.
Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.
An ImpactMatters analyst searched the Form 990s, annual reports, audited financials and the website of World Cataract Foundation to calculate impact and rate cost-effectiveness. A second analyst conducted quality control.
World Cataract Foundation passes our governance check.
Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)
Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory
World Cataract Foundation itself has not reported any material diversions of assets
World Cataract Foundation itself has not reported any excess benefit transactions
Source: World Cataract Foundation Form 990 and Charity Navigator
This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of Cataract Surgery Program relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.
A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.
Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.
Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.
Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.
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$170 cures one person of blindness.