Research and Impact


Life-changing operations

Disability Adjusted Life Years averted -

Economic benefit - $

How we measure and why

It is estimated that 85% of children in developing countries will need surgery before their 15th birthday. Even amongst the most prosperous of these nations, there are major shortfalls in capacity and infrastructure that severely limit children's access to safe and timely surgical care.

There is a need for evidence-based action to tackle these systemic problems at the source, but the existing data are few and far between. A core part of our mission is to produce the evidence desperately needed to show that the impact of investing in children’s surgery merely begins in the operating room and goes on to transform entire nations and their economies.

At Kids Operating Room, we conduct independent research to evaluate the impact of our work. For every operation performed in one of our partner hospitals, a local data collector records key data about the operation and its outcomes, as well as its impact on the child and their family.

Analysing and reporting these data is vital to support local surgical teams, sustain political will, and provide donors with clarity on the difference they have made. Our research will show the real cost, and benefit, of saving a child’s life, of preventing a life of pain and disability, and of transforming children’s futures.

Our partners

Kids Operating Room's data program is a collaboration driven by local surgical teams and their data collectors. The study itself is led by academic partners at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Oxford.


Our expert panel expects that an average of 50 lifesaving or life-changing operations can be performed every month in a dedicated paediatric OR in a low- to middle-income country.

Disability-adjusted life-years

A single paediatric operation taking place in a Kids Operating Room is estimated to prevent an average of 17 years of life lost due to disability and premature death. This is the key metric used by the WHO to assess the global burden of disease.

Economic benefit

A child undergoing an operation in one of our operating rooms is projected to go on to allow their nation to generate an average of $35,970 (USD) in additional GDP in the years to come.

Data collectors

At each partner hospital, we fund a local data collector to capture data on every single operation that takes place in one of our ORs. A dedicated person makes this research their top priority, allowing surgical teams to focus on delivering essential paediatric surgical care.

The impact of Kids Operating Room

Impact Report 2020

Read our Case Studies




View our publications from KidsOR and our local and academic partners.

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