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Whether you're a CRVS expert of just starting to learn about CRVS systems, you will enjoy exploring the range of resources available here in our library. Discover more about strengthening and innovating CRVS systems, plus learn from other countries challenges and experiences.


Automated verbal autopsy: from research to routine use in civil registration and vital statistics systems thumbnail
Automated verbal autopsy: from research to routine use in civil registration and vital statistics systems

This paper reports on the application of the SmartVA tool for the collection and analysis of COD data in four countries (Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Philippines), as part of routine CRVS activities.

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Authors: Hazard, R, Buddhika, M, Hart, J, Chowdhury, H, Firth, S, Joshi, R, Avelina, F, Segarra, A, Sarmiento, D C, Azad, A K, Ashrafi, S A A, Bo, K S, Kwa, V, Lopez, A 

Publication date: March 2020

Resource type: CRVS peer-reviewed publications

Source: BMC Medicine


Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout thumbnail
Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout

This paper is a useful resource for countries looking to implement automated VA on a digital tablet or smartphone.

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Publication date: March 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Action guide on automated VA training and rollout


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Collecting verbal autopsies: improving and streamlining data collection processes using electronic tablets

As countries increase verbal autopsy surveillance, it is important to consider the best way to design sustainable systems for data collection. Electronic data capture has the potential to greatly reduce the time and costs associated with data collection. For long-term, large-scale surveillance required by national vital statistical systems, electronic data capture reduces costs and allows data to be available sooner. This study collected verbal autopsy interviews using paper and pencil, and using electronic tablets at two sites, and measured the cost and time required to process the surveys for analysis.

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Authors: Flaxman AD, et al

Publication date: 2018

Resource type: Peer-reviewed paper

Source: Population Health Metrics. 2018; 16(3) [creative commons attribution license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/]


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Course prospectus: SmartVA

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Publication date: October 2017

Resource type: CRVS resources and tools

Related resources: SmartVA: Technical user guide


Course prospectus: Verbal autopsy costing and budgeting tool thumbnail
Course prospectus: Verbal autopsy costing and budgeting tool

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Publication date: February 2018

Resource type: CRVS resources and tools

Related resources: Summary: Integrating verbal autopsies into CRVS systems


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CRVS Fellowship profile: Assessing the performance of verbal autopsy in Bangladesh

This profile provides an overview of country context in relation to CRVS, and documents Toufiq’s personal experiences and outcomes and the broader impact his Fellowship might have on improving the quality of mortality data in Bangladesh.

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CRVS-VA sample size calculator tool thumbnail
CRVS-VA sample size calculator tool

The purpose of this package of a two part guidance document and its companion sample size calculator Tool is to assist countries with scale up and rollout planning for the application of verbal autopsy (VA) as a function of a national civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system. Users of the package will include those tasked with designing and managing the CRVS-VA system. The package is intended to be used after pre-testing and pilot phases during which the processes, methods and possibly costing of the CRVS-VA system are perfected and established, and before the scale-up and rollout phase.

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Developing a verbal autopsy costing and budgeting tool thumbnail
Developing a verbal autopsy costing and budgeting tool

This paper describes the Verbal Autopsy Costing and Budgeting Tool that has been developed by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University of Melbourne. The tool estimates the resources needed to implement verbal autopsy (VA) as part of a routine civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system. The tool has been piloted in four different countries, representing different stages of implementation of VA activities, and the tool was able to demonstrate the relatively low ongoing cost of conducting routine VA when integrated within a CRVS system.

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Authors: Cobos Muñoz D, Monzon Llamas L, Dayo C, Renggli S, deSavigny D

Publication date: January 2019

Resource type: CRVS technical outcome series

Related resources: Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout


Fellowship profile: Country-specific adaptation of a SmartVA DHIS2 integration module for Sri Lanka thumbnail
Fellowship profile: Country-specific adaptation of a SmartVA DHIS2 integration module for Sri Lanka

Between July and September 2018, Chamika Senanayake, from the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine came to the University of Melbourne to receive support in developing a SmartVA DHIS2 integration platform that would streamline all manual CRVS data flow processes into a single automated process in Sri Lanka.

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Author: Senanayake CH

Publication date: February 2019

Resource type: CRVS Fellowship reports and profiles

Related resources: CRVS country overview: Sri Lanka

Chamika

Developing a qualitative study protocol on VA interviewer experiences in Myanmar
Fellowship profile: Developing a qualitative study protocol on VA interviewer experiences in Myanmar

This CRVS fellowship profile documents Zin’s experiences while at Melbourne, including how she developed the protocol, how she intends to apply it, and what impact her fellowship might have on improving mortality statistics as generated through the CRVS system in Myanmar.

