Dr Islay Mactaggart


Assistant Professor
in Disability and Global Health, International Centre for Evidence in Disability/ International Centre for Eye Health

490, South Courtyard

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 7958 8334

Islay Mactaggart is an Assistant Professor in Disability and Global Health at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) and the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) at LSHTM.


Department of Clinical Research


Alongside Prof. Hannah Kuper and Dorothy Boggs, Islay recently developed ICED's first MOOC (Massive Online Open Content) course on Global Health and Disability, which launched on the FutureLearn Platform in February 2018.

 Islay teaches on the following MSc modules:

 - Global Disability and Health

- Research Skills for Field Research

- Non Communable Eye Diseases

 Islay is the co-supervisor of Tess Bright, a staff doctoral candidate researching rapid survey protocols for hearing loss prevalence data.


Islay’s core research focus is on quantitative methodologies for measuring both the prevalence and the impact of impairment and disability in surveys and programs, with an emphasis on the development of modular mobile data collection and analysis tools and building the capacity of local stakeholders to design, implement and analyse their own disability surveys.

Islay is ICEH's lead in coordinating the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) survey methodology, repository and community, including a new 2 year project with Peek Vision to rebuild RAAB as an end-to-end digital and cloud-based survey solution by the end of 2019. RAAB fieldwork is already underway in Palestine (2018), with further field tests planned for Zimbabwe (2018) and nested within the Gambia National Eye Health Survey (2019).

Alongside various research design, training and data analysis consulting roles, Islay has coordinated a number of international disability and eye health research projects at ICED/ICEH including:

-         2017 - 2018 Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Trials in India and Tanzania [data collection ongoing]

-         2016 National Survey of Disability in Guatemala [Reports

-         2015-2016 Measuring the Impact of Physical Rehabilitation Project in Myanmar [Report

-          2013-2014 Building the Evidence Base in Disability Project: Cameroon and India [Reports] [Article1] [Article2] [Article3]

-          2011-2012 The Child Disability Key Informant Project: Bangladesh and Pakistan [Report] [Article]

 Islay was also responsible for developing the Key Informant Working Guide  – a working guide for researchers and implementers wishing to use the Key Informant Approach to identifying children with disabilities in surveys and programs.

Islay represents ICED at the UNICEF Expert Group on Child Disability Measurement and the World Bank/CDC Washington Group on Disability Statistics. She has written several disability analysis blogs on and (measuring disability article).

Islay has recently completed a Staff PhD based on her work on disability measurement - in particular the relationship between clinical impairment screening and reported activity limitations in population-based surveys. 

Research Area
Health inequalities
Behaviour change
Capacity strengthening
Evidence use
Global Health
Mobile technologies
Disease and Health Conditions
The Gambia
Myanmar (Burma)
West Bank and Gaza
Sierra Leone

Selected Publications

Estimating Need for Glasses and Hearing Aids in The Gambia: Results from a National Survey and Comparison of Clinical Impairment and Self-Report Assessment Approaches.
Boggs D; Hydara A; Faal Y; Okoh JA; Olaniyan SI; Sanneh H; Ngett A; Bah I; Aleser M; Denis E
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020.
Burton MJ; Ramke J; Marques AP; Bourne RRA; Congdon N; Jones I; Ah Tong BAM; Arunga S; Bachani D; Bascaran C
The Lancet Global Health
Water, women and disability: Using mixed-methods to support inclusive WASH programme design in Vanuatu
Mactaggart I; Baker S; Bambery L; Iakavai J; Kim MJ; Morrison C; Poilapa R; Shem J; Sheppard P; Tanguay J
The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
Eye health indicators for universal health coverage: results of a global expert prioritisation process.
McCormick I; Mactaggart I; Resnikoff S; Muirhead D; Murthy GV; Silva JC; Bastawrous A; Stern J; Blanchet K; Wang N
The British journal of ophthalmology
Disability among Older People: Analysis of Data from Disability Surveys in Six Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
Prynn JE; Polack S; Mactaggart I; Banks LM; Hameed S; Dionicio C; Neupane S; Murthy G; Oye J; Naber J
International journal of environmental research and public health
The Inclusion of Rights of People with Disabilities and Women and Girls in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Policy Documents and Programs of Bangladesh and Cambodia: Content Analysis Using EquiFrame.
Scherer N; Mactaggart I; Huggett C; Pheng P; Rahman M-U; Biran A; Wilbur J
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
See more Publications