Starting a new LINK

If you are interested in starting a new LINK, please contact Marcia Zondervan, the LINKS Programme Manager, by emailing She will get in touch with you and discuss any questions you may have.

  1. If you are the overseas partner, please complete the Needs Assessment questionnaire (see resources) and begin email contact/discussions with the LINKS Programme Manager
  1. As part of the questionnaire you are asked to identify two key priority objectives that you want your LINK partnership to help you to address
  1. When thinking about your two priorities it is important that these reflect the national and local eye care goals within your country and district (see Section 1 on page 7 of the Needs Assessment). Please send a copy of your country’s National Eye Care Plan to the LINKS Programme Manager
  1. Check whether there are any existing links between your institution and other partners. The LINKS Programme will ask you for a list of existing partnerships within your eye department, and within your institution, both local and international
  1. The VISION 2020 LINKS team will review the information you send and will work to identify a suitable partner institution from those that are waiting to become a LINK
  1. During the Needs Assessment process, the LINKS Programme Manager will work with you to ensure that there is enthusiasm, support, agreement and ownership of the LINK by senior staff within both institutions. This helps to ensure the long-term sustainability of the LINK, even if there are staff changes
  1. Each partner appoints a LINK Co-ordinator to facilitate the communications required to run the LINK
  1. Each partner creates a Steering Group for the LINK to oversee and guide the activities of the partnership, to ensure that it is working towards the key objectives. For more information on the suggested composition of the Steering Group, see the toolkit
  1. At the end of the matching process, senior staff from both partner institutions sign a statement of intent, often referred to as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to seal the relationship and the desire to work together
  1. Alongside the MOU, a three-year Activity Plan will set out the activities that will be undertaken, when they will happen, who is responsible, how they will be monitored, and how much they will cost
  1. Once the three-year Activity Plan is developed, assistance is offered from the LINKS Programme team to help make this into a funding proposal. This document can be used by both Steering Groups to approach funding organisations
  1. A Monitoring and Evaluation plan will be put in place to assess the progress of the LINK towards its objectives
  1. As the partnership progresses, the team will continue to look for funding to carry out the activities as agreed in the Activity Plan

For more detailed information on each of the steps and example documents please refer to the overseas partners’ toolkit