UNFPA to help Vietnam strengthen civil registration and vital statistics

HCMC - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam and Vital Strategies on August 9 signed an agreement for the second phase of work under the Data for Health Initiative to continue supporting the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to improve civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS).

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Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam – PHOTO: UNFPA

The initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Vietnam joined the initiative in March 2020, and the second phase will be implemented until March 2023 by the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the relevant ministries.

Dr. Kelly Henning, who leads the Public Health Program under Bloomberg Philanthropies, said, “We are pleased to continue the partnership with the Government of Vietnam in their efforts to collect better data on public health. Stronger civil registration and vital statistics systems provide better data to assist in decision making that will protect the health of the Vietnamese people.”

In the first phase, the program supported quality improvements of birth and death registrations by strengthening CRVS governance, assessing the functioning of the CRVS system, conducting the review of the CRVS legal framework and designing the improvement framework on the registration of births and deaths and other vital statistics.

The second phase will focus on further strengthening CRVS governance and the legal framework, applying digital solutions to improve CRVS processes and capacity development and improving collaboration between the relevant ministries in sharing CRVS data to be used in policy-making. The program will also pilot an innovative model on the registration of births and deaths to scale up nationwide.

“The signing of the second phase of the partnership between UNFPA and Vital Strategies to continue supporting the Ministry of Justice to successfully implement the National Action Program on CRVS is necessary and significant. This partnership will contribute to improving the legal framework and the CRVS business process in a more modern way,” said Nguyen Cong Khanh, director of the Civil Registration, Nationality and Attestation Department.

According to Khanh, the linkage and sharing of data and statistics, especially on births and deaths among sectors will not only serve the policy making process by the relevant ministries, sectors and localities, but also protect people's health and ensure other lawful rights and interests as stipulated by the law.

Vietnam has been implementing the National Action Program on CRVS for the period 2017-2024. Strengthening the CRVS process, as well as building and sustaining quality birth and death registration data including causes of death enables countries to confer and guarantee citizenship, plan and budget for effective national and sub-national policies for health, social protection, education, population and human rights and measure the impact of various public projects and programs.

UNFPA Representative Naomi Kitahara highlighted that the most important outcomes of Phase 1 were the increased capacity of civil servants involved in CRVS and the streamlining of birth and death notification and registration processes.

“Activities designed for Phase 2 are critical to ensure a well-functioning CRVS system in Vietnam, thus improving the CRVS governance at the national and sub-national levels and providing legal and protective advantages to individuals. UNFPA believes that a well-functioning CRVS system will help ensure an individual’s social benefits including education, health care, property inheritance and the right to vote, among others,” she added.