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What is CRVS and why does every country need it?

What are vital statistics used for?

The vital statistics that are a by-product of the registration system have multiple uses and users, across different social and economic sectors. For example, they:

  • Inform country policy and planning – for example, in the social, economic, infrastructure, and private sectors
  • Provide population data, which are important for calculating and tracking health development indicators
  • Enable reporting on national and global goals and targets, including those in the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Support tracking of levels and trends in population change, fertility, mortality and causes of death and the construction of life tables
  • Enable assessment of the distribution of diseases and mortality risks across the population and the tracking of epidemiological change
  • Provide the data needed for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of health interventions
  • Support the implementation of universal health coverage
  • Underpin differential mortality studies to identify causation (for example, smoking and lung cancer)
  • Reinforce accountability, transparency and participation for good governance 
  • Facilitate administration, the creation of national population registers, and efficient resource allocation
  • Provide the foundation for a national unique identification system and a mechanism for the regular updating of key national instruments such as the population register, electoral registers, land registers. 

Read more

Critical links between CRVS and identity systems

CRVS governance and architecture

Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative (2016). CRVS and SDGs: A well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics system is critical in monitoring country progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative, Melbourne.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Get everyone in the picture.

World Health Organization (2016). World Health Statistics 2016: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development goals. World Health Organization, Geneva.

World Health Organization (2015). Health in 2015: from MDGs to SDGs. World Health Organization, Geneva.

Ghana Statistical Service: Improving systems, registration and sustainability

Anthony Amuzu and Stephen K. Amoah from the Ghana Statistical Service outline recent efforts to mobilise birth and death registration, digitisation, the issues with population registers and their commitment to integrated systems.

Open video

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