What can be done to rapidly improve CRVS systems?
Demonstrating the value of vital statistics for policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation
An important way of increasing demand for CRVS systems is to demonstrate the value of the statistics they generate for policy and planning across multiple sectors.
The civil registration system, when universal, is the preferred source of vital statistics in terms of accuracy, completeness and timeliness. However, it is not essential to achieve complete registration before starting to bring together, examine and evaluate the statistics generated.
Vital statistics that are incomplete or of imperfect quality can still be useful as long as the deficiencies are made clear to users. The tabulation and analysis of vital statistics from the registration system can help stimulate interest, build statistical capacities, enhance CRVS literacy, and develop confidence in the interpretation of vital statistics.
Feedback of statistical information to those involved in data collection and field level can help improve quality and fuel a virtuous cycle, from data collection and compilation, to analysis and interpretation, and enhanced data use for policy and planning. Through this cycle data are transformed into information and thence to the creation of knowledge, to decision-making and to greater capacities for data collection, interpretation and use (see diagram below).