Orbis International and Johns Hopkins-Led Group With OneSight Among Top 100 Proposals for MacArthur $100 Million Grant

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NEW YORK—The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation last week unveiled the Top 100 organizations that have submitted proposals for its 100&Change competition. Orbis International and a Johns Hopkins-led group that includes OneSight are among the 100 finalists in the competition. The winner of the competition receives a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges. The 100&Change program and grant were designed as a way to fund a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time, according to the website.

OneSight is part of a joint vision care proposal—Let There Be Sight—created under the leadership of Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs and in partnership with Global Vision 2020, Georgetown University Business for Impact and nonprofit OneSight.

Orbis International has joined with leading global eye health organizations CBM, Sightsavers and the Fred Hollows Foundation to create the Vision 4 Africa consortium. An estimated 20 million people across Africa are blind or visually impaired, but 75 percent of cases are preventable or treatable.

"MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100,” said Cecilia Conrad, chief executive officer of Lever for Change and a MacArthur managing director for 100&Change. "Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas.”

“Vision care is about more than just glasses or eye exams,” K-T Overbey, OneSight’s president and executive director, said in an announcement. “It’s about an individual’s right to see the chalkboard and see a loved one’s face. As we look to the future, we’re dedicated to eliminating this health crisis and creating a world where no one is held back by blurry vision.”

"We and our partners in the Vision 4 Africa consortium are so proud to have been named in the Top 100 for the prestigious 100&Change competition," Bob Ranck, president and chief executive of Orbis International, said. "Drawing on our more than 240 years of combined experience, we are committed to developing sustainable solutions that will ensure millions of Africans get the quality eyecare they deserve."

The Top 100 represents the top 21 percent of competition submissions, according to an announcement. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur's initial administrative review, a peer-to-peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur's board of directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.