Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics

Africa Programme on
Accelerated Improvement of
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics
- Translating political
commitments into actions
Raj Gautam Mitra
Workshop on Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2-5 December 2014
WHO Counts Series 2007
Scandal of invisibility – Many Africans are
born and die without leaving a trace in any
legal record and official statistic
The single most critical failure of
development over the past thirty years
A good CRVS system for good governance
Three Levels
Individual level
Legal documents
Realizing Human
Identity Management
Improved Service
Good Governance
Aggregate level
Reliable vital statistics
Evidence based policy
making and
Why past efforts in Africa did not succeed in the past?
The new paradigm
 CRVS systems is multi-disciplinary in nature and can be
improved only through holistic and coordinated approach
 It requires strong legislative provisions, appropriate
organization structure, efficient management and operations
backed by suitable monitoring and evaluation mechanisms
 Above all political commitment is required to improve CRVS
Thus was born the APAI-CRVS that derives policy
guidance from Conference of Ministers responsible for
Civil Registration, which is now institutionalized as a
permanent conference under AUC
APAI-CRVS: Guiding principles
 Promoting country ownership and leadership;
 Promoting coordination between Civil Registration
Offices, National Statistics Offices, Health Ministry and
other stakeholders at country levels;
 Promoting phased-based, holistic and integrated
 Establishing strong partnerships and coordination at
regional and country levels;
 Building capacities of national CRVS institutions;
 Promoting innovations and knowledge sharing
CRVS System and Multi-sectoral Linkages
An ideal model
Creating momentum at the highest political level
 2 Ministerial conferences (Addis Ababa 2010,
Durban 2012) with strong declarations
 Endorsement of the APAI-CRVS and a
Medium Term Plan
 Institutionalization of conferences under the
AU permanent structure
Second Conference of Ministers – Key declarations
 Committed to urgently undertake comprehensive
assessments of their CRVS systems and develop costed
action plan with the support of the Secretariat (ECA)
and partner organizations;
 Called upon the development partners to continue their
support to countries on capacity development and
resource mobilization;
 Requested countries to establish high-level coordination
mechanisms involving all stakeholders;
 Called upon countries to allocate adequate human and
financial resources for day to day operations of CRVS
Some common challenges identified in countries
Lack of demand for registration
High cost of registration
Colonial law with only incremental changes
Distance to registration centres
Lack of linkages between systems (eg, with national
Inappropriate organizational arrangement
Incorrect and inefficient business processes
Some common challenges identified in countries
Insufficient training of staff
No performance monitoring or supervision
Inappropriate use of technology
Poor service delivery
Vital Statistics variables not included and/or not compiled
Causes of death system does not exist or inadequate
Huge backlogs – no systematic approach
Moving from a current business
process to a new business process
Where are we
Where are we
What actions are needed for changing a business process?
Review the Law
Modify the design of the reporting and registration forms
Review data items in the registration form
Introduce ICT
Develop capacity
Improve coordination
Raise yourself from within the system and take an areal
view of the system
Look around and you will find solutions
Some key messages
Identify low hanging fruits – small changes may help quick
Make CR services accessible – move information not
people, may not need creation of separate structures
Make CRVS inter-operable
Introduce appropriate technology – but get the business
process right
Do not try of find a solution in search of a problem
The three most important ways of establishing an efficient
and sustainable CRVS system
Coordination, Coordination and Coordination