On December 1, 2022, the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maldives' Department of National Registration, the country’s civil registration agency housed within the Ministry of National Planning, Housing, and Infrastructure. The MoU establishes a strategic partnership to mobilize domestic resources to create an integrated and sustainable civil registration and identity system that helps improve public health data in line with international best practices.

Dr. Om Prakash Bera and Ms. Vandana Shah from GHAI pose with Ms. Aishath Rasheeda, Deputy Minister of the Department of National Registration, and Mr. Abdulla Ibrahim, Deputy Director of Department of National Registration, at MoU signing in Male’

Beginning in December 2021, GHAI conducted a comprehensive review of the legal frameworks governing the Maldives’ civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems and provided recommendations on draft civil and identity registration law. A country’s CRVS system is responsible for collecting data on the births, deaths, and causes of death of a country’s entire population, data that is critical to informing public health policymaking, such as education, employment and health care.

In 2022, Maldives became one of the first two countries to pilot-test the budget advocacy toolkit and framework for CRVS funding sustainability. This toolkit will support global efforts to improve low- and middle-income countries’ public health data. The draft toolkit was launched at a budget advocacy inception and strategy development workshop with tremendous stakeholder support in early October 2022, providing a promising start for developing and implementing a CRVS budget advocacy strategy for increased budget allocations to the Department of National Registration and other agencies carrying out CRVS functions in the Maldives.

The MoU formalizes the partnership with the Maldives’ government and will support its plans to prioritize CRVS programs. The 12-month collaboration includes advocacy to secure an increased and maintained investment in CRVS functions by Maldivian budgetary authorities. This will strengthen the human resource capacity of the Department of National Registration and improve information technology systems for better integration and interoperability of the birth and death registration system. To help build the public demand for more efficient civil registration services, GHAI will also support an increase in the quality and quantity of media coverage for CRVS topics.

“GHAI is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Maldives government to help them scale up their CRVS operations for greater geographic and programmatic interconnectivity, which can eventually become a model for the region.” Vandana Shah, Vice President of Health System Strengthening, GHAI.

GHAI will continue to provide support to the government in implementing the CRVS budget advocacy strategy and pushing for the adoption of the new civil and identity registration law.

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