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Data for Health

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Approximately half of all deaths in the world go unrecorded and the births of 1 in 4 children under age five have never been recorded. Governments need accurate, up to date information on when and where births and deaths occur, and the causes of those deaths, to ensure the availability and quality of public health data and to be able to design effective public health policies, deploy resources and measure impact. Without birth registration a person cannot obtain legal documents and will experience difficulties accessing health and education services, state benefits, the formal job market, or banking services. Comprehensive CRVSID systems also help to avoid identity fraud, child marriage, child labor, human trafficking and statelessness.

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) reviews countries’ legal frameworks, provides technical assistance to reform laws and supports budget advocacy to achieve sustainable funding for Civil Registration, Vital Statistics and Identity Management (CRVSID) systems. Our work includes:

  • Legal Reviews: Comprehensive and structured reviews of CRVSID legal frameworks using a specifically developed toolkit, leading to legal and policy recommendations.
  • Legal Reform: Technical support for legal reforms of the CRVSID legal framework.
  • Budget Advocacy: Systematic guidance, via a budget advocacy framework and toolkit, to government agencies responsible for CRVSID systems, aimed at securing strengthened domestic funding that supports sustainability.
  • Civil Society Advocacy: Support to local advocacy organizations to build political support and public demand for stronger CRVSID systems.

GHAI is an implementing partner of the Bloomberg Data for Health (D4H) Initiative, which works to strengthen and standardize birth and the registration systems so that everyone, everywhere, is counted.

Where We Work

  • Current:
  • Bangladesh,
  • Belize,
  • Bolivia,
  • Burkina Faso,
  • Cambodia,
  • Colombia,
  • India,
  • Indonesia,
  • Kenya,
  • Maldives,
  • Morocco,
  • Mozambique,
  • Papua New Guinea,
  • Philippines,
  • Solomon Islands,
  • Uganda,
  • Vietnam,
  • Zambia
  • Past:
  • Brazil,
  • Cameroon,
  • Democratic Republic of Congo,
  • Ecuador,
  • Ghana,
  • Peru,
  • Rwanda,
  • Senegal,
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Tanzania,
  • Thailand
See the Map
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1 billion people

live in countries that have no standardized system for collecting health data.

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Roughly half of deaths

 go unrecorded each year.

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36 million babies

are born each year without their births being registered.

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Close to 50% of women

in low-income countries have no way to prove their age or identity because they lack a birth registration.

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Our Impact


In Rajasthan State, India, the Chief Birth and Death Registrar issued the first gender-aligned birth certificate to a transgender individual and launched Project 1000 to streamline LGBTQI+ registrations.


In line with the recommendations of the GHAI legal review, Thailand adopted perinatal reporting guidelines focused on ensuring that all stillbirths are reported.


Following GHAI legal reviews, new CRVSID laws, regulations or policies were adopted in Brazil, Cambodia, Ecuador, Ghana, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal and Thailand.

In Cambodia GHAI provided technical legal support to develop and draft a new CRVSID law that was adopted in July 2023. The comprehensive new law guarantees civil registration to everyone residing in Cambodia, establishes a digital and decentralized system, removes obstacles and fees from the registration process, establishes a universal right to an ID card for citizens and includes privacy protections for personal data.

In Maldives GHAI provided technical budget advocacy support to the Department of National Registration that enabled the Ministry of Finance to approve the creation and funding of a new cadre of subnational (atoll-level) civil registrars in 2024 and commit to creating and funding island-level civil registrars in 2025-2027, while also financing the expansion of the use of biometric technology for nationwide identity management and supporting interoperability across vital event registration systems.

Team Members

Vandana Shah

Vice President, Health Systems Strengthening

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Legal Consultants

Sophia San Luis, Global; Lynn Sferrazza, Global; Nayib Chalela, Colombia; Julien Dabire, Burkina Faso; Anika Kingmele, Solomon Islands; Christian Monje, Bolivia; Hadijah Namyalo, Uganda; Reda Oulamine, Morocco; Arquimedes Varimelo, Mozambique


Related Case Studies

View All Case Studies
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Civil registration and identity management in the Maldives

With budget advocacy support from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), the Government of the Maldives has made a historic investment in the human and technical resources that support its national civil registration, vital statistics and identity management (CRVSID) systems.