Areas of focus

Achievements (the programme has)

1) Harness political commitment across the continent

Strengthened political commitment for the development of CRVS systems across the continent, which was largely missing. This has been achieved through the biennial conference of ministers of civil registration which is now an institutionalized platform

2) Building/strengthening partnerships in CRVS

Strengthened coordination between civil registration authorities, national statistics offices and the health sector; the adoption of CRVS as a theme of discussion at the African symposia on statistical development has largely contributed to the appreciation of CRVS by national statistics offices

Consolidated and harmonized efforts and resources for CRVS through strengthening collaboration of CRVS actors at the global, continental, and national level; The regional CRVS programme is supported by a group of pan-African institutions, United Nations agencies and Non-governmental organizations that form the regional CRVS Regional Core Group

3) Capacity building:

Conducted trainings for CRVS functionaries. Through these trainings, a pool of CRVS experts has been created and is routinely being mentored. 31 African experts were trained in May 2013, 37 experts were trained in December 2014 and 30 French speaking experts were trained in February 2015.

Developed a package of operational guidelines and manuals on various thematic areas. These manuals have and will be useful to countries in providing guidance on the development of various aspects of the systems

Developed a CRVS Digitization Guidebook to support countries in the endeavor to digitize their CRVS systems

Provided direct technical support to countries

4) Review/assessment of the status of CRVS systems in Africa

Developed comprehensive assessment tools and guidelines that have been used by countries to undertake the assessments

Provided technical support to countries, to guide the assessment and planning processes

Close to half of all countries on the continent have now undertaken an assessment of their systems while the remaining countries have committed to do so by 2016

5) Promoting study and research, knowledge and sharing of good practices

Facilitated study tours and knowledge exchange visits between countries with weak and strong systems

Developed a web based knowledge management platform that shares CRVS resources across the continent (the platform is still under development and will be launched soon)

Partnered with the International union of the scientific study of population (IUSSP) to promote study and research in CRVS

6) Strengthen mortality and cause of death data collection systems

Developed a five-year continental strategy on improving mortality and cause of death statistics, under the leadership of the WHO.

Constituted a regional reference group of mortality experts to provide policy and technical guidance on the improvement of mortality and cause of death data collection systems

Key Challenges

7) Financial Resources

The programme is significantly constrained by the lack of systematic funding for implementation of the activities set out in the Medium Term Plan. The funding for the programme, largely sourced from development partners, has been inadequate and ad hoc in nature, which constraints planning and implementation.

8) Human Resources

Inadequacy of financial resources to run the programme further constraints the ability to sustain a stable human resource structure to undertake the duties required of the secretariat. In this regard the secretariat has been under-staffed

9) Weaknesses in the monitoring framework at regional and national level

Most countries lack mechanisms and the capacity to routinely monitor the development of their civil registration systems and can therefore not adequately report on any improvements emerging from their interventions. The lack of monitoring at country level also impacts on the ability to monitor the progress and achievements of the regional CRVS initiative.

To address the above challenge, the secretariat is in the process of developing a technical note that will provide systematic guidance to countries on how to assess and monitor progress of their CRVS systems.