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CRVS stakeholders, structures and coordination

CRVS coordinating committee

In the light of the many different agencies involved in CRVS systems, it is essential to establish a well-functioning coordination mechanism or steering committee. This can be chaired by the anchor ministry or placed under the auspices of the executive branch of government in either the President’s or the Prime Minister’s Office as is the case in Bangladesh. The CRVS national coordinating committee works with the various ministerial stakeholders and helps these stakeholders achieve a unity of effort and purpose in the management of the CRVS system. 

The terms of reference (TORs) for a national CRVS coordinating committee should include sections on:

  • Purpose
  • Committee operating procedures
  • Composition and meeting frequency (specifying chair, membership, size, meeting frequency, skills, knowledge and experience)
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Role and choice of the secretariat
  • Key documents and policies.
Example of terms of reference for CRVS national coordinating committee


A well-functioning, effective, efficient and sustainable national civil registration and vital statistics system is operational.


a. The improvement of statistics on births, deaths and causes of death through routine data collections. This will provide decision-makers with the evidence needed for effective evidence-based planning.

b. The development of communication strategies, including advocacy campaigns, aimed at raising and promoting the profile of CRVS.

c. Promote strategic partnerships, and mobilise partners, resources, national and regional organisations/agencies to prioritise CRVS as a development issue on the national agenda.


The Steering Committee will:

a. Provide leadership and coordination, and improve and strengthen the multidisciplinary approach to civil registration and vital statistics.

b. Coordinate, oversee and monitor the development and implementation of the national civil registration and vital statistics improvement plan.

c. Coordinate the comprehensive assessment of civil registration and vital statistics in country.

d. Support strengthening of interagency mechanisms for reporting of births, deaths and causes of death.

e. Support the development of campaigns and awareness through integration within existing programs to ensure cost effectiveness and sustainability.

f. Support relevant line ministries to ensure improved processes for timely information and data sharing, including interoperability among existing and developing IT systems.

g. Ensure production and dissemination of statistical information by line ministries to meet the needs of all producers and users of information.

h. Promote legislative reform and policy development in line with international standards of modern civil registration law and practices.

i. Progressively work towards the establishment of a national coordinating committee on demographic and vital statistics, recognised under the legal and policy framework.

j. Conduct consultation with wider stakeholders and solicit information, advice and direction on steps necessary to improve civil registration and vital statistics.

The Steering Committee, and pending assessment, shall have the discretion to delegate some or part of these activities to appropriate implementing agencies.


Membership of the Steering Committee shall consist of core government ministries and currently having direct interest in civil registration and vital statistics, including, but not limited to:

a. Permanent Secretary (PS)

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA; co-chair)

b. Director/MCH

Ministry of Health & Medical Services

c. Director of Planning

Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MHMS; co-chair)

d. Chief Statistician

Ministry of Health & Medical Services

e. Under Secretary (T)

Ministry of Home Affairs

f. National Statistics Office

Ministry of Finance 

g. Registrar General

Ministry of Lands, Housing & Survey

h. Registrar of Births & Deaths

Ministry of Home Affairs

j. Child Protection Specialist


k. HIS Officer

World Health Organization (WHO)

l. ICT Unit

Ministry of Finance

m. Policy Unit

Prime Minister’s Office

The Committee may co-opt members to the Committee in the performance of its duties and where specialist or technical expertise is required as necessary for proper and effective performance of its functions. 


a. Meetings will initially be held fortnightly commencing from 8 March 2013.

b. The Steering Committee will be co-chaired by PS/MHA and Director of Planning/MHMS.

c. WHO will be responsible for recording decisions at the meetings and circulating these to committee members. Civil registry office may also provide support where necessary.


Quorum shall be one-half of the members of the Committee, plus one.


All matters discussed at the meeting shall be deemed to have been agreed upon when there is a general consensus of members.


Members of the Committee shall continue to report to their respective Ministers through the Permanent Secretary. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may make report to the Prime Minister’s Office where it deemed necessary for a report to be so made.

Draft TORs from the Solomon Islands

Read more

CRVS systems improvement 

Breckenridge K et al (2012). Registration and Recognition: Documenting the Person in World History. 

Gelb A et al (2016). Using identification for development: some guiding principles. Centre for Global Development.

Gelb A et al (2013). Identification for Development: The Biometrics Revolution. Center for Global Development Working Paper 315. 

Hufty M. (2011). Investigating policy processes: the governance analytical framework (GAF), In: Wiesmann U & Hurni H (eds). Research for Sustainable Development: Foundations, Experiences, and Perspectives. Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research North–South, Bern.

United Nations (1998). Handbook on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems: Preparation of a Legal Framework. Series F, No. 71. 

United Nations (1998a). Handbook on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems: Computerization. 

United Nations (1998b). Handbook on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems: Management, Operation and Maintenance. 

United Nations (1998c). Handbook on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems: Policies and Protocols for the Release and Archiving of Individual Records. 

United Nations Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System 2013

World Bank (2017). The state of identification systems in Africa – a synthesis of country assessments. World Bank Group, Washington, DC.

World Bank Open Learning Center Civil Registration and Vital Statistics eLearning course 2017

World Health Organization (2014). Civil registration and vital statistics 2013: Challenges, best practice and design principles for modern systems. WHO, Geneva.

World Health Organization and University of Queensland. (2013). Strengthening civil registration and vital statistics for births, deaths and causes of death: resource kit.

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