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The importance of data quality

Checking the accuracy of vital events records

Methods and tools to evaluate the quality of vital statistics

Tabulation and generation of vital statistics for national policy

Presentation, communication and dissemination of vital statistics

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Tabulation and generation of vital statistics for national policy

Tabulation and generation of vital statistics for national policy

To generate relevant information for government, there first has to be a planning process that transforms a specific policy question into a series of steps that will result in the desired information becoming available at a specified time, quality and cost. At each step between when the data are collected and when they all are stored in one database, important decisions need to be taken to ensure that the information is correctly compiled and validated, tabulated, presented and disseminated in a way that provides maximum utility to users.

The government agency responsible for generating and disseminating the vital statistics must have the technical capacity to do the planning then generate and process the data. Often it is the national statistical offices that are given the data tabulation and dissemination mandate for vital statistics, because they are experienced in producing data that meet stakeholder needs and in carrying out data quality assessments to ensure that the desired output is fit for use. Sometimes, the data generation is executed by a service supplier in the private sector and not by the collecting agency, in which case it is even more important that the whole process is well planned, very clear instructions are provided, and confidentiality of the data is assured.

As a basis for planning the collection and generation of data, a meeting with the main users of the vital statistics data is recommended to ensure that their needs are covered. Thus, the CRVS or interagency committee should play a major role in deciding what vital statistics should be generated, for whom and in what form and when they should be released. 


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