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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.


Challenges associated with automated VA training and rollout
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 development series

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


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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-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

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


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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 profile

Related resources: CRVS country overview: Sri Lanka

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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 profile

Related resources: CRVS country overview: 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 F

Publication date: February 2019

Resource type: CRVS development series (fellowship report)

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

Barriers to death notification in Ghana

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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 development series (fellowship report)

Related resources: Bangladesh: A successful journey towards CRVS improvement

Analysis of Bangladesh's verbal autopsy pilot in Kaligang

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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

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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

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How do I download and install ODK Collect?

This SmartVA IT 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: SmartVA IT action guide

Related resources: SmartVA technical user manual


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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


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How do I setup Samsung Galaxy tablets?

This SmartVA IT 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: SmartVA IT action guide

Related resources: SmartVA technical user manual


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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: SmartVA IT action 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


Automated verbal autopsy
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 resources and tools

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


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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: Interviewer's manual
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 guide
SmartVA: Technical user guide

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 resources and tools

Related resources: SmartVA: Interviewer's manual


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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 summary

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


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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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Publication date: February 2019

Resource type: CRVS summary

Related resources: Developing a verbal autopsy costing and budgeting tool

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