The Cascade Analysis Tool: software to analyze and optimize care cascades.

Faculty of 1000
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Gates Open Res, 2019, 3, pp. 1488
Issue Date:
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Introduction: Cascades, which track the progressive stages of engagement on the path towards a successful outcome, are increasingly being employed to quantitatively assess progress towards targets associated with health and development responses. Maximizing the proportion of people with successful outcomes within a budget-constrained context requires identifying and implementing interventions that are not only effective, but also cost-effective. Methods: We developed a software application called the Cascade Analysis Tool that implements advanced analysis and optimization methods for understanding cascades, combined with the flexibility to enable application across a wide range of areas in health and development. The tool allows users to design the cascade, collate and enter data, and then use the built-in analysis methods in order to answer key policy questions, such as: understanding where the biggest drop-offs along the cascade are; visualizing how the cascade varies by population; investigating the impact of introducing a new intervention or scaling up/down existing interventions; and estimating how available funding should be optimally allocated among available interventions in order to achieve a variety of different objectives selectable by the user (such as optimizing cascade outcomes in target years). The Cascade Analysis Tool is available via a user-friendly web-based application, and comes with a user guide, a library of pre-made examples, and training materials. Discussion: Whilst the Cascade Analysis Tool is still in the early stages of existence, it has already shown promise in preliminary applications, and we believe there is potential for it to help make sense of the increasing quantities of data on cascades.
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