• Asia-Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Research Forum

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) will organize the first Asia-Pacific CRVS Research Forum to be held from 3 – 4 April 2023. Hosted by ESCAP in Bangkok, this fully online event offers a major research, information sharing, and capacity-building opportunity for participants, who will be able to present at and attend paper presentations and interactive sessions, including networking opportunities.

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  • Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific

    The Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS took place from the 16th to 19th November, 2021. It has been the occasion to celebrate progress through the CRVS Decade (2015-2024), identify remaining challenges, emphasize CRVS for sustainable development and promote CRVS as the foundation for legal identity.

    Recordings, side-events and preparatory and outcome documents can be consulted on this website.

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  • Midterm review - a snapshot of progress midway through the Asian and Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Decade

    In preparation of the Second Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific held from 16 to 19 November 2021, ESCAP has prepared a report on the situation of CRVS systems in the region. By celebrating the progresses and highlighting the challenges remaining to achieving universal registration systems, the report aims at shaping the priorities for the second half of the Decade.

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Follow CRVS news in Asia and the Pacific by subscribing to the CRVS Insight Newsletter

The CRVS community in Asia and the Pacific has reflected on where it stands at the midpoint of the CRVS Decade (2015-2024) during the Second Ministerial Conference. Following this celebration of progress, many of our partners and member countries are leading actions to fill the remaining gaps.

To learn more about CRVS in Asia and the Pacific, please subscribe to our newsletter, which offers a monthly panorama of CRVS actions throughout the region

Previous editions can be found here.



Read the midterm report


Meeting of the Civil Registrars of South Asia

The UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (UNICEF-ROSA) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) are organizing a meeting of the Civil Registrars of South Asia to discuss common challenges, share innovative practices and explore potential collaboration. The meeting will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal from 24-25 July 2018. Well-functioning civil registration is recognized as the foundation for ensuring that no one is left behind in the efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include explicit targets on birth and death registration (SDG 16.9 and 17.19). In South Asia, Governments have committed to concerted efforts to improve civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems through the Ministerial Declaration to “Get every one in the picture”, during the Asia-Pacific CRVS Decade, 2015-2024. This meeting will bring together civil registrars in South Asia to discuss priority areas of common concern including national CRVS coordination mechanisms, cross-border collaboration between civil registries, and the relationship between civil registration and civil identification. The meeting will also explore potential areas and mechanisms of collaboration, including the possibility of establishing a professional network of civil registrars. The discussions and conclusion of meeting will feed into the mid-term review of the Regional Action Framework on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific, which will be considered at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on CRVS in 2020.

French version of World Bank state-of-the-art, eLearning course on CRVS launched

In collaboration with the Korea Ministry of Strategy and Finance, The World Bank, on behalf of the Global Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Group, launched a French version of its state-of-the-art, eLearning course on CRVS. So far, The World Bank reports that from the 979 learners enrolled in the English version, 461 successfully completed the course and received the basic level certificate. Those numbers are expected to grow significantly as the French version reaches new participants in locations where the lessons learned can be linked with identity management systems and tailored for local contexts. Moreover, although the English version of the course can be self-paced or virtually facilitated, the French version is self-paced only. And in the coming months, The World Bank also plans to launch a Spanish language version of the self-paced course. Ultimately, the overall development of this course, as well as its expansion, further demonstrates the commitment of the Global CRVS Group and its development partners to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically 16.9: By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.

ESCAP Resolution 74/8 - Accelerating the implementation of the Regional Action Framework on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific

Regional efforts to “Get Every One in the Picture” made significant progress this year when the 74th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific passed ESCAP Resolution 74/8. The Resolution, “Accelerating the implementation of the Regional Action Framework on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific”, follows the recommendation of the Regional Steering Group for CRVS to conduct a midterm review of the implementation of the Regional Action Framework on CRVS in Asia and Pacific. Sponsored by Fiji, and co-sponsored by Bangladesh, the Philippines, Australia and Cambodia, the Resolution was ultimately endorsed by all Member and associate Member states and resolves to assemble the Ministerial Conference on CRVS in Asia-Pacific in 2020. Among other agenda items, the RSG will begin preparing for the midterm review at its upcoming Fourth meeting of the RSG later this year, including by setting out criteria for midterm reporting, as well as developing additional, pertinent items for consideration. The full text of Resolution 74/8 can be found here.

World Bank publishes 2018 ID4D Global Dataset

The World Bank released the 2018 edition of the ID4D Global Dataset. According to the data at hand, an estimated of one billion people worldwide face challenges in proving who they are. Consequently, they struggle to access basic services and can be excluded from formal employment opportunities. The dataset further sheds light on who these one billion people living without official proof of identity are. Around 81% live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 63% live in lower-middle income economies, 28% live in low-income economies. In the later, a large gender gap characterizes the unregistered population – over 45% of women lack official proof of identity compared to 30% of men. More detailed information on the global identification challenge can be found on the ID4D website, where the 2018 ID4D Global Dataset is also available for download.

74th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

The 74th session of Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Commission (ESCAP) will be held from May 11th to 16th 2018 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The annual Commission Session provides a forum for Governments of the region to review and discuss economic and social issues and strengthen regional cooperation. Moreover, it provides a platform for decision-makers to launch regional initiatives. As such, the 71st ESCAP Commission Session launched the Asia-Pacific CRVS Decade (2015-2024). Much progress has been made in the meantime. Yet, strengthening CRVS systems within the region remains more than relevant under this year’s session theme topic “Inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The vision of the 2030 Agenda to “leave no one behind” is uniquely linked to providing legal proof of identification, and consequently recognizing individual rights. Maintaining the momentum generated at the beginning of the CRVS Decade is thus essential to ensuring further progress. The decision made during the 3rd meeting of the Regional Steering Group to hold a ministerial conference in 2020 to accelerate progress on civil registration and vital statistics improvements could therefore mark another milestone within the region. A resolution on holding a ministerial conference on CRVS in 2020 has been set forth by the Government of Fiji under the leadership of Her Excellency Rosy Akbar and the stewardship of Mr. Pita Tagicakirewa. The resolution is currently under review and will be decided upon during the Commission Session. Support for the resolution is very much appreciated, and stakeholders are invited to express co-sponsorship during the sessions.

