Cost-effectiveness evidence for maternal and perinatal health interventions

It is important that health system stakeholders consider the cost and resource implications of implementation health interventions. Health budgets are finite and limited, meaning that adding (or expanding access to) an intervention may require the exclusion of another. Difficult decisions are often made as to whether diverting scarce resources is likely to lead to better health outcomes, as opposed to maintaining existing configurations. Evidence on interventions’ affordability and cost-effectiveness is critical to inform these decisions.

We are conducting a scoping review to establish a living digital repository of available primary studies of cost-effectiveness of maternal and perinatal health interventions. This includes:

  • develop a broad search strategy encompassing all interventions in WHO’s portfolio of maternal and perinatal health recommendations;
  • conducting a systematic scoping review of primary studies of cost-effectiveness of maternal and perinatal health interventions that are effective or may be effective;
  • developing a database of the identified available cost-effectiveness evidence, with corresponding brief summaries for selected interventions; and
  • maintaining the database in living mode for selected, high-priority interventions.

This will provide a single, consolidated, navigable resource for policymakers, managers and clinicians considering evidence for program decision-making affecting multiple interventions or care models, and can be used to inform allocative efficiency and costing models for maternal health budgets. This database may also be used to conduct systematic reviews of cost effectiveness evidence for particular priority interventions.


Publish database – March 2021 Update database – ongoing (frequency TBD)


World Health Organization

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Joshua Vogel

Principal Research Fellow; Deputy Discipline Head, International Development