Developing and costing local strategies to improve maternal and child health: The investment case framework

Technically feasible and cost-effective interventions exist to reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality. This potential has not been fully realised due to the failure of health systems to improve the delivery and uptake of these priority interventions, particularly amongst the most vulnerable women and children. Underfunded investments in maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) are part of the impediment, but unspent funds in a diversity of resource-constrained settings reflect a common problem of low absorptive capacity and the challenges of implementation at the local level. Health systems research to understand the impediments to scaling-up these cost-effective interventions is critical in resource-poor settings but is rarely prioritised [9], with much of the research that does exist focused at the global or national level