Legal and regulatory frameworks
Considerations for the use of IT
Computers, scanners, mobile phones and digital signatures have become integral parts of improving and modernising CRVS systems. These technologies facilitate and help speed up data management and the transferring and archiving of records. Computerisation is normally introduced progressively from the central office to the regional and local offices. Mobile phones and tablets are also being used in several countries to report births and deaths occurring in outlying regions. Digital signatures, along with improved encryption and data security, are allowing data to be transmitted electronically and much faster.
Learn more about how midwives in rural areas of Myanmar are using tablets to record and share data on births and deaths.
Computerised systems require stronger legal measures than paper-based systems to ensure security and confidentiality, because data theft and destruction are potentially easier to carry out and more difficult to detect. In addition to restricting access to passwords to accredited staff to reduce the risk of misuse, special legislation detailing how the information can be used, and who can access it, needs to be passed if this is not already contained in national laws. It is important to note that many of the provisions for the use of information and communications technology may not be in CRVS legislation itself, but in laws related to information technologies, national statistics and the use of personal information more generally.
A robust legal framework should promote the free flow of information, balanced with the need to protect individual privacy, personal information and other interests governing access to registers. Some countries have established a single agency that is responsible for administering privacy and freedom of information laws.
Selected documents on the modernisation of the civil registration system in Armenia (2017). This presentation (will download powerpoint when clicked) explains the work carried out in Armenia in modernising their CRVS system through the use of technology and digitisation.
This document outlines the legal, technical, and institutional foundations that influence the relations and interactions of the citizen with the government and society.: Harbitz M et al (2011). Identification and governance policies. Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC.
This report focuses on how to reconcile civil registration and identity systems using technology and the prerequisites that need to be in place: Secure identity Alliance (2015). Civil registry consolidation through digital identity management. Secure Identity Alliance, Paris.
The guidebook is an online resource that provides step-by-step guidance for countries to plan, analyse, design and implement digitised systems and automated processes for CRVS: Africa Programme for the Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics. CRVS digitisation guidebook. APAI-CRVS, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division (1998). Handbook on civil registration and vital statistics systems: computerization. United Nations, New York.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division (2002). Handbook on training in civil registration and vital statistics systems. United Nations, New York.