A baby is held next to a computer screen and the baby's image is recorded on the screenCivil registration systems are used to record vital events, including births, deaths, and marriages. They have the potential to serve as the main source of national vital statistics. However, in many developing countries, civil registration and vital statistics systems are weak or nonexistent; as a result, key demographic, fertility and mortality statistics are not available on a continuous basis and do not cover large segments of the population.

The first step in addressing such weaknesses is to undertake a review of current status with a view to identifying areas requiring improvement and prioritizing actions. The World Health Organization (WHO), working with the University of Queensland in Australia, has developed a rapid and comprehensive guide to support countries that wish to improve their civil registration and vital statistics systems.

Rapid assessments

Comprehensive assessments