Nearly 60% of the world’s inhabitants lack access to timely, safe, and ffordable emergency and essential surgical, anesthetic, and obstetric (SAO) services when needed. Although acknowledged as an important step in resolving this disparity, situation analysis informed development of national surgical, obstetric and anesthesia plans (NSOAPs) has not been performed widely. There are even fewer published examples of NSOAP driven SAO system vulnerability resolving policy interventions, potentially hindering broader acceptance and drafting. Thus, there is urgent need for alignment of academic global surgery activities through a common framework for SAO strengthening intervention articulation, design and reporting which can be informed by the Malawian experience and others. This is a logical next step in the evolution of surgical system science as we move towards the articulation of actionable inequity resolving interventions through stakeholder engagement embedded in a plan-do-study-act (PDSA) model for iterative refinement of strengthening policies.