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Housed at IDRC, the Centre of Excellence is a global resource hub that actively supports national efforts to develop, strengthen, and scale up sustainable civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems that work for all, especially women and girls.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada and IDRC, its role is to facilitate access to technical assistance, global standards and tools, evidence, and good practice, with a strong commitment to gender equality.

Visit the Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems website to access resources and learn more about our services.

Civil registration and vital statistics systems

The systematic reporting and registration of vital and civil events — including birth, death (and causes of death), marriage, and divorce — is critical for protecting human rights and improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. Civil registration not only provides proof of legal identity, which facilitates access to essential services such as healthcare and education, but it also generates statistics that provide the crucial evidence that is needed to improve delivery of these social services and to save lives.

Our role

Despite their importance, CRVS systems are inadequate in many countries. The Centre of Excellence coordinates with existing national, regional, and international expert groups to actively promote and support comprehensive and sustainable CRVS systems. It generates, consolidates, and disseminates information, making key resources readily accessible through its electronic knowledge platform. It also facilitates the exchange of good practices and capacity strengthening and it brokers access to technical assistance for countries requesting more direct support.

Protecting women and girls

Women and girls still face many financial, cultural, and legal barriers to realizing the benefits of civil registration. The Centre of Excellence advocates for strong CRVS systems to monitor progress toward gender equality, and pursues a programming approach that is intentional about integrating gender analysis across all its activities. This ensures decision-makers have access to reliable data they can use for effective policymaking, long-term national planning, and progress monitoring, resulting in more effective services for all citizens.

Supporting the Global Financing Facility

The Centre of Excellence works in close collaboration with the Global Financing Facility, a key financing platform of the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030).

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Explore research projects that we support.


Remote video URL

This video explains how strong CRVS systems protect human rights and support inclusive development for all.

Remote video URL

Watch this video to see how inclusive CRVS systems ensure that everyone counts and is counted.