Protecting populations in emergency settings
The world has seen a significant increase in emergencies recently, both human and natural. The number of forcibly displaced people rose sharply in the last decade to 80 million. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 90 million people and caused more than 2 million deaths.
It’s common for civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems to become dysfunctional or even collapse entirely under stress, including in emergency situations. Births, deaths, and other vital events go unregistered when this happens. Important information and documentation can also be lost or destroyed.
As a result, individuals are denied the benefits of a legal identity at the time of their greatest need. These benefits include freedom of movement, social protection, and basic services such as health care and education. What’s more, a lack of accurate and up-to-date data makes it harder for governments and organizations to respond to emergency situations effectively.
Despite these significant consequences, CRVS systems are usually under-resourced and under-prioritized in emergency situations. We’re working with partners to change this. By generating evidence and disseminating good practice, we’re supporting the development of CRVS systems that withstand and respond to crises.
We’ve established a COVID-19 Technical Working Group to collect and analyze the impact of the pandemic on CRVS systems. We will launch the results of this work on this page in 2021.
Resources on CRVS in emergencies
Learn more about how CRVS systems function in crisis situations and how we can improve their resilience. Browse our papers, articles, videos, and other materials below.
- Synthesis brief – The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa – Find out how civil registration and vital statistics systems supported an emergency response to COVID-19 in Africa
- Technical briefs – Maintaining civil registration resilience amid the COVID-19 crisis: Read our case studies to find out how CRVS systems in African countries responded to the COVID-19 crisis
- Technical brief – Building resilient civil registration and vital statistics systems amid COVID-19: Namibia as a good practice ‒ Explore findings on the resilience of Namibia’s National Population Registration System during its response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Visualizing the invisible: Registering deaths and tracking mortality in the era of COVID-19 ‒ Learn from country experiences in counting deaths and tracking mortality during a health emergency such as COVID-19