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Whether you're a CRVS expert or just starting to learn about CRVS systems, you will enjoy exploring the range of resources available here in our library. Discover more about strengthening and innovating CRVS systems, plus learn from other countries' challenges and experiences.


Thumbnail: Measuring excess deaths_COVID-19
Approaches and methods for estimating excess deaths due to COVID-19

This guidance document outlines the challenges, and introduces approaches and methods for researchers and statisticians to measure excess mortality due to COVID-19 in systems with various levels of registration completeness (high, medium and low).

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Author: Adair, T, Lopez, AD, Hudson, S

Publication date: June 2020

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy


Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout thumbnail
Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout

This paper is a useful resource for countries looking to implement automated VA on a digital tablet or smartphone.

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Publication date: March 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on automated VA training and rollout


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Civil registration and identification thumbnail
Civil registration and identification

Civil registration should be the basis of any national identification system, and must be strengthened before new systems are put in place.

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Publication date: October 2016

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Improving registration: Best practice guidelines


CRVS innovations: Developing and testing a CRVS Costing Tool thumbnail
CRVS innovations: Developing and testing a CRVS Costing Tool

This CRVS technical outcome series paper describes the CRVS Costing Tool that has been developed as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health (D4H) Initiative by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University of Melbourne.

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CRVS best-practice and advocacy
CRVS systems need
well-functioning civil registry offices thumbnail
CRVS systems need well-functioning civil registry offices

Presentation of factors which countries should consider when establishing or improving the operation of their Office of the Civil Registrar.

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Publication date: August 2017

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Understanding CRVS systems: The importance of process mapping


Essential CRVS processes and actors: Considerations for the Development of OpenCRVS thumbnail
Essential CRVS processes and actors: Considerations for the Development of OpenCRVS

This technical report presents a further analysis of the summary experience of applying system analysis tools to complex systems like CRVS systems. This report is an effort to summarise and catalogue the most essential processes common to most CRVS processes in D4H countries, capturing also the different stakeholders involved and the data elements flowing through the system. This summary is of importance to efforts such as the development of OpenCRVS as it describes the most common processes that countries employ and indicates essential processes that need to be included in OpenCRVS.

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Summary: Improving vital statistics for
informed policy: The importance of data quality thumbnail
Improving vital statistics for informed policy: The importance of data quality

Outlines the importance of quality, and simple procedures for checking data quality from collection to analysis.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: March 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: ANACONDA 10 steps: Quick reference guide


CRVS best practice and advocacy
Intervention: automated verbal autopsy thumbnail
Intervention: Automated verbal autopsy

The automated process of using handheld devices for all verbal autopsy activities.

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Publication date: November 2016

Resource type: CRVS best practice and advocacy

Related resources: Introducing verbal autopsies into CRVS: Guiding principles


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Intervention: Improving CRVS system design thumbnail
Intervention: Improving CRVS system design

Enterprise architecture (EA) is a systems science tool that produces business process maps. It helps describe, understand, analyse, compare and visualise the organisation, processes, workflows and functionality of a CRVS system.

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Publication date: November 2016

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on process mapping for CRVS systems


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Intervention: Improving registration practices thumbnail
Intervention: Improving registration practices

Examples of best practice for registration include making it a legal requirement to register, and not charging a fee for initial registration.

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Publication date: November 2016

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: CRVS systems need well-functioning civil registry offices


Medical certification of cause of death
Intervention: Medical certification of cause of death

Activities to improve certification include introducing the international form of medical certificate of cause of death and training courses.

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Publication date: November 2016

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on training and education on medical certification of cause of death


Mortality coding
Intervention: Mortality coding

Transformation of information on death certificates into alpha-numeric codes, for easier analysis of the patterns of mortality in a population.

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Publication date: November 2016

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Course prospectus: Iris automated mortality coding training


Introducing verbal autopsies into CRVS: Guiding principles
Introducing verbal autopsies into CRVS systems: Guiding principles

This document details the merits of automated VA methods and provides guidance for countries looking to implement VA in CRVS systems.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: June 2020 (update)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout


Thumbnail for Introduction to SmartVA for Physicians document
Introduction to SmartVA for Physicians

This document provides an overview of the automated verbal autopsy tool, SmartVA for Physicians (also known as SmartVA Auto-Analyse), and describes a pilot implementation of the tool in the Philippines.

