The World Bank and the World Health Organization with input from several agencies and countries have developed a Global Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Scaling Up Investment Plan. It covers activities over a 10 year period from 2015 to 2024, with the goal of universal civil registration of births, deaths, marriages, and other vital events, including reporting cause of death, and access to legal proof of registration for all individuals by 2030. Millions of people in low- and middle-income countries are being denied basic services and protection of their rights due to deficient CRVS and national identification systems. This includes universal health coverage, education and social protection schemes, humanitarian responses to emergencies and conflicts, trade, and security. There are now opportunities to do this through 21st century know-how and the innovative forms of information and communication technology.
The benefits from civil registries and the statistics they help produce, will be large across many sectors of government and across the private sector. These benefits include:
- governance as it forms the basis for the development, implementation and monitoring of government policies, programmes, and services.
- efficiency and effectiveness as it will pay for itself many times over by improving the targeting of services and increasing the efficiency of resource allocation.
- human rights by providing individuals with proof of identity from birth, by realizing their social, economic and human rights, by improving the efficiency and fairness of the justice system and by helping to avoid identity fraud.
- gender as marriage and divorce registration contribute to women’s ability to inherit property, and to registering girls at birth and recording their marriages to help prevent early and forced marriage.
- reliable data on population size and distribution at all levels, on trends in fertility, and on patterns and causes of mortality, providing data for targeting resources across public and business sectors.
- health providing reliable vital statistics, highlighting emerging health threats and high risk groups, and tracking health progress and the health status of population at national and sub-national levels.
- legal status providing individuals with the legal documentation and proof of identity necessary to bring them into the modern economy and access inheritance rights and obtain passports, open bank accounts, get driving licenses and facilitates access to services such as health care, education and social security.
- accountability providing the means of holding governments accountable for their policies, and determining the extent to which services meet economic and social needs.
- business, commerce and customers allowing companies to better able to identify their customers and provides banks and insurance companies the information they need to provide their services.
- aid effectiveness as development partners, donors and foundations all benefit from high quality statistics to improve allocation and monitoring of aid.
The scaling up investment plan provides a coherent, global effort to ensure all countries have a sustainable civil registration and vital statistics integrated across government and serving the needs of public and private sectors and all citizens of a country.