Mothers continue to die needlessly before, during and after childbirth due to preventable conditions. The Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR) approach provides the means to understand the underlying causes and factors that lead to maternal deaths and develop solutions to save lives. MDSR facilitates gathering of information and allows for its strategic use in guiding public health actions and monitoring the impact of those actions. Effective implementation of MDSR can directly impact the quality of care and improve maternal and perinatal health outcomes. This discussion note gives more details on what a good MDSR approach may involve.