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Authors: The University of Melbourne

Publication date: May 2020 

Resource type: CRVS best practice and advocacy

Related resources: SmartVA Auto-Analyse: User guide


Maximising synergies between Health Observatories and CRVS thumbnail
Maximising synergies between Health Observatories and CRVS

This report provides practical guidance about how population and health observatories and CRVS systems can collaborate, to ultimately improve the registration and certification of births, deaths, and causes of death.

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Authors: de Savigny D, Renggli S, Cobos D, Collinson M, Sankoh O

Publication date: March 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy


Redefining 'garbage codes' for public health policy: Report on the expert group meeting
Redefining 'garbage codes' for public health policy: Report on the expert group meeting

Describes the new classification of 'unusable codes' that cause most harm, allowing countries to design targeted interventions for improvement.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: May 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Summary: Redefining 'garbage codes' for public health policy

Brazil's health data: How have they improved so much and so quickly? video

Reducing barriers to the accurate medical certification of cause of death thumbnail
Reducing barriers to the accurate medical certification of cause of death

This document identifies barriers to accurate COD reporting by physicians and provides recommendations on how various actors can respond.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: May 2018 (update)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on reducing barriers to medical certification


Research priorities for country CRVS strengthening
Research priorities for country CRVS strengthening

This document outlines six of focus areas for countries in need of CRVS research.

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Strategies for improving the quality of cause of death data in hospitals
Strategies for improving the quality of cause of death data in hospitals

This paper outlines the importance of accurate medical certification of cause of death, and provides eight strategies that hospitals can implement to improve the accuracy and consistency of cause of death data drawn from medical records.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: April 2018 (update)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on improving the quality of cause of death data in hospitals


Strengthening CRVS systems through effective legislation thumbnail
Strengthening CRVS systems through effective legislation

This paper explains how legal frameworks can contribute to the completeness of birth and death registration, and improve the accuracy of information held in national and subnational civil records. This paper also highlights some of the common issues with existing civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) laws in many countries, and the importance for governments and CRVS stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive legal review. General recommendations on the steps and strategies countries should use for conducting a legal review on existing CRVS-related laws are provided.

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Publication date: April 2018 (updated)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on CRVS legal and regulatory reviews


Summary report of the University of Melbourne, Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative - Phase 2 thumbnail
Summary report of the University of Melbourne, Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative - Phase 2

This summary report covers activities initiated and implemented by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative at the University of Melbourne from April 2017 to March 2019 - Phase 2 of the Initiative.

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Author: The University of Melbourne
Publication date: September 2019
Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy


A global systematic assessment of the availability and quality of birth registration data thumbnail
Summary: A global systematic assessment of the availability and quality of birth registration data

Explains the global birth registration database and quality metric, the Vital Statistics Performance Index for Births (VSPI-B), developed to assess the completeness and quality of birth registration data. The database and index together can help enable the tracking of the performance of registration systems over time and between countries and can be of great use for monitoring progress for global and national development goals.

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Publication date: February 2019

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: How useful are registered birth statistics for health and social policy? A global systematic assessment of the availability and quality of birth registration data


Summary: A new method for estimating the completeness of death registration thumbnail
Summary: A new method for estimating the completeness of death registration

Explains a new method to estimate the completeness of death registration using widely available country data.

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Publication date: May 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Estimating the completeness of death registration: An empirical method


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Summary: CRVS systems are good for
your health thumbnail
Summary: CRVS systems are good for your health

This document highlights how countries that invest in CRVS strengthening will see improved population health outcomes.

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Publication date: May 2018 (udpated)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Are well functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems associated with better health outcomes?


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Summary: Improving the notification of
community deaths thumbnail
Summary: Improving the notification of community deaths

Notification of deaths, particularly deaths in the community, requires special attention and will likely need specific interventions tailored to each country. Two checklists have been developed for countries seeking to audit and improve internal notification of community deaths.

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Publication date: August 2018 (update)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Where there is no physician: Improving the notification of community deaths


Summary: Improving vital statistics for informed policy
Summary: Improving vital statistics for informed policy

Briefly explains the importance of data quality assessments and basic data quality checks to perform.

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Publication date: February 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Course prospectus: ANACONDA


Summary: Integrating verbal autopsy into CRVS systems thumbnail
Summary: Integrating verbal autopsies into CRVS systems

This document details how to sustainably integrate verbal autopsy into CRVS systems.

