Assd Civil Registration and Vital Statistics – English

Assd Civil Registration and Vital Statistics – English


Photo: Ministers call to action, Durban, South Africa, 2012

The CRVS agenda started in September 2012 when African Ministers responsible for civil registration gathered for their second conference held in South Africa and called upon all African countries to undertake in-depth assessments of their CRVS systems. The conference further called on the regional CRVS Secretariat, the regional CRVS Core Group, and other regional and international organisations to provide technical and financial support to countries in undertaking the assessments. The 8th African Symposium on Statistical Development (ASSD) convened in Cote D’Ivoire in November 2012 agreed on a common strategy for undertaking the assessments. Consequently the regional CRVS Secretariat in collaboration with the regional CRVS Core Group, which South Africa is a part of, arranged training for a regional pool of experts to support countries in conducting assessments and in the development of costed national plans.

The Ministers responsible for CRVS in Africa held their third conference in Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire on 12–13 February 2015 to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS), which they adopted during their second conference held in Durban, South Africa in 2012. The ministers provided clear directions for the establishment of sustainable CRVS systems on the continent and identified priority actions that will lead to concrete outcomes in the short term and provided policy guidance to address the various challenges experienced. The theme of the conference, “Promoting Use of Civil Registration Records in Support of Advancing Good Governance in Africa” enabled the ministers to discuss the importance of CRVS in the realisation of human, political and economic rights, improved service delivery and evidence-based policymaking.

The Ministers declared in the third conference that the period 2015 to 2024 will be a decade of CRVS in Africa. This is in line with the Seoul Statement of September 2014 from the First International Identity Management Conference, which underscored the centrality of civil registration for establishment of robust identification management systems, facilitating citizens’ access to social services, cross border movement and as key tools in disaster management and response. This resolution and the Ministers’ commitment to take up the responsibility for financing and sustaining the national CRVS plans and, when necessary, mobilise resources to cover financing gaps, in particular requires countries to speedily agree on collaborative arrangements that will accelerate the implementation of the Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS).

The ASSD, heeding the Minister’s call for action, has been advancing the CRVS agenda through the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa as CRVS Secretariat, African Union Commission, African Development Bank, and United Nations Population Fund as statistical development partners in the continent. The call necessitated a strategic shift from the 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses, which was the focus for the first six ASSDs and through which 52 out of 54 African countries have already undertaken their censuses, to CRVS. Working closely with the Civil Registration Authorities under the strategic guidance of the Ministers responsible for Civil Registration, a rigorous programme has been conceived and birthed to transform and improve civil registration and vital statistics systems and practices in Africa, which has been the core focus of the last four instalments of the ASSD. Tremendous progress has been made in this regard, including formation of a CRVS Core Group, CRVS assessment undertaken by countries, discussions on the African Digitisation Guidebook on CRVS, and the development of the CRVS strategy.

The 5th ASSD marks the last of the five ASSDs focused on CRVS.

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