There is a lack of studies concerning the maternal and neonatal referral system in troubled contexts, and the number of maternal and neonatal mortality deaths is considered high in developing countries. This study aims to understand the current conditions of the maternal and neonatal referral system in developing countries, in the context of barriers and technologies. We conducted a narrative literature review based on journals and conference papers in the last five years (2014–2018)from selected databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Science Direct, Scopus, Wiley Online, PMC, and ProQuest). The results of the study selection show that 40 studies identified barriers or challenges in maternal or neonatal referral systems, and eight studies discussed technology to support referral. Based on the results, barriers in maternal and neonatal referral systems can be divided into two main factors: 1. the healthcare system and 2. the patient. Some technologies are used in developing countries to support maternal and neonatal referral. However, these technologies still do not address all of the barriers described in the referral system. A study from different perspectives is needed, such as community involvement or government programs, to improve the current conditions of the maternal and neonatal referral system.