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Publication date: April 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Integrating community-based verbal autopsy into CRVS: System-level considerations


Summary: Maximising synergies between health observatories and CRVS systems thumbnail
Summary: Maximising synergies between health observatories and CRVS systems

Outlines six different areas of potential collaboration between health and demographic observatories and CRVS systems, including challenges and successes.

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Publication date: November 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Maximising synergies between health observatories and CRVS: Guidance for INDEPTH HDSS sites and CRVS stakeholders

Partners: Swiss TPH, INDEPTH Network


Thumbnail for summary monitoring CRVS data quality and progress
Summary: Monitoring CRVS data quality and progress

Summarises key points from the Lancet series paper, which discussed results from a global assessment of CRVS systems, and the development of a composite index, the Vital Statistics Performance Index (VSPI) that can monitor data quality and progress over time.

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Publication date: August 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: A global assessment of civil registration and vital statistics systems: Monitoring data quality and progress

Source: Lancet


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Summary: Redefining 'garbage codes' for
public health policy thumbnail
Summary: Redefining 'garbage codes' for public health policy

Describes the alternative classification of garbage codes used in ANACONDA that better aligns with public health priorities.

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Publication date: July 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Redefining 'garbage codes' for public health policy: Report on the expert group meeting, 27-28 February 2017


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
Summary: SDG achievement depends on
CRVS systems thumbnail
Summary: SDG achievement depends on CRVS systems

Well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems will play an important role in assisting countries and regions to measure, monitor and meet their Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets. Strengthening of CRVS systems is an SDG outcome in and of itself; therefore, to fully achieve the SDG agenda, CRVS systems must be robust with near-complete registration of births and deaths.

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Publication date: August 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Why the Sustainable Development Goal agenda needs strong civil registration and vital statistics systems


Summary: The CRVS baseline evaluation
framework thumbnail
Summary: The CRVS baseline evaluation framework

Describes the four domains of the framework; an important tool that provides an actionable evaluation of a CRVS system.

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Publication date: May 2018

Resource type: CRVS analyses and evaluations

Related resources: A framework for evaluating national CRVS systems at baseline


CRVS best-practice and advocacy
The importance of routinely measuring birth
and death registration completeness thumbnail
Summary: The importance of routinely measuring birth and death registration completeness

Highlights the importance of measuring registration completeness and the impact it has on fertility and mortality statistics.

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Publication date: April 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Summary: A new method for estimating the completeness of death registration


Summary: Understanding the VA costing and budgeting tool thumbnail
Summary: Understanding the VA costing and budgeting tool

A VA costing and budgeting tool has been developed to help determine the financial and economic costs of implementing routine VA, based on six activity groups: start-up activities, governance activities, program management, supervision, refresher training, VA delivery and analysis.

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Training and education on medical certification: Effective strategies and approaches

This document outlines a best-practice plan for the timing and content of education and training on medical certification for physicians at three career stages.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: July 2018 (updated)

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Summary: Effective strategies and approaches to training in medical certification

Godfrey M Semu MCCOD3

Understanding CRVS systems: The importance of process mapping thumbnail
Understanding CRVS systems: The importance of process mapping

Explains how enterprise architecture and its process mapping methodology can be used to describe and improve CRVS systems.

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Authors: de Savigny D, Cobos Muñoz D.

Publication date: April 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on process mapping for CRVS systems

Source: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel


Understanding uncertainty in ANACONDA results due to small numbers of deaths: Guidance for users thumbnail
Understanding uncertainty in ANACONDA results due to small numbers of deaths: Guidance for users

This document provides guidance to ANACONDA users to help inform decisions on the appropriate number of deaths necessary to have confidence in ANACONDA results for a population or sub-population.

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Authors: Tim Adair

Publication date: May 2020

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy


Why the Sustainable
Development Goal agenda needs
strong civil registration and vital
statistics systems thumbnail
Why the Sustainable Development Goal agenda needs strong civil registration and vital statistics systems

Well-functioning CRVS systems will play an important role in assisting countries and regions to measure, monitor and meet their SDG targets. The SDG agenda presents an opportunity to advance health information systems world-wide, including through CRVS systems strengthening efforts. The Data for Health Initiative developed a number of interventions, described in this paper, aimed at improving various components of a CRVS system. Countries may wish to consider these as part of their CRVS systems strengthening efforts.

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Authors: Nicola Richards, Renee Sorchik, and Claire Brolan, the University of Melbourne

Publication date: August 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Sustainable Development Goal achievement will depend on CRVS systems

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