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Maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) implementation often lags behind national policy, as demonstrated by recent assessments, and there are few practical resources to build health worker skills to implement MPDSR processes in low-resource settings. These MDSR Capacity-Building Materials developed by the USAID Maternal Child Survival Project are designed to build the capacity of district managers and facility health workers to strengthen MDSR processes in their local setting. The materials focus on facility-based maternal deaths and should complement (not replace) existing national MDSR or MPDSR guidelines and materials already in use.

Interactive sessions target a range of skills needed by district managers and facility health workers to support robust implementation of MDSR processes. Targeted skills cover implementation of the six-step maternal death audit cycle, including: identifying and notifying deaths; correctly assigning cause of death; analyzing key contributors to a death and developing, implementing and monitoring a “response/action”.  Additional targeted skills include the creation and support of MPDSR committees; regular monitoring of trends in leading local causes of maternal death; analysis of the most commonly identified contributors across death audits for leading causes of maternal death; and defining, implementing and monitoring priority “actions/responses” at facility and district/subnational level based on identified trends.

The MDSR Capacity-Building suite of materials is hyperlinked below and consists of a Facilitator’s Guide, Learner’s Guide for participants, Handout Packet, and PowerPoints for each of the 16 sessions. Sessions are highly interactive and include practice-based case-study exercises, Power Point presentations and user-friendly job aids and templates that may be modified by trainers based on local guidelines and context. Individual sessions may be selectively used, sequenced and combined based on local MDSR capacity-building needs.

These materials are part of a broader set of MPDSR guidance and capacity-building materials supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, partners and members of the Global MPDSR Technical Working Group including these MDSR materials; an aligned UNICEF-led perinatal death surveillance and response (PDSR) capacity-building module; and the MPDSR operational guidance under development by WHO.