Sep 2015 – Sep 2019

Better tools for planning nutrition programmes



Multiple countries – Global

To drive evidence-based planning, resourcing and programming of high-impact nutrition interventions for pregnant women and children.

$970,605 Grant Value

Other funders

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

This project aims to expand and improve the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) - a tool previously used for the prioritisation of child survival interventions - for use in nutrition programming, planning and resource allocation.

The grant will support the technical updates to the LiST platform for nutrition, and uptake and use at the global and country levels, through three components:

  • Building scientific consensus through a technical advisory group to estimate the impact of nutrition and nutrition-sensitive interventions on growth and mortality among children and pregnant women. 
  • Introducing technical updates to the Lives Saved Tool and piloting the user interface to create a user-friendly tool. 
  • Supporting use at the global and country levels through existing global partnerships and a series of regional workshops and training sessions in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.


This grant has overhauled the LiST tool so that it can now help programme planners estimate the impacts of their programmes on key nutrition outcomes such as stunting, severe acute malnutrition, anaemia, and low birthweight. 

The project team have refined the causal model that the tool is built around, reviewed literature to determine intervention effectiveness, and refined multiple parameters used in the tool to generate impact estimates. 

In September 2017, an entire special supplement was published in the Journal of Nutrition which is publicly available on the LiST website.

Over the remaining period of this grant, the project team will concentrate on:

  • Consolidating and publishing modelling work on low birth weight, including interventions, risk factors and impact on mortality and child growth.
  • Developing an evidence review around interventions to prevent wasting that reflects the way nutrition policy makers and programme planners conceptualise and categorise these approaches.
  • Promoting the use of the tool. The project has already conducted three regional workshops with fifty super-users of the tool and hopes to establish a centre of expertise for the tool in East Africa. The project team will also document the overall impact of the changes they have made on the 'technical boundary' of nutrition impact.