About the conference

The international conference on innovations in Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems was the fruit of a collaboration between the Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  Our aim was to convene leading stakeholders from around the world to collectively identify and debate how best to harness the power of CRVS systems to meet global commitments to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The global agenda charts a course which relies on CRVS systems, in conjunction with other national data systems (such as health information and identity management systems), to deliver a stronger foundation for inclusive development and social protection. This conference intended to build on this momentum by bringing experts together (i.e. CRVS practitioners, experts from academia, UN Agencies, private sector and civil society, etc.) to explore the current status and use of innovations in CRVS in both developed and developing economies. The main objectives of this conference were to:

  1. Generate ‘current state’ knowledge about CRVS by exploring the current status and use of innovation in CRVS in developed and developing economies, providing a platform to experts for presenting their innovative and constructive ideas at international level.
  2. Prioritize ‘future state’ research and innovation needs for development into a Global 3-5 year workplan including necessary partnerships and capacity building approaches.

This conference run over two days, i.e. from February 27 to 28, 2018 and included plenary, parallel sessions and innovations labs.

  • Plenary sessions were led by a keynote speaker and high-level panel addressing the main challenges and opportunities for CRVS systems from a strategic (medium to long-term) perspective.
  • Panel sessions allowed the participants to engage with key elements within the broader agenda in a more concentrated way; for example, focusing on inclusive development, modern data analytics, and human-centred design principles.
  • Innovation labs enabled concentrated discussion and workshopping by experts and country representatives of new and emerging approaches and technologies, presented as case studies, to consider in detail how these could be applied in countries seeking to strengthen their systems – for example, whether human-centred design approaches can be used to improve the reach of CRVS and other systems to vulnerable populations. The purpose was to recommend new approaches for further inclusion for development in a global workplan.
  • The final plenary session drew together discussions from the plenary and panel sessions, as well as from the innovation labs, to propose themes and priorities resulting from the conference.

The outcomes of the conference were presented at the 49th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission that took place from 6-9 March 2018 in New York.