Implementing unique identifiers to support universal health coverage

Crudely aggregated health data and multiple identifiers can make the administration of healthcare difficult and challenge universal health coverage. The introduction of unique identifiers offers a possible solution by supporting the establishment of an effective and equitable national health system. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) publication On the Road to Universal Health Coverage: Every Person Matters further underlines the need for personal official identification (ID) to ensure an individual’s access to government services, and social and economic programs. The following eight stages are suggested to guide the implementation of unique identifiers and create a robust digital ID system that is interoperable and scalable: Develop an enabling legal environment for registration and identification, with a fundamental commitment to data privacy and security Convene stakeholders and create cross-agency support Develop long-term financing and a capacity development plan for ICT investments and training programs Establish an ICT-based, universal civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system Introduce the technical components, such as servers, for setting up a civil registry or patient registry, and network infrastructure Build an integrated population identification system Launch a unified data distribution and verification center covering all individuals Align organizations and introduce e-governance processes to ensure efficient and transparent service delivery

Kiribati: Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Report 2012 - 2014

The Kiribati National Statistics Office together with the Kiribati Civil Registration Office and the Kiribati Health Information Unit published the Kiribati Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Report 2012 - 2014. The report presents statistics on live births, deaths and the causes of death based on administrative data provided by the country's Health Information Unit (HIU) of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and, in a few instances, the country's Civil Registration Office (CRO). The report underlines the potential role of administrative data in complementing population data from census collections and surveys. The report was developed by Agnether Lemuelu, Kantaake Corbett, Mantarae Sadea with assistance from Tiensi Kaua, Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages, Kiribati, and Gloria Mathenge and Karen Carter of SPC as part of the commitments made by the Government of Kiribati towards universal registration of births and deaths, legal identification, and production of vital statistics from registration records. Support from ESCAP was made as part of a project to strengthen the National Capacity in Producing and Disseminating Vital Statistics funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative.

Data analysis and report writing workshop for Civil Registration based Vital Statistics

The Brisbane Accord Group (BAG) under the leadership of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), UNICEF, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, will be conducting a data analysis and report-writing workshop from 21st-31st May 2018 in Nadi, Fiji. This course aims to strengthen the capacity of five Pacific countries in the analysis of administrative data generated from civil registration systems. The course also aims at supporting the countries to identify systems weaknesses, and to derive strategies and practical solutions for systems improvement. The overall objective is to improve the quality and availability of evidence on the performance of civil registration systems and to make this data available for policy and planning purposes, where it meets a sufficient level of quality and completeness. Specifically the course will: Assist countries to complete a vital statistics report that illustrates the current levels and trends of births, deaths and causes-of-death as recorded by their civil registration systems; Assist countries to establish the level of completeness of their civil registration systems in regard to registration of live births, deaths and causes of death, Assist participants to build proficiency in key analytical, interpretational and presentationalskills required to meet regional, national and international reporting requirements; Assist participants to develop key skills to critically appraise their data collection systems and processes, and to identify key system weaknesses and practical solutions. Fifteen participants from the Civil Registration, Health and Statistics offices of Fiji, Tonga, Nauru, Niue, Cook Islands will attend the course. This course is one of an ongoing series being conducted for Pacific Island Countries and Territories under the auspices of BAG. Please refer to http://www.pacific-crvs.org/events for more information.

Tuvalu: First Vital Statistics Report based on civil registration record published

Tuvalu has published its first report on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) based on administrative records of births and deaths. The report written by Grace Alapati, statistician of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Tuvalu, and Mailita Tepanini, statistician of the Health Department of Tuvalu, provides statistics pertaining to live births and deaths that occurred in the country, and were captured in either the civil registration or health information system between 2012 and 2016. This report provides information on the status of the civil registration and health information system of Tuvalu, and underlines the need to strengthen the coverage and completeness of the civil registration system. This report is part of the commitments made by the Government of Tuvalu towards universal registration of births and deaths, legal identification, and production of vital statistics from registration records. The report was drafted by the Central Statistics Division of the Government of Tuvalu with the support of ESCAP. The support from ESCAP was made as part of a project to strengthen the National Capacity in Producing and Disseminating Vital Statistics funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative. 

Fact sheet: Measuring SDG 16.9 in Tonga

This fact sheet on measuring Target 16.9 of the global sustainable development goals (SDGs) assesses the status of legal identification in the Kingdom of Tonga based on census data. It is estimated that almost one-in-three babies born world-wide each year do not have their births registered (there are 51 million babies). These children have no form of legal identity;  they are not only invisible to their governments but also lack the means to claim important rights and privileges accrued through the possession of a means of legal identification. This has been referred to as the scandal of invisibility. Target 16.9 of the SDGs commits countries to providing a legal identity to all, including birth registration. In the Pacific the proportion of unregistered births is thought to be lower than the global average, but little definitive data exists. However, the Tonga 2016 Census of Population and Housing sought to establish the proportion of children (aged below 1 and below 5) whose births were registered,  and those in possession of a legal identity; in form of a birth certificate and national identification card.  The fact sheet covers different aspects of legal identity such as: Birth registration completeness Birth registration by island and village Limitations of the census data in estimating birth registration completeness Possession of a national identification card