What is CRVS and why does every country need it?

Why do CRVS systems underperform?
Global CRVS systems

Learn how to use the Learning Centre

Move your way through the CRVS system or simply click on a topic to dive into a specific subject.

An account lets you:

  • Save resources from our Library
  • Track your progress through the Learning Centre
  • Sign-up for our free newsletter

Why do CRVS systems underperform?

Policy and institutional challenges

Both demand and supply-side challenges are affected by high-level policy and institutional considerations. For example:

  • Weak or absent high-level political commitment can result in failure to prioritise CRVS, resulting in apathy and disinterest at all levels of government and in civil society.
  • Decision-makers may be unaware of the benefits of CRVS for governance, monitoring and accountability.
  • CRVS systems may not be included in national administrative systems reform and innovation – eg e‑governance strategies, computerisation and the use of IT across the stages of the CRVS process.
  • Paper-based systems for management of registration records may be poorly managed.
  • IT systems may be out of date, poorly managed and maintained, and not well distributed across the country.
  • There may be a failure to reinforce the links between civil registration and vital statistics, including the establishment of data sharing, interoperability and systems for quality assurance of vital statistics. 
  • There may be a lack of investment in CRVS systems and little effort to build skills and capacities of registration officials and of staff responsible for vital statistics.
  • There may be poor coordination among responsible agencies, such as civil registration, health, justice, interior, statistics and the national identification agency.
  • Legal regulatory and administrative systems may be out of date or unresponsive to contemporary requirements.
  • CRVS practitioners may be unaware of the details of the law and associated regulations, giving rise to different interpretations of how the legal provisions should be implemented.
  • International definitions of key CRVS information items and statistical variables may not be systematically applied, resulting in variability, lack of comparability and lack of reliability in the resulting vital statistics. 
  • Skills necessary in performing key duties may be lacking (eg medical certification of cause of death. 
  • Access by legitimate users to information stored in the civil register database may be limited. 
  • CRVS databases that are not linked and interoperable with other agencies’ databases can undermine the full potential of having an up-to-date information system. 
  • There may be weak collaboration among development partners with mandates related to civil registration and to statistics, resulting in ad hoc projects that contribute to the fragmentation of CRVS. 

© University of Melbourne 2018   For more information on copyright visit our website terms