Meet David Abbott, Manager - