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CIVIL REGISTRATION AND VITAL STATISTICS

IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

  • Resources for civil registration during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The current pandemic is disrupting CRVS systems all over the world, but well-functioning systems are more essential than ever. As a result, the UN Statistics Division, the World Health Organization and the UN Legal Identity Agenda Task Force have developed resources offering guidance for civil registration stakeholders on maintaining CRVS activities.

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  • Postponement of the Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific

    The Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS has been postponed to 2021. The uncertainty of the current situation made it unfit to properly prepare for this event, meant to celebrate progress midway through the CRVS Decade (2015-2024), identify remaining challenges, emphasize the role CRVS plays in sustainable development and promote CRVS as the foundation for legal identity. 

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  • Midterm CRVS Decade (2015-2024) Progress

    ESCAP is collecting country midterm questionnaires to measure regional progress through the midpoint of the CRVS Decade (2015-2024). Responses will inform and guide preparations for the Second Ministerial Conference in October 2020.

    What are the numbers so far?

    • 41 midterm questionnaires collected
    • 53 national focal points established

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Postponement of the Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific

In light of the current global situation, the celebration of the midpoint of the CRVS Decade (2015-2024) has been postponed. The ongoing crisis indeed impedes the safe organization of such an event, and sheds a new light on the needs for CRVS systems which might feed into the discussions on the remaining challenges in the region. In the build up to the Conference, additional information and resources can be accessed here.

 

Building Capacity for Mortality Statistics Programs: Perspectives from the Indonesian Experience

Abstract Information on deaths by age, sex, and cause are primary inputs for health policy and epidemiological research. Currently, most developing countries lack efficient death registration systems that generate these data on a routine and timely basis. The global community is promoting initiatives to establish and strengthen national mortality statistics programs across the developing world. Building human, technical, and institutional capacity to operate these programs are essential elements for the program. In Indonesia, the government has established a national Sample Registration System (SRS) covering a population of 9 million and is looking toward further scaling up of operations of the mortality statistics program in conjunction with expansion of the national Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems. This article reports the theoretical and practical perspectives gained from experiences in developing human capacity in the Indonesian context. These perspectives are described in terms of the institutional, personnel, and functional components of the program for collection, compilation, analysis, and utilisation of mortality and cause of death data. The article also describes the challenges and potential solutions for implementing capacity building activities at national and subnational level. In conclusion, the need for and availability of training resources are discussed, including the potential for involvement of public health academia and international collaborations within a research framework on program management, quality evaluation, and data utilisation. Adequate attention to capacity building is essential to ensure the success and sustainability of national mortality statistics programs. Authors Chalapati Rao, Yuslely Usman, Matthew Kelly, Trijuni Angkasawati, Soewarta Kosen Department of Global Health, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University, Acton, Australia Centre for Humanities and Health Management, National Institute of Health Research and Development, Ministry of Health, Jakarta, Indonesia

CRVS Decade (2015-2024) Midterm Questionnaire

The Regional Action Framework responds to a request for regional action in support of improving national CRVS systems and acts as a catalyst for Governments and development partners to focus efforts on meeting specific goals and targets. The RAF contains three goals, fifteen nationally-set targets, seven action areas and eight implementation steps for countries to follow while improving their CRVS systems. Building off the baseline questionnaire, the midterm questionnaire assesses country progress in meeting their self-selected targets under the RAF goals. However, the midterm questionnaire not only measures country progress in reaching the goals and targets, but will also form the basis for a midterm, regional assessment report. In turn, the regional assessment report will serve as the basis for discussion at the 2020 Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific. For additional information please email the ESCAP CRVS team at escap-crvs@un.org.

Tongan Digital Services Upgrade

Tongans will soon benefit from improved digital access to key public services, including significant upgrades to Tonga’s civil registration and national ID systems, following the approval of a US$4.65 million grant by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The Tonga Digital Government Support Project will strengthen digital access, efficiency and security in Tonga’s public service, by supporting a number of whole-of-government digital initiatives, including a new National Government Portal that will improve Tongans’ access to services and information across all Government ministries and agencies, as well as improvements to Tonga’s regulations for digital economy and digital government, data protection and privacy, and cyber security. In addition, the project will improve Tonga’s civil registration and national ID systems, ensuring that each Tongan citizen and resident is assigned a unique ID number at birth, that their legal identity can be authenticated for accessing services in-person and online, and that birth, death and marriage records are linked. For Tongan families, this will mean that newborns can be registered more quickly, and that all Tongans will have better access to education, health, employment, elections, immigration, property ownership and banking. These efforts will accelerate achievement of Sustainable Development Goal target (SDG) 16.9: to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.”

