This document has been developed through a consultative process involving country representatives from the health, civil registration and statistics sectors, technical experts, researchers, and representatives of agencies, donors and development partners. As part of this process, a technical meeting, Improving Mortality Statistics as part of Strengthening Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems, World Health Organization, Technical Meeting, was convened by WHO from 4 to 5 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The document offers guidance on strategies for strengthening vital statistics in national civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) plans, with a focus on mortality and cause-of-death statistics, which are urgently needed to inform public health decision-making and monitor progress towards national and international health goals. The document has been developed through a consultative process that brought together country representatives from the health, civil registration and statistics sectors, technical experts, researchers, and representatives of agencies, donors and development partners and encapsulates the outcome of their deliberations. The aim is to set out a set of practical options for CRVS strengthening that have the potential to lead to rapid improvements in the availability and quality of mortality statistics, including causes of death.1 The document summarizes key mortality-related indicators and describes the strengths and limitations of different data sources. It goes on to describe the best options for generating mortality statistics, proposes principles for selecting data sources, and identifies priority actions for strengthening CRVS while improving the availability and quality of mortality statistics. It concludes with recommendations on the contents of CRVS investment plans based on country starting points and capacities.