The Global Health Advocacy’s (GHAI) Data for Health team presented at the Asia-Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Research Forum on April 3-4, 2023. The presentations showcased the technical areas of support we provide to support CRVS systems in low and middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The presentations emphasized the importance of analyzing the legal and regulatory as well as financing landscapes underpinning CRVS systems in building universal, permanent, and continuous civil registration systems capable of providing accurate vital statistics information for better public health data production and use as set out in the Regional Action Framework for CRVS in Asia and the Pacific

Since 2017, GHAI has been working with twelve countries in the Asia-Pacific region on CRVS legal technical support to review and/or reform the legal and regulatory frameworks governing their respective CRVS systems. When presenting the research paper titled “CRVS Legal Reviews – Advancing Civil Registration Systems in the Asia-Pacific” at the Research Forum on April 3, our team discussed the major findings and recommendations made under the thematic areas that have been common to nine countries in the region that have completed the legal review process. Evaluating the CRVS laws in these countries against international best practices for CRVS, these projects identified gaps and provided legal and policy recommendations to improve the CRVS systems across several issue areas ranging from the way the systems are structured at national and sub-national levels to the accessibility of registration services. The second paper, “Integrating Gender-Equity in CRVS Legal Review and Reform Processes”, discussed experiences from Thailand, Uganda and India to show the importance of integrating gender equity in CRVS system improvement initiatives.

The Forum provided the first region-wide opportunity to present GHAI’s new technical area of support within the Data for Health Initiative - CRVS budget advocacy - as a process that complements country-level CRVS system improvement initiatives by guiding government stakeholders and other partners on how to achieve strong political commitment for increased and sustainable investment in CRVS. In presenting the paper “Locally Led Budget Advocacy as an Enabler of CRVS Funding Sustainability”, our team shared Maldives’ experience pilot testing the Budget Advocacy Toolkit and Framework for CRVS Funding Sustainability.

Attended by more than 300 participants from across countries, the Forum created the opportunity for tracking the significant progress countries made in evaluating their CRVS frameworks while emphasizing the need for stepping up to legal and policy reforms. The Forum also informed participants on GHAI’s continued and strengthened support of CRVS interventions in the Asia-Pacific region through legal review and reform, budget advocacy and civil society organization (CSO) lead advocacy for system reform.

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