75th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Through resolution 73/1, ESCAP member States decided that in the years when the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development meets under the auspices of the General Assembly at the summit level, which is every four years, the Commission and the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) would share the same theme [as the High-level Political Forum]. In 2019, the first time this convergence takes place, the theme study for the Commission session will, therefore, focus on the theme for the High-level Political Forum for 2019: Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. The theme study for the seventy-fourth session in 2018, entitled Inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development set the stage, showing that the region's high inequality of outcomes and opportunities traps the vulnerable in poverty and marginalization. The 2019 theme study builds on these findings to examine how empowerment and inclusion are critical for reducing inequality. In recognition of civil registration's role in addressing inequality, ESCAP's CRVS team and the Government of Pakistan co-hosted a side-event at the 75th session of the Commission to highlight the need for improved CRVS systems in meeting the 2030 Agenda. With a closing speech from the Executive Secretary for ESCAP, the panel speakers included the Ambassador of Pakistan to Thailand and Permanent Representative to ESCAP, the Chief Advisor to the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in Pakistan, the Chief Statistician of Malaysia, the Permanent Representative of China to ESCAP, the Regional Advisor for Child Protection, UNICEF ROSA, and the Director of ESCAP’s Statistics Division. The speakers addressed topics such as country specific, CRVS system developments, the human rights inherent in legal identity, how CRVS facilitates better access to social services, as well as the regional progress toward meeting the Regional Action Framework and the upcoming 2020 Ministerial Conference. Follow the links to hear directly from Dato' Sri Mohd Uzir Mahadin, the Chief Statistician of Malaysia, or Dr. Syed Mursalin, the Chief Advisor to the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in Pakistan on the continued importance of CRVS.

UNICEF ROSA Status of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in South Asia Countries 2019

The "Status of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in South Asia" report documents the policies, systems and procedures in place for the registration of birth, death and marriage in South Asia. The report’s objectives are to: Present information on the birth, death, and marriage registration policies, systems and procedures of each country obtained through a desk review and a series of semi-structured interviews with UNICEF staff in country and regional offices, representatives of other UN agencies, relevant stakeholders and civil registration experts; Present information validated by relevant government officials within each country either directly or through UNICEF country offices; Compile copies of sample birth, death and marriage registration documents for each country; Deliver a final report that summarizes findings and the data collection process; and, Identify problems and barriers related to registration of births, deaths and marriages in required time, costs, procedures, distances, etc.

Review of Legislation for CRVS in Pakistan

The Technical Support Unit-CRVS, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform (M/o PDR) has been pursuing the agenda of CRVS strengthening in Pakistan. To determine the baselines, both rapid and comprehensive assessments were organized and strengths and weaknesses of existing system were documented. During this process, immediate work on the CRVS legal framework was identified as an important thematic area for the improvement of CRVS and formulation of CRVS National Strategic Plan. Towards this end, an in depth study was conducted by the Technical Support Unit-CRVS to review current legislation for CRVS in detail both at National and Provincial levels and also to look for at the feasibility of enacting CRVS Universal law. This study focused upon the review of pre-independence and post-independence CRVS related laws, concentrating on the legislation for registration of births, deaths, marriages and divorces. Strengths and weaknesses of the legislation were highlighted. This study revealed multiple issues pertaining to legislation including; contradictory and outdated legislation, poor enforcement and understanding, inconsistent legislation application, complexity related to payments, lack of clear definitions and clarity regarding roles and responsibilities among provinces. All these factors were recognized as a strong barrier to CRVS system strengthening and called for an extensive improvement of current legislation, development and adoption of a national uniform CRVS law to replace currently fragmented, piecemeal laws. The findings of the legislation review were disseminated during a consultative meeting held on March 04, 2019 at TSU PPMI Complex, Islamabad. Recommendations/suggestions were discussed in detail. The meeting was participated by National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA), Local Government and Rural Development Department, Federal and Provincial ministries and departments of planning and development, health, law and justice and development partners. One of the distinct outcomes of the consultation was to initiate the formulation of a policy framework for comprehensive CRVS legislation. Additional evidence and directions would be sought using some innovative CRVS Legislation framework tools being used in other situations. Technical Support Unit (TSU) has already devised a roadmap for the coming months to achieve this goal.

