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

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.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
18 months
IDRC Officer
Irina Dincu
Total Funding
CA$ 3,235,600.00
Burkina Faso
Global Health
Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Romesh Silva
United Nations Population Fund/Fonds des Nations Unies pour la population/Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas


ConVERGE - connecting vital events registration and gender equality : technical report

ConVERGE - connecting vital events registration and gender equality : technical report


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.

Author(s): United Nations Population Fund

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Language: English