Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Resource Page and Updates
Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) record births, deaths, and other major life events that are essential to understanding the development of a country and its people. CRVS are critical for protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and in particular women, girls, and other vulnerable groups. They also provide crucial data to over a quarter of the indicators used to monitor the world’s progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
To address the ongoing need for CRVS in data-driven decision making, Open Data Watch is collecting helpful articles and resources on CRVS data, organized by categories that emphasize the importance of CRVS data along the data value chain: availability, openness, dissemination, and use and uptake. This resource sheet will be updated as new information becomes available and new resources will be noted with each update by the text *New*.
Updated 23 October 2021
- UNICEF hosts a data portal with CRVS profiles for countries and offers insight into the importance of these systems for development and child protection.
- The New York University Data Catalog compiles national vital statistics from 2003 to the present of the United States.
- The United Nations Statistic Division hosts a resource page on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, including sources on coverage, technical reports, and relevant meetings.
- The World Health Organization documents the benefits of CRVS and has a repository of documents for supporting countries to develop robust CRVS systems.
- Open CRVS, in collaboration with Plan International and Jembi Health Systems, offers resources on civil registration to ensure that every individual is recognized.
- The United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination documents the Principles on Personal Data Protection and Privacy to outline a framework for processing personal data.
- The World Health Organization has a Mortality Database compiles mortality data of member states from their civil registration systems
- The World Health Organization has a visual summary of population data, its importance, use, and where the gaps remain.
Uptake and Use
- Sarah Castle, Elizabeth Ortiz, and Philip Setel authored a paper for the Centre for Excellence of CRVS Systems which provides an evidence-based dialogue on demand-side barriers to the registration of births, marriages, and deaths.
- National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda finds that despite efforts put into increasing the birth registration to 95 percent by 2022 in Rwanda, a considerable number of people are still entering this world and not being registered. (5/31/21) *New*
- The World Bank published their ID4D 2020 Annual Report, which stresses the critical role ID and civil registration, and vital statistics systems play in COVID-19-related emergency support and vaccination efforts.
- The International Development Research Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems launched a compendium series highlighting the importance of legal identity for accessing essential services such as health care and education. The compendium series includes countries cases from Argentina, Chile, Namibia, South Korea, and Tunisia.
- The IDRC CRDI created five advocacy and learning-type videos on why CRVS matter and how they protect human rights.
- The CRVS clearinghouse has compiled a selection of reports and peer reviewed publications on CRVS from different countries.
- The United Nation Statistic Division discusses CRVS and the state of birth and death coverage.
- Researchers in the Lancet authored a piece on CRVS for addressing the growing demands for accountability and results in health care. They also incorporated examples of country successes and explained the factors of a robust CRVS system.
- Ruth Maclean authored a piece for the New York Times that reports that the number of registered deaths in all 54 African countries are fewer than the COVID-19 deaths registered in France. She explains that coffin salespeople and funeral home directors do see a spike in deaths, suggesting that not all COVID-19 deaths are being recorded.
- David Spiegelhalter of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication chair at Cambridge University, discussed how to use ‘excess’ death counts to understand COVID-19 better. He explained that merely looking at deaths recorded as “COVID-19” is inconsistent and does not capture deaths that occurred during lockdown measures or disruption to health services.
- The United Nations Statistical Division explored how civil registration and vital statistical systems (CRVS) are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and how data collection efforts are adapting during social distancing measures. The findings emerged from a brief survey of national CRVS focal points to assess the impact of the worldwide pandemic.
- This webinar organized by the Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) explored the links between civil registration and social protection systems.
- The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for accurate and reliable mortality data. They explained that without high-quality civil registration and vital statistics systems, it will be difficult to universally register deaths nationwide.
- During the 2020 World Data Forum, Vital Strategies hosted a session on country experiences on tracking mortality during health emergencies such as COVID-19.
- During the 2020 World Data Forum, the IDRC CRDI hosted a pre-recorded discussion about overcoming research silos and ensuring that CRVS encompasses a holistic perspective.
- The Inter-American Development Bank published a report on how CRVS can be used as a tool to improve public management.
- COVID-19 has continued to highlight the importance of well-functioning CRVS systems. Will Brown and Simon Townsley discusses on Sudan’s hidden COVID-19 death toll and the consequences of a poorly functioning CRVS system. (8/3/21) *New*
- Devex emphasized the importance of CRVS systems for improving gender equality and explains that there is still a lot to do in terms of improving these systems as tens of millions of children are not registered at birth. They highlighted the importance of making visible the challenges and underrepresentation of women.
- Open Data Watch, the Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems at the International Development Research Centre, and UNFPA released sessions from their ConVERGE: Connecting Vital Events Registration and Gender Equality conference.
- The Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems released Knowledge Briefs on Gender and CRVS to highlight the importance of this data system in highlighting the challenges women and girls face.
- The Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems at the International Development Research Centre created a video, Boundless Potential, which highlights the importance of CRVS systems for achieving gender equality.
- This video recording is of a webinar organized by the Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, it reviewed the findings from five country cases on CRVS systems.
- The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has put together a new catalogue of publications to find all CRVS resources produced by the Centre of Excellence. *New*
- Together with Open Data Watch, the Center of Excellence published a compendium of good practices on Harnessing Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Conflict, Emergencies, and Fragile Settings. The compendium presents examples of managing CRVS systems in times of crisis such as conflicts, natural disasters, and COVID-19.
- The Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems has a directory of CRVS experts that include consultants, government officials, and organizations that focus on improving CRVS systems.
- The Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems created a map that can be used to explore Country Profiles and learn more about their CRVS system.
- Together with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the IDRC released a compendium of good practices in linking CRVS and identity management systems.
- The IDRC authored a piece focusing on the nexus between CRVS and social protection systems and outline five country practices.
- Vital Strategies published an overview of CRVS and how these data play a crucial part in demography and counting every human life, even the most invisible.
- Get Everyone in the Picture partners with countries to improve CRVS systems and tracks CRVS developments in Asia and the Pacific.
- Data for Health, co-funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Australian government, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, works with low- and middle-income countries to collect better public health data.
- The Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS) is a regional program that aims to improve and reform CRVS systems through political commitment and policy.