GHAI shared the experiences of our Data for Health program during two recent events at global forums in New York City and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Both events featured discussions of lessons learned through our work providing legal review and budget advocacy support to help countries build universal and adequately and sustainably funded systems for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems. This support helps countries improve the collection of public health data so that governments are equipped with the tools and systems to collect and use data to prioritize health challenges, develop policies, deploy resources and measure access, which are all critical to public health policymaking.

Left to right: Srdjan Mrkic (Chief, Demographic Statistics, United Nations Statistics Division); Felicite Tchibindat (Deputy Regional Director, UNICEF); H.E. Mr. Prok May Oudom (Director of Program Management and Support Division of National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development, Ministry of the Interior, Cambodia); Betsy Fuller (Senior Program Manager, Bloomberg Philanthropies); and Ebongue Makolle Fred Rodrigue Aurelien (General Secretary, Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development, Cameroon)

Side event of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on the Implementation of the UN Legal Identity Agenda in Cambodia and Cameroon – New York City, September 15

A side event of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, “Implementation of the United Nations Legal Identity Agenda in Cambodia and Cameroon,” was co-sponsored by the UN Legal Identity Agenda (UNLIA) Taskforce and UNICEF with technical and financial support from GHAI and other Data for Health partners. Participants and panelists from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Data for Health Initiative, GHAI, the International Organization for Migration, UNICEF, the UN Statistics Division, and key government officials from Cambodia and Cameroon discussed the role of the UNLIA in ensuring legal identity for all and its successful implementation by the CRVS systems of Cambodia and Cameroon.

Since 2018, GHAI has been supporting Cambodia’s Legislative Drafting Working Group in developing a comprehensive new CRVS bill and implementing regulations, which is slated to pass in early 2023. In Cameroon, a new CRVS law under development incorporates GHAI’s recommendations from our legal review project in 2021. Highlighting these crucial steps in the presentations from both countries and panel discussion, the side event showcased how legal reforms contribute to achieving the goals set by UNLIA of implementing integrated and holistic CRVS systems.

Photo credit: Daniel Getachew/ECA Photo

Experts Group Meeting Session on Budget Advocacy at the 6th Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 26

Along with Vital Strategies, GHAI co-organized a parallel session at the Experts Group Meeting of the 6th Conference of Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration in Africa on the theme of “Leadership, Budget Advocacy, and Sustainability in CRVS Systems.” Covering this topic for the first time, this high-level convening featured GHAI’s approach for budget advocacy as a means of securing political will and domestic resources necessary to achieve and maintain well-functioning CRVS systems.

The session, moderated by Ghana’s Registrar of Births and Deaths, involved country presentations from representatives of Cameroon and Niger on the importance and challenge of securing domestic financing for CRVS in their countries. The Executive Director of NIRA, Uganda’s civil registration agency, Ms. Rosemary Kisembo, presented about the experience of pilot-testing GHAI’s for CRVS funding sustainability, which involves conducting landscape analysis, identifying prioritized challenges and opportunities for budget advocacy, and developing an advocacy strategy to strengthen Uganda’s domestic financing for CRVS.  Over the coming months, GHAI will finalize pilot-testing the CRVS budget advocacy toolkit and framework in Uganda, as well as the Maldives, and expand CRVS budget advocacy support to other countries and regions.

At both events, GHAI demonstrated the importance of working with governments to strengthen and standardize systems responsible for gathering key public health data in an effort to improve public health outcomes through conducting legal reviews and utilizing our unique budget advocacy approach to mobilize domestic resources for legal reform implementation and CRVS system strengthening.

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