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Statistical alliance for vital events: Strengthening reporting & program uses of facility-based child & maternal mortality

Project ID
Total Funding
CAD 500,000.00
IDRC Officer
Sana Naffa
Project Status
End Date
36 months

Programs and partnerships

Lead institution(s)


Most deaths in sub-Saharan Africa occur without medical attention, and as a result, the causes of death (COD) remain unknown.Read more

Most deaths in sub-Saharan Africa occur without medical attention, and as a result, the causes of death (COD) remain unknown. This lack of information greatly limits evidence-based planning and slows progress in the attainment of health targets, including those related to maternal and child health. To address this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the enhancement of both community and facility-based reporting of COD. The WHO also emphasizes the crucial need of integrating COD data within health information management systems and civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems, and ensuring that the data is used by health ministries and disease control programs.

This project aims to improve facility-based reporting of COD data in Ethiopia and Mozambique by training doctors and hospital administrators on the use of simple electronic systems for capturing COD reliably, and promoting the use of the data to improve policies and programs for maternal and child health. By complementing efforts to strengthen community-based reporting of CODs in an ongoing maternal and child health project, this project will demonstrate the feasibility of implementing the WHO recommendations on the generation and use of comprehensive, high-quality COD data in health policy and program development.

This initiative is building on an established partnership between the Statistical Alliance for Vital Events (St. Michaels Hospital, Canada), the Ethiopia Public Health Association, the Centro de Investigação em Saudé de Manhiça (Mozambique), and St. John’s Research Institute (India). The project is closely aligned with the Government of Canada’s prioritization of CRVS systems as a valuable public investment for safeguarding the rights of women and children, improving policy development and program delivery for maternal and child health, and strengthening accountability. The researchers will leverage opportunities for continued engagement with the Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems housed at IDRC. This project is funded by the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program. It is a seven-year CA$36 million initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada, IDRC, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.