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Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems: Integrating Gender, Leveraging Population Censuses and Building a Culture of VS Production

Burkina Faso
Project ID
Total Funding
CAD 3,235,600.00
IDRC Officer
Irina Dincu
Project Status
End Date
18 months

Lead institution(s)

Project leader:
Romesh Silva
United States


Civil registration provides legal identity to individuals, enabling them to prove family ties, their place and date of birth, and fulfill their rights and obligations.Read more

Civil registration provides legal identity to individuals, enabling them to prove family ties, their place and date of birth, and fulfill their rights and obligations. It can facilitate access to essential services such as education and health and contribute to exercising political rights, transferring property, and accessing financial services. However, the gender-related aspects of civil registration systems remain under-researched and a reliable and permanent flow of data generated from civil registration is needed to support better evidence-based national administrative systems and planning.

This projects aims to strengthen civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems to become gender sensitive and to produce consistently high-quality vital statistics for development decision-making. The project, implemented in collaboration with the UN Population Fund, will pilot and advance a new questionnaire for use in assessing civil registration coverage in approximately 120 population censuses to be conducted in the 2019-2024 period. It will also support targeted capacity building for national statistical offices on generating vital statistics from civil registration, and it will train a new cadre of young population data scientists who are now in very short supply.

Research in four to five focus countries will examine the root causes and the social and economic consequences of non-registration of vital events for women, specifically the under-registration of female deaths; evaluate the benefits of communication interventions and new technologies at the community level to improve registration of vital events; and investigate the impact of coupling innovative digitization and evidence-based social and behaviour change interventions on birth, marriage, and death registration completeness. This information will help boost the demand for civil registration and vital statistics as a means to secure the rights of women and children.

Expected outcomes include new tools, methodologies, and technical guidance to assess coverage and measure the completeness of birth, marriage, and death registration; increased capacity of national statistical offices to analyze and use data from incomplete civil registration coverage; and a cohort of young researchers in statistics who are able to support future country-level programs and initiatives.

Research outputs

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The ConVERGE Initiative progressed well throughout the duration of the IDRC-Centre of Excellence on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems CoE grant. Substantial adjustments were made in light of COVID-19. Despite pandemic challenges, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has advanced greatly with lessons learned from Phase 1. The CRVS initiative is helping to shift attention away from a singular focus on “supply side” issues (such as proximity to registration centers) towards social and behavioral factors (alignment of CR processes with social norms around birth/marriage/death, for instance). The report provides a detailed review to date, along with important links.

United Nations Population Fund
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About the partnership


Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems

Housed at IDRC, the Centre of Excellence (CoE) was a global resource hub that actively supported national efforts to develop, strengthen, and scale up sustainable civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems that work for all, especially women and girls. Funded by Global Affairs Canada and IDRC from December 2015 to July 2021, its role was to facilitate access to technical assistance, global standards and tools, evidence, and good practice, with a strong commitment to gender equality.