Monitoring of vital events

High-level advocacy

WHO/Pierre Albouy

At the global level, the United Nations Secretary-General's Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health has drawn attention to the critical importance of civil registration and vital statistics systems. On 19 May 2011 at the World Health Assembly, this high-level Commission released its report Keeping Promises, Measuring Results comprising 10 recommendations, two of which directly relate to HMN's MOVE-IT work:

Better information for better results

1. Vital events: by 2015, all countries have taken significant steps to establish a system for registration of births, deaths and causes of death, and have well-functioning health information systems that combine data from facilities, administrative sources and surveys.

3. Innovation: by 2015, all countries have integrated the use of Information and Communication Technologies in their national health information systems and health infrastructure.

In the two focus regions of MOVE-IT, Africa and Asia-Pacific, high-level political commitment and institutional support is building.


At the first Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration in August 2010 in Addis Ababa, attended by over 40 African ministers, a Declaration was issued calling for the regional agenda to be translated into country action.

Fifty-three African countries unanimously passed a resolution to prioritize the strengthening of their national civil registration and vital statistics systems at the 6th Africa Symposium for Statistics Development held in Cairo from 31 October to 2 November 2010.

A follow-up Expert Group meeting in January 2011 went further, working to develop a Regional Medium-Term Plan: 2010-15, with definition of roles and responsibilities of partners, deliverables and timelines. This plan will be submitted to the African Symposium for Statistical Development in January 2012. This agenda is being taken forward through the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank, the African Union and other development partners, including HMN.

HMN is currently supporting country activities in nine African countries (Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania) , as well as multi-country studies analyzing data from demographic surveillance sites in order generate information on trends in mortality patterns in low-income settings.


In March 2011, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) brought together 12 country teams comprising representatives of governmental civil registration health and statistics offices, to assess the weaknesses of their current systems and suggest priority actions for improvement. Support is available to the country teams to develop action-oriented road maps, focusing on what can be done in the short term to improve the availability and quality of vital statistics. The outcomes and lessons learnt will be essential input for the development of the regional programme for the improvement of vital statistics and to the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on civil registration and vital statistics planned for the first quarter of 2012. Partners working with ESCAP in this endeavor include the Asian Development Bank, HMN, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),UNICEF and the University of Queensland.

HMN is supporting activities in four countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand) and one region (Bihar, India) and is working with ESCAP to support multi-stakeholder processes for the development of country road maps for strengthening civil registration and vital statistics systems.

Financial support

A total amount of US$ 3 666 000 had been approved and committed by HMN for the MOVE-IT start-up projects. Nearly all the projects are programmed for a three-instalment grant disbursement in the course of the project implementation period of 12-24 months.

HMN thanks the donors whose generous support has made these country start-up projects possible:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • United States Agency for International Development;
  • United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and
  • World Bank.

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