CRVSNOW available for free for low-income countries.

CRVSNOW, the first commercially available cloud-based Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System with the largest installed base in the world, is being offered for free to low income countries. Object Consulting recently implemented CRVS Solutions’ system, called CRVSNOW, in Victoria, Australia for 6.3M citizens.  With this most recent success, CRVSNOW manages the life events for 14M citizens, handles 16,500 users, 123M vital records and prints 880,000 certificates a year. CRVSNOW is the most modern full-function commercially available cloud-based CRVS system in the world. CRVS Solutions is now offering the latest release of CRVSNOW free to low income countries to support the modernization of their CRVS systems. CRVS Solutions’ offer includes a free test system and no mandatory support fees so interested countries can evaluate CRVSNOW online at no cost. “Modern electronic systems that can link civil registration with civil identification system, particularly while assigning unique identification numbers to individuals at birth and with other information systems, can be a key factor in improving the access of these individuals to critical public services such as education, health, social welfare, and financial services,” said Dr. Samuel Mills who leads the implementation of the World Bank Group (WBG) 2016–2030 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Action Plan and the delivery of the state-of-the-art, comprehensive CRVS eLearning course. Mills negotiated with CRVS Solutions to make CRVSNOW available to interested low-income countries for free. However, Mills emphasized that the WBG does not endorse specific vendor products; WBG encourages countries to assess several products to make informed decisions on the best overall value for money while considering quality, cost, and other factors as needed. CRVSNOW has three main modules: 1) Core for staff and registry operations; 2) eRegistry – user interface and web service interfaces for hospitals, funeral directors, marriage celebrants and other stakeholders; and 3) ePublic – for all citizens to access the services of the registry e.g., parents registering the birth of a child. All modules are free for Low Income Countries. Several countries are implementing a social registry for social safety net programs. A Social Registry is key to implementing social programs and enabling the delivery of successful outcomes consolidates the outreach, registration and assessment of needs and conditions of populations likely to be targeted by social programs. CRVSNOW is a platform to support any registry including a Social Registry. “CRVSNOW is now proven in the two largest states of Australia with over 14M citizens. As part of our corporate social responsibility policy, we are very pleased to offer CRVSNOW to UN designated Low Income Countries for free to help them improve registration of vital events and contribute to furthering the UN’s SDG’s. Our team is experienced and ready to assist Low Income Countries to adopt CRVSNOW.” said Graham Jones, Group Business Development Manager for CRVS Solutions. CRVSNOW can be customized to suit local context. The user interfaces for the system use RESTful APIs to communicate with the application servers. The user interfaces are written in Angular which is very flexible about formatting and style which allows a considerable degree of control, but CRVS Solutions can provide the source code for specific forms to allow countries to make their own version. Countries can integrate their own user interfaces into the API if desired. CRVSNOW has an offline feature called the Field System.  The Field System is a complete CRVSNOW system on a laptop. It is designed to be taken into the field where there are no network connections such as remote villages or islands. Because it is a complete system and it contains the registry (encrypted and with additional security), registry operations such as entering notifications, producing certificates and searching the registry can be conducted in the field with no Internet connection. Any notifications that are entered are saved in a “draft” list and then later submitted to the core when the Field System is reconnected to the network. Jones added, “Whilst CRVSNOW was built for the high end needs of a high-income country, every country can use these features to improve data quality, make registration more accessible to every citizen and gain the cost benefits of cloud computing. Low income countries can start off using the core functions and then later use the high-end features without incurring any additional license costs.” Further details, videos and downloads are available through the website at crvsnow.com.

Events

News

Resources

Advocacy Materials, Meeting Documents, UN Official Documents, 2015
Newsletters, 2020
Country Assessments and Strategies, 2020