Adding/Inserting a list member is disabled when a published list has no list member.
If you publish a list to a dashboard, you are able to add/insert a list member (s) to the list on the dashboard. However, it appears that you are not allowed to add/insert any list member to a list if a list has no list member. Would I know what it boils down to ? If you have any solution for this issue other than setting a dummy to a published list.
I think if I am not wrong then you are talking about the scenario like when you have created a list but having no item in that new list and you have published the list in the dashboard then Insert/Delete option is disable see below screenshot
Now to add member to a list you should click on parent or code then Addition option will enable to add new member.This list published in DB
If your scenario is different then please send me the screenshot and with some more detail