Notice B

Promoting the collaborative development of proposals for investments in digital health global goods

Notice B: Strengthening the Open Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (OpenCRVS) System

Primary Author: Christopher Seebregts

Open Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (OpenCRVS) is an open source system supporting the digitisation of common processes for civil
registration and vital statistics (CRVS), particularly those found in low resource countries. Globally, almost half of the world’s children, most of
them in Africa, are unregistered as well as 38 million of 56 million (two-thirds) annual deaths . Being unregistered, a child is invisible in the
eyes of the law and hence is vulnerable to many forms of abuse and neglect impacting on health status. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)
16 (Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies) includes the goal: “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.”
CRVS also provides critical information for monitoring of other SDGs . From a health perspective, CRVS is a necessary prerequisite to
accessing health services and also provides fundamental information for the estimation of many health indicators. The Conference of Ministers
Responsible for CRVS in Africa, held in Nouakchott in December 2017 resulted in a formal declaration[iii], which included:
“...Encourages the Economic Commission for Africa, as the secretariat of APAI-CRVS (Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of
Civil Registration and Vital Statistics), to lead the development of common information communication technology assets to support effective
civil registration and vital statistics systems across Africa, ensuring the highest standards of data protection and confidentiality of personal data,
in order to promote interoperability among civil registration, health and identity management systems, and having the flexibility to meet the
needs of all African countries.”
Digitisation of CRVS systems is an important approach to address the issues of poor birth and death registration, extend registration coverage,
simplify administrative processes and share data between systems. However, there is a lack of affordable and effective CRVS systems in low
resource environments. An open source, standards-based and interoperable CRVS system will have a significant impact on birth and death
registration in low resource settings by increasing the reach and efficiency of CRVS systems as well as integrating CRVS processes, such as
birth registration with health services, such as immunization.
OpenCRVS is a partnership between Plan International and Jembi Health Systems with a number of other collaborators. To date, the project has
documented requirements and business processes in a number of countries in Africa and Asia and developed a prototype application that is
currently at the low level in terms of the Digital Square Global Good Maturity Model. This proposal will supplement other funding streams and
allow for the expansion of the software capabilities of the OpenCRVS project to a full low to medium level and implementation-ready status.
The focus of this proposal is the development of two prioritised interoperability use cases. When coupled with the current implementation plans
(separately funded), over the envisaged project period (12 months), the expected outcome will be to have an initial version of OpenCRVS
working in two low resource countries in Africa and Asia, potentially Bangladesh and Mozambique .
The OpenCRVS project was recently shortlisted by the Centre for High Impact Philanthropy as one of eleven ‘best bets with greatest potential
for impact’ .

Final Proposal: 
Application Status: 
Approved - partially funded