Access to reliable and timely mortality and cause of death statistics is essential for monitoring trends in diseases, injuries and risk factors, and critically important to guide good public health policy and prevention. Training in ANACONDA will build this capacity in the Philippines, enabling them to identify inconsistencies and errors in their mortality datasets and subsequently improve the quality of their mortality statistics.News
Country coordinators from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tanzania and Zambia attended a civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) boot camp organised by Bloomberg Data for Health (BD4H) partners the University of Melbourne and Vital Strategies.News
Professor Alan Lopez says the use of big data can revolutionise global health policy.News
One hundred and forty countries with 80 per cent of the world’s population do not have reliable cause of death data, which makes it difficult for policy makers to identify mortality trends and make informed decisions for the benefit of the population.News
Strengthening CRVS Design
In May, the Bloomberg Data for Health (BD4H) Initiative joined with several countries in Bangkok to develop country-specific process models for the registration of births and deaths, both inside and outside health facilities.News
- Myanmar: Strengthening Data Read more
Riley, an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, joined Alan Lopez and the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative team while on his summer break.News
Phillips et al. Population Health Metrics 2014, 12:14
Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative
Globally, about 65% of all deaths, or around 35 million each year, go unrecorded. And millions of deaths do not have a documented cause. Many records do not provide medically accurate or specific information. Without this information, government officials, public health leaders and funders cannot make informed decisions on priorities including how and where to direct public health resources.
The Data for Health initiative seeks to address this very issue and will work to improve public health data so that governments, aid organizations, and public health leaders are equipped with the tools and systems to collect and use data to prioritize health challenges, develop policies, deploy resources, and measure success.
The registration of births and deaths, including the accurate recording of cause of death, are the foundation of any public health system. To help countries improve public health and save lives, the Data for Health Initiative will specifically help countries build and strengthen their civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems. Interventions include technical assistance to increase the registration of births and deaths, improve the quality of cause of death information at hospitals, apply verbal autopsy to better understand probable causes of death in communities, and to produce high-quality data sets and data analysis skills for policy and program analysis.
These resources are the outcome of expert collaboration in the fields of civil registration, vital statistics, and public health. Additional resources will be made available over the coming months. Download the Product List (current as of 19-April-2017).
Resources by theme
- Strengthening civil registration and vital statistics systems
- Improving cause of death information
- Developing the workforce
Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems provide invaluable information on the health of a population. These systems are inherently complex because they involve multiple government partners with numerous responsibilities, are often poorly coordinated, and lack sufficient human capacity and other resources. System-strenthening has the potential to rapidly improve overall performance of CRVS.
Cause of death information is the basis for identifying the burden of disease in a population, which is critical for governments to know for effective policy, planning and resource allocation. Despite this, reliable cause of death information is not available in many low- and middle-income countries. A range of practical, cost-effective interventions are available to improve cause of death information in countries.
Improving national capacity, skills and knowledge is a critical component of any strategy to strengthen a civil registration and vital statistics system. Capacity development is needed to ensure high-quality registration of births and deaths, and ascertainment of causes of death. Capacity is also needed in ensuring that data are properly and promptly compiled, checked, analysed and transformed into essential vital statistics.
Identifying and rectifying key gaps in CRVS knowledge has the potential to rapidly improve the coverage, quality and use of CRVS systems. Such innovations include applying an enterprise architecture perspective to systems analysis, developing new technologies for capturing and communicating CRVS data, integrating verbal autopsies into routine CRVS systems, and developing new data quality assessment tools and data visualizations.
Overviews provide readers with succinct summaries on key topics, and include resources such as stories of change, action guides, and workshop reports. A range of InfoGraphics and flyers are also available, which can be used in a number of countries where English is a second language.
Resources by type
CRVS developments are the primary knowledge products of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Improvement Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative at the University of Melbourne. Easily accessible, they collectively form a lasting repository of knowledge generated under the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative based on in-country experience. They are intended to stimulate debate and promote the adoption of best practice in civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) in partner countries and worldwide.
The series focuses on a range of knowledge gaps, new tools, methods and approaches, and raises and debates fundamental issues about the orientation, purpose and functioning of CRVS systems. Generally, they contain more detailed information than an academic paper, are written in less-academic language, and are intended to inform health system dialogue in and between countries and a range of development partners.