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Author: Mar TZ

Publication date: October 2018

Resource type: CRVS Fellowship reports and profiles

Related resources: CRVS country overview: Myanmar


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Fellowship profile: SmartVA and ANACONDA improvement in China

This profile provides an overview of country context in relation to civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), and documents Dr Jinlei Qi's personal fellowship experiences and outcomes and the broader impact her Fellowship might have on improving the quality of mortality data in China.

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Fellowship report: Analysis of causes of death in Myanmar using verbal autopsies thumbnail
Fellowship report: Analysis of causes of death in Myanmar using verbal autopsies

This CRVS Fellowship Report provides an overview of the CRVS system in Myanmar, including the implementation of verbal autopsy, and provides summary results of causes of deaths using verbal autopsy and hospital data from 14 townships collected from January to December 2017, contrasted with Global Burden of Disease (GBD) results for Myanmar.

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Fellowship report: Implementing verbal autopsy in Ghana

Between January and March 2018, Mr Francis Yeji, from the Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the Ghana Health Service, spent time at the Universities of Basel and Melbourne to analyse results from the verbal autopsy pre-test conducted in Ghana in 2017. This CRVS fellowship report describes the approach to verbal autopsy implementation used by Ghana, results from the pre-test in the Bongo District and implications this has for future phases, and how the results were used to inform the sampling strategy for Ghana, as part of national scale-up.

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Author: Yeji, Francis

Publication date: February 2019

Resource type: CRVS Fellowship reports and profiles

Related resources: Ghana: Developing a CRVS-VA management dashboard

Barriers to death notification in Ghana video

Fellowship report: Integrating verbal autopsy in routine mortality surveillance in Bangladesh thumbnail
Fellowship report: Integrating verbal autopsy in routine mortality surveillance in Bangladesh

In 2018, Dr Mir Saiful Islam, from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh, came to the University of Melbourne as part of the D4H Fellowship program. This fellowship report describes the patterns of cause of death in Bangladesh, as derived through the process of verbal autopsy (VA). It also assesses the plausibility of the VA data by comparing it with other sources of mortality data available in the country. Finally, the report provides an overview of the experiences of VA interviewers and supervisors.

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Author: Islam S

Publication date: March 2019

Resource type: CRVS Fellowship reports and profiles

Related resources: Bangladesh: A successful journey towards CRVS improvement

Analysis of Bangladesh's verbal autopsy pilot in Kaligang

Fellowship report: Introducing routine verbal autopsy as part of the CRVS system in Rwanda thumbnail
Fellowship report: Introducing routine verbal autopsy as part of the CRVS system in Rwanda

Between February and May 2018, Marc Hagenimana from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre came to the University of Melbourne to review and document experiences in introducing routine VA as part of CRVS system-strengthening in Rwanda. His study aimed to generate valuable evidence on the lessons learned, and inform stakeholders on the sustainability and scalability of the program. This report describes changes in the notification and registration of deaths after the introduction of VA, and assesses the plausibility of mortality data provided through VA.

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Author: Hagenimana M

Publication date: March 2019

Resource type: CRVS development series (fellowship report)

Related resources: Strengthening civil registration processes and improving vital statistics in Rwanda

What are the preliminary findings of using HBCPs as verbal autopsy interviewers in Rwanda?1

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Fellowship report: SmartVA and DHIS2 integration in Sri Lanka

Between July and September 2018, Chamika Senanayake, from the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine came to the University of Melbourne to receive support in developing a SmartVA DHIS2 integration platform that would streamline all manual CRVS data flow processes into a single automated process in Sri Lanka. This report describes the technical process Chamika developed, which includes five main steps: setting up a DHIS2 instance and testing; analysing org-unit hierarchies; importing VA metadata; configuring the script; and localising the ODK Collect form.

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Author: Senanayake CH

Publication date: March 2019

Resource type: CRVS fellowship report

Related resources: CRVS country overview: Sri Lanka

SmartVA DHIS2 Integration Sri Lanka (e-SmartVA) video

Ghana: Developing a CRVS-VA management dashboard thumbnail
Ghana: Developing a CRVS-VA management dashboard

This fellowship report highlights key features of the CRVS-VA management dashboard that was developed by Patrick Larbi-Debrah from the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation department of Ghana Health Service, as part of his time at the Universities of Melbourne and Basel. The dashboard is a user-friendly tool that provides real-time monitoring of summary statistics from VA interviews.

