Centre of Excellence for CRVS Systems: Economic Case for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems

Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems are a vital component of public administration and contribute to good governance by protecting human rights and enabling access to basic public services. They also provide critical information, such as the number of people living in a country, the leading causes of death, fertility rates and life expectancy, which is needed by governments to effectively plan and deliver public services. While there is a substantial body of knowledge showing the benefits of well-functioning CRVS systems, an economic case still needs to be made in terms of cost savings and return on investment. This project seeks to address that gap.

Specifically, the economic case made by this project will address the three fundamental economic questions: what CRVS systems are needed; which system is more efficient (i.e., which production processes); and who will benefit from CRVS systems? The first and second questions are related to the concept of efficiency while the third also addresses equity and fairness issues. The overall objective of the economic case will be to demonstrate how CRVS systems can maximize social benefits from an equity and gender perspective.

This project will be implemented in collaboration with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in four phases, which involve a review of scientific evidence on the cost and potential benefits of CRVS systems; a stakeholder consultation to review the proposed methodology, define the foundations of the economic case, and reach consensus on the scope and methodological approach; the application and testing of the methodology in at least two low and middle-income countries; and writing a series of papers to describe the methodology to build an economic case for CRVS and communicate the results of the country examples.

This project is closely aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 – legal identity for all, including birth registration, as well as with the overall 2030 Development Agenda. The project contributes to the Centre of Excellence mandate on building evidence, supporting advocacy, and creating a knowledge base for CRVS systems.

Project ID


Project status



15 months

Total funding

CA$ 652,200


Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems

Project Leader

Daniel Cobos Muñoz


Schweizerisches Tropen- und Public Health Institut

Institution Country


Institution Website