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The Ten CRVS milestones framework

Compilation of vital statistics


Compiling vital statistics is the process of condensing and summarising information on vital events by classifying and tabulating the data within categories or groups, to produce vital statistics according to a predetermined tabulation program (definition from the UN Statistics Office).


Vital events are registered in local civil registration offices spread across the country. They are registered as individual records stored in several locations. The first step in the production of vital statistics is to compile the information about vital events in a single repository, usually in a central location. To ensure production of the highest levels of accuracy, uniformity and flexibility, it is recommended that compilation of aggregated statistics from individual records, either paper based or electronic, be undertaken centrally. 

There are several approaches to compilation, from sending a hard copy of each individual registration record to the central level (as done in Zambia), to using a fully digitised system with immediate sharing of the information of the event among the different levels in the system (as done in Ecuador and Rwanda). Other countries compile the information in reports with aggregated figures for each administrative division and then send them to the central level.

Systems should be introduced to ensure that all registered vital events are counted in the vital statistics system, with no data leakage occurring between systems. To prevent the loss of data on registered events to vital statistics processes, an audit system should be introduced with clearly delineated responsibilities set out for logging what is sent and received. As part of the civil registration process, any checks should ensure that:

  • All expected reports from local offices have been received and included in the monthly batch reports
  • Data received from local and district offices are checked against expected transmissions
  • Delayed registrations, and coronial and police cases are included in the transmitted data

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