At the Global Maternal Health Conference in New Delhi, our Director presented MCHIP’s experiences using the Lives Saved Tool for advocacy, planning and policy-making purposes.
LiST is computer-based software that models multi-causes of mortality. The goal of LiST is to promote evidence-based decision making and aid in planning for the expansion of maternal, neonatal and child health interventions. Its objective is simply to estimate the potential lives saved when introducing or scaling up key maternal newborn and child health interventions.
LiST can provide the following information:
Number of maternal, neonatal, or child deaths: Total # of deaths, Deaths by Cause, Deaths by Age Group (child only)
Potential maternal, neonatal, or child Lives Saved due to scale up of chosen interventions. You can see lives saved by cause, by intervention, or by age group (child only)
Intermediate outcomes such as stunting rates and breastfeeding prevalence overtime
LiST can display all of the above information in table or graph format. You can also look at multiple scenarios in one country at a time, or look at multiple countries at a time.
LiST comes with limitations:
As with any model, LiST is only as useful and reliable as the data you put into the software. Therefore, if you are missing data or if the data is not accurate you will have poor outputs to work with.
Because of the much smaller numbers of maternal deaths and the continuing work to determine the impact that some interventions have on maternal survival, LiST may not be the best tool to weigh the relative value of different investments in maternal survival.
Maternal health interventions included in LiST are packages that are only effective in reducing mortality if all services are provided at quality.
It is often just as important to show the impact of scaling back interventions that already have high coverage levels (i.e. Lives LOST due to roll-back in coverage). We do not want projections to inadvertently make the case for decreased funding/coverage for those mature interventions that already operate at scale with high coverage and successfully save lives.
LiST is intended to be used as part of a series of planning tools and not as a turn-key, stand-alone product. For example, operational, programmatic and cost constraints - which are not part of the LiST tool - must be considered to establish credible targets and achieve them.
To read the presentation in its entirety, click here
By Koki Agarwal, Director and Rebecca Levine, Program Officer