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What is CRVS and why does every country need it?


CRVS systems enable individuals and families to access essential services and benefits and participate in social, economic and political life. From the perspective of country policy makers and planners, especially in the health sector, they enable the generation of reliable, regular and timely statistics on fertility, mortality and causes of death. These valuable data are used to underpin decision making in health, education, employment, infrastructure development, business and other aspects of human development.

In 2007, Richard Horton, editor of the journal The Lancet, described the neglect of CRVS as ‘the single most critical failure of development over the past 30 years’. In 2015, noting the emerging global momentum for strengthening CRVS, The Lancet again focused on CRVS as a ‘necessary component of sustainable development’. This CRVS Resource Gateway brings together the knowledge and tools that countries need to support them in their efforts to ensure that births and all deaths are registered, that cause of death is available for all deaths, and vital statistics on fertility, mortality and causes of death are available to underpin public health decision making.

The next topic describes the processes needed for birth and death registration and vital statistics generation.

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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division (2010). Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Knowledge Base.

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