What can be done to rapidly improve CRVS systems?
As pointed out in Introduction to CRVS, CRVS systems are complex, involving multiple stakeholders, including families and individuals, legal, administrative and statistical agencies, and policy making institutions at all levels of the state. Given the many actors involved, a single agency or ministry cannot successfully handle all aspects of CRVS operations and there must be delegation of roles and responsibilities to different groups.
In most settings, the office of the registrar general, the national statistics office and the Ministry of Health are key players at the operational level. However, many other institutions and agencies contribute to – and benefit from – the CRVS system as a whole, including ministries or departments responsible for justice, the interior, identity management, foreign affairs, finance and planning, and education as well as information, communications and technology (ICT) given the growing role of IT in facilitating all aspects of the CRVS system. Conducting a CRVS stakeholder analysis can help ensure a sound understanding of the diverse roles of these players.
Effective coordination is essential to ensure that the CRVS system as a whole functions effectively and meets the needs of all stakeholders. Countries should establish a high-level coordination committee with broad representation of stakeholders across sectors, at all levels of government, among development partners and between governments and development partners. The committee should be chaired by a lead agency or anchor ministry that works with other ministries, agencies, and development partners to ensure the development and coordination of CRVS and the Identification Management (IDM) system.
The coordination committee should agree about the roles and responsibilities of each participating agency, bearing in mind that country administrative systems and histories differ so that there is 'no one-size-fits-all'. It should also foster collaboration with and among development partners with mandates related to civil registration and statistics, to avoid a project-based and fragmented approach to CRVS system strengthening.