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Institute for International Programs


IMPROVED programming

Improved programming and better health outcomes for mothers,
children and adolescents in low- and middle-income
countries through the Lives Saved Tool (LiST)

LiST logoIMPROVED programming and better health outcomes for mothers, children and adolescents in low- and middle-income countries through the Lives Saved Tool (LiST)

Overall Aim

In order to advance global health and allocate limited resources, sound strategies for evaluating progress and setting priorities are urgently needed. In settings where public health efforts are existing or planned, stakeholders held accountable to diverse constituencies need information about current conditions and a way to translate known information about effective interventions into actionable targets or goals.

Conceived initially as part of the 2003 Lancet Child Survival series, the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) has served a critical role by offering organizations and individuals an evidence-based platform to harness existing data in an accessible format. 

Estimates from LiST about impact due to coverage change are important not only to examine previous trends but also to guide planning for future directions. Because LiST encompasses multiple technical areas (e.g. nutrition, immunization, WASH), results can be used for strategic planning and prioritization to focus on the areas of greatest need or where the greatest gains are possible. Many of the country-specific parameters needed from population-level data sources are collated and included as defaults in the Lives Saved Tool model.

As part of Improve, funding is used to support software development including revisions which are required as the evidence base for global health evolves. Resources, including materials for training and support, are routinely updated and made accessible to users via the project website. Expansion into new outcomes and topic areas is ongoing through collaboration and consultation with technical experts to refine the model for strategic planning, program evaluation and advocacy applications.

Focus Areas

  1. Expand LiST to include the impact of interventions on older children and adolescents (ages 5-19). 
  2. Develop a web-based application of LiST so that it can be easily linked and outputs incorporated into other software.
  3. Continued periodic review and updating of assumptions used in the LiST model, development of training materials and workshops on the use of LiST, and continued support to national programs and other partners.
  4. Develop LiST for application in refugee settings and build-in interventions in the model to address the humanitarian context. 


All LiST publications can be found on the LiST website.


The Improve Project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Investment ID: OPP1172551