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Author: Larbi-Debrah, P

Publication date: July 2018

Resource type: CRVS fellowship report

Related resources: Ghana: CRVS country profile

Patrick

CRVS technical guide
Guidance for interpreting
VA results thumbnail
Guidelines for interpreting verbal autopsy data

These guidelines provide five steps for users of verbal autopsy (VA) to follow to help them interpret and present their data, and thus improve the utility of VA data for public health decision making. The five steps are: understand the VA population; estimate the completeness of VA death reporting; assess the plausibility of the age-sex distribution of deaths from VA; conduct a plausibility analysis on the cause-specific mortality fractions from VA; and present the main findings of your VA data for policy action.

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How do I download and install ODK Collect? thumbnail
How do I download and install ODK Collect?

This action guide describes how to install ODK Collect onto a tablet in two ways: directly onto a tablet via the ‘Play Store’ or Internet browser, or from a computer via the Internet and copying it across to the tablet for installation

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Publication date: November 2018

Resource type: CRVS technical guides

Related resources: SmartVA technical user manual


How do I install and use SmartVA?
How do I install and use SmartVA?

This SmartVA IT action guide describes how to install and use the SmartVA Analyze software ('Tariff') for automated analysis of verbal autopsy data.

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Publication date: October 2018

Resource type: SmartVA IT action guide

Related resources: SmartVA technical user manual


How do I setup Samsung Galaxy tablets? thumbnail
How do I setup Samsung Galaxy tablets?

This action guide will show you you how to set up your Samsung Galaxy tablet for SmartVA, including installing the necessary apps for collecting verbal autopsy data.

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Publication date: November 2018

Resource type: CRVS technical guides

Related resources: SmartVA technical user manual


How do I translate the SmartVA instrument thumbnail
How do I translate the SmartVA instrument?

This SmartVA IT action guide describes how to translate the SmartVA instrument (Excel questionnaire and media files) into a different language for use through the Open Data Kit (ODK) platform.

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Publication date: November 2018

Resource type: CRVS technical guide

Related resources: SmartVA technical user manual


Integrating community-based verbal autopsy into CRVS: System-level considerations
Integrating community-based verbal autopsy into CRVS: System-level considerations

This document provides recommendations for integrating VA processes into CRVS, which involves consideration of system-wide integration issues.

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Authors: de Savigny D, Riley I, Chandramohan D, Odhiambo F, Nichols E, Notzon S, AbouZahr C, Mitra R, Cobos Munoz D, Firth S, Maire N, Sankoh O, Bronson G, Setel P, Byass P, Jakob P, Boerma T, Lopez AD

Publication date: January 2017

Resource type: CRVS technical outcome series

Related resources: Summary: Integrating verbal autopsy into CRVS systems

Source: Global Health Action


CRVS analyses and evaluations
Intervention: automated verbal autopsy thumbnail
Intervention: Automated verbal autopsy

The automated process of using handheld devices for all verbal autopsy activities.

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Publication date: November 2016

Resource type: CRVS analyses and evaluations

Related resources: Introducing verbal autopsies into CRVS: Guiding principles


Introducing verbal autopsies into CRVS: Guiding principles
Introducing verbal autopsies into CRVS: Guiding principles

This document details the merits of automated VA methods and provides guidance for countries looking to implement VA in CRVS systems.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: July 2017

Resource type: CRVS technical outcome series

Related resources: Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout


Thumbnail for Introduction to SmartVA for Physicians document
Introduction to SmartVA for Physicians

This document provides an overview of the automated verbal autopsy tool, SmartVA for Physicians (also known as SmartVA Auto-Analyse), and describes a pilot implementation of the tool in the Philippines.

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Authors: The University of Melbourne

Publication date: May 2020 

Resource type: CRVS best practice and advocacy

Related resources: SmartVA Auto-Analyse: User guide


Sampling strategies for national scale CRVS-VA planning: Guidance document and sample size calculator tool thumbnail
Sampling strategies for national scale CRVS-VA planning: Guidance document and sample size calculator tool

The purpose of this package of a two part guidance document and its companion sample size calculator Tool is to assist countries with scale up and rollout planning for the application of verbal autopsy (VA) as a function of a national civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system. Users of the package will include those tasked with designing and managing the CRVS-VA system. The package is intended to be used after pre-testing and pilot phases during which the processes, methods and possibly costing of the CRVS-VA system are perfected and established, and before the scale-up and rollout phase.

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Authors: University of Melbourne, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Vital Strategies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, CDC

Publication date: May 2018

Resource type: CRVS resources and tools

Related resources: CRVS-VA sample size calculator tool


SmartVA Auto-Analyse: User guide
SmartVA Auto-Analyse: User guide

This user guide provides physicians with instructions for installing and running SmartVA Auto-Analyse Version 2.15

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Author: Richards, B, Klammer, M, Joshi, R, Chowdhury, H, Firth, S

Publication date: March 2020

Resource type: CRVS technical guides


SmartVA Facilitator's guide - Spanish version thumbnail (SmartVA: Guía del facilitador)
SmartVA Facilitator's guide - Spanish version (SmartVA: Guía del facilitador)

Este manual proporciona información genérica a los entrenadores master VA acerca de cómo entrenar entrevistadores y supervisores VA. Ha sido desarrollado para ser implementado como parte de un paquete de recursos y herramientas más amplio. Como tal, se recomienda a los países, adaptar el manual para atender las necesidades y el contexto local. Esto debería ser hecho en conjunto con su Equipo de Implementación de País D4H con anterioridad a cualquier actividad VA.

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SmartVA: Facilitator's Guide thumbnail
SmartVA: Facilitator's Guide

This guide has been produced to assist those who are responsible for training interviewers and supervisors on all aspects of verbal autopsy (VA) using electronic collection methods, specifically, the SmartVA questionnaire and analytical software. It provides advice regarding preparatory activities and documents, slide presentations and equipment necessary to run the different sessions.

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SmartVA: Interviewer's manual thumbnail
SmartVA: Interviewer's manual

The information contained in this manual provides generic information to intended VA interviewers on how to conduct VA interviews systematically.

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SmartVA Technical User Manual thumbnail
SmartVA: Technical user manual

The information contained in this manual provides generic information to technical support personnel for the implementation of automated VA methods.

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Author: University of Melbourne

Publication date: January 2018

Resource type: CRVS technical guide

Related resources: SmartVA: Interviewer's manual


CRVS Fellowship report
Summary: Developing a CRVS-VA management
dashboard in Ghana thumbnail
Summary: Developing a CRVS-VA management dashboard in Ghana

This summary is based on a Fellowship report by Patrick Larbi-Debrah from the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation department of Ghana Health Service, as part of his time at the Universities of Melbourne and Basel.

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Author: Larbi-Debrah, P

Publication date: May 2020

Resource type: CRVS Fellowship reports and profiles

Related resources: Ghana: CRVS country profile


Summary: Integrating verbal autopsy into CRVS systems thumbnail
Summary: Integrating verbal autopsies into CRVS systems

This document details how to sustainably integrate verbal autopsy into CRVS systems.

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Publication date: April 2018

Resource type: CRVS best-practice and advocacy

Related resources: Integrating community-based verbal autopsy into CRVS: System-level considerations


Summary: Understanding the VA costing and budgeting tool thumbnail
Summary: Understanding the VA costing and budgeting tool

A VA costing and budgeting tool has been developed to help determine the financial and economic costs of implementing routine VA, based on six activity groups: start-up activities, governance activities, program management, supervision, refresher training, VA delivery and analysis.

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VA Costing Tool thumbnail
VA Costing Tool

The purpose of the VA Costing Tool is to help planners and managers to determine the costs of implementing verbal autopsy systems. The Tool can be customised to the country’s context and covers all aspects of a VA system, including start-up costs, training costs, community-level service delivery costs, as well as governance, supervision, and management costs at all administrative levels. Additionally, the Tool has a budgeting and a modelling component. The former can be used to estimate budgets for VA systems, whereas the latter can be used to model different VA implementation scenarios. NOTE: clicking on the 'download resource' button will automatically save the Excel file to your PC.

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VA Costing Tool: Report template thumbnail
VA Costing Tool: Report template

This template can be used to summarise key outputs from the VA Costing Tool, to assist planners and managers to determine the costs of implementing verbal autopsy systems. The template is based on three key areas of the Tool: total program costs for baseline year by activity and input type; average costs per VA; and key drivers of costs. NOTE: clicking on the 'download resource' button will automatically save the Word document to your PC.

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CRVS technical guide
Verbal autopsy budgeting and
costing tool: User guide thumbnail
VA Costing Tool: User guide

This user guide provides program planners and managers with instructions for using the accompanying VA Costing Tool. The purpose of the VA Costing Tool is to help you to determine the costs of implementing VA within CRVS systems, including identifying key cost drivers and estimating total budget requirements.

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Verbal Autopsy Interpretation, Performance and Evaluation Resource (VIPER) thumbnail
Verbal Autopsy Interpretation, Performance and Evaluation Resource (VIPER)

VIPER is a tool (Excel) to assist country stakeholders to understand cause of death (COD) data generated by verbal autopsy (VA). VIPER uses input data on the VA population, including age distribution of the population and other demographic and epidemiological indicators, together with outputs from VA interviews to critically assess the plausibility of VA age distribution of death and COD data. This tool is compatible with both Windows and Mac.

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