Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health

Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration

The second conference:
2012, South Africa

Improving Institutional and Human Infrastructure

3-7 September 2012, Durban, South Africa

The Conference is jointly organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Republic of South Africa and will take place on 6-7 September at the International Conference Centre, in Durban, South Africa.

The Conference will be convened as a follow up to the First Conference that took place from 13 to 14 August 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which was attended by over 40 ministers. The resolution of the First Conference requested that the Conference should be institutionalized as a standing regional forum to be organized every two years.

The second Ministerial Conference will be held under the theme “Improving Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Institutional and Human Infrastructure”. One of the important focuses of this meeting will be on key role that the health sector needs to play in improvement of CRVS. Not only does the health system facilitate reporting of events to the civil registration system through its institutional mechanisms such as the medical institutions and outreach health service workers, it also benefits from civil registration records and compiled data based on such records. The United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health in its report called upon each country to establish a system for registration of births, deaths and causes of death that can provide continuous and permanent statistics on public health.

This issue is of particular interest to African countries, many of which are still struggling with low coverage of birth and death registration, poor reporting of causes of death, limited capacity to conduct accurate certification and coding and a simple lack of well-functioning CRVS systems.

To discuss these and other challenges, the Conference will convene all African Ministers responsible for Civil Registration, few Ministers of Health, Heads/Directors of National Statistics Offices (NSOs) and Registrars of Civil Registration Authorities (CRAs). Representatives of regional and international organizations, representatives of UN agencies, UN Country offices residing in South Africa, and representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations will also attend the Conference.

The event is also supported by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Health Organization (WHO), Health Metrics Network (HMN) and other regional and international organizations.