International coordination in the Pacific: the Brisbane Accord Group and Pacific Civil Registrars Network

Pacific CRVS logoImproving CRVS in the Pacific subregion, with its remote island countries and States and high migration rates between them, requires intraregional knowledge sharing and collaboration. These efforts have been supported by the Pacific Civil Registrars Network, which comprises leading civil registrars from across the region, and the Brisbane Accord Group, which gathers technical partners operating in the region.

The Brisbane Accord Group was formed in 2010 to help the Pacific countries and territories improve their CRVS systems and maximize the investment outcomes from the technical partners through effective coordination and collaboration. To achieve these, the members agreed on a set of principles to guide their actions, which include country-led assistance only, and consistency and coordination among members of their group. Activities of the group centre on cooperating with countries to realize a comprehensive assessment of their CRVS system, which can then inform an adapted improvement plan. The Brisbane Accord Group also provides more general capacity-building on the analysis and interpretation of civil registration data and on medical certification and ICD coding of causes of death.

The Pacific Civil Registrars Network is a member of the Brisbane Accord Group. While the Brisbane Accord Group is mainly for development partners, the members of the Pacific Civil Registration Network are civil registrars from 36 countries or States, 21 agencies and 12 businesses. The Network was established in 2014 to respond to the needs of Pacific islanders, who are very mobile, migrating for jobs, health care and so on. They frequently have to register different vital events in different countries. This can be a problem for those migrating as well as for the Governments, which obtain incomplete or inaccurate data sets. To tackle this problem, the Network facilitates registration data sharing agreements and offers a platform for mutual learning. Registration data sharing agreements, in particular between New Zealand and Niue, Cook Islands, and the State of New South Wales, Australia enable countries to complete their mortality data and retire personal identities following the death of an individual.

The collaboration in the Pacific is a prime example of how joint efforts between countries and their partners can accelerate the improvement of CRVS systems.

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