Country experiences describe the methods and findings of CRVS activities in partner countries implemented under the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative. The series also reports on work in progress, particularly for large or complex initiatives, or on specific components of projects that may be of more immediate relevance to stakeholders.
The series serves to describe the state of CRVS systems in partner countries, and provides a baseline for comparison between countries and over time. It also provides a preliminary diagnostic analysis for use by countries in highlighting areas needing improvement.
Capacity-building tools and guidelines are designed to influence and align civil registration and vital statistics practice in countries with established international standards.
Resources include practical handbooks and guidelines to assist staff with day-to-day activities, and participant manuals for reference during and after training.
The Gateway brings together best practice knowledge on CRVS, including guidance on how to improve CRVS systems. Through the gateway, you will have access to tools, manuals, handbooks, research papers, country examples and online training courses on CRVS.
The Gateway is broken down into ten modules. Each module relates to an important aspect of a civil registration and vital statistics system. Taken together, this package of modules consolidates current best practices and recommended guidance, and provides a number of key resources to address common problems with CRVS systems.
These resources respond to emerging areas in civil registration and vital statistics, including the link between CRVS and the Sustainable Development Goals, and CRVS and national identity systems.
University of Melbourne
- Professor Alan Lopez, Director
- Tim Adair, Principal Research Fellow
- Deirdre Mclaughlin, Principal Research Fellow
- Hafiz Chowdhury, Research Fellow
- Sonja Firth, Technical Manager
- Saman Gamage, Research Fellow
- Rajitha Jayasuriya, Research Fellow
- Rohina Joshi, Research Fellow
- Rasika Rampatige, Research Fellow
- Nicola Richards, Technical Officer
- Helen Keown, Project Manager
- Em Tulloch, Project Officer
- Michael Semeniuk, Project Officer
- Ian Riley, Consultant
- Lene Mikkelsen, Consultant
- Carla AbouZahr, Consultant
- Sam Notzon, CDC
- Don de Savigny, Swiss TPH
- Fatima Marinho, Ministry of Health, Brazil
- Juan Cortez, Consultant
- Alvin Onaka, Registry Office of Hawaii
- Steven Schwartz, Registry Office of New York City
- Jeff Montgomery, The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua, New Zealand
Technical Advisory Group
Data for Health aims to help more than one billion people in 20 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America live healthier, longer lives.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the Australian government, is launching Data for Health, a $100 million initiative that will enable 20 low- and middle-income countries to vastly improve public health data collection.
The Data for Health initiative seeks to provide governments, aid organizations, and public health leaders with tools and systems to better collect data – and use it to prioritize health challenges, develop policies, deploy resources, and measure success.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services, United States of America. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.
The International Statistics Program leads CDC work in CRVS.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government
The department’s purpose is to help make Australia stronger, safer and more prosperous by promoting and protecting our interests internationally and contributing to global stability and economic growth.
The department provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the government. They work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The Asian and Pacific CRVS Decade (2015-2024) was proclaimed at the Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific, which was held in November 2014 in Bangkok. At that meeting Governments also adopted the Ministerial Declaration to “Get Every One in the Picture” in Asia and the Pacific and made a commitment to focus their efforts to improve CRVS systems. Through the declaration of the Asian and Pacific CRVS Decade, governments gave a timeframe of 2015-2024, for all people in Asia and the Pacific to benefit from universal and responsive CRVS systems that facilitate the realization of their rights and support good governance, health and development.
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific adopted resolution 71/14 on the Asia and Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Decade, 2015-2024 in May 2015.
Johns Hopkins will support staff to develop mobile phone risk factor surveys and evaluate the impact of surveys.
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel
The Swiss TPH vision is to achieve significant improvements of human health and well-being through a better understanding of disease and health systems and acting on this knowledge.
Vital Strategies brings global expertise to build large-scale health programs in the following functional areas: project management; strategic communication; research and evaluation; workforce development; policy advocacy; and surveillance and epidemiology.
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization, utilizing their expertise, will provide technical assistance to support existing risk factor surveys in order to provide gold-standard expertise to support mobile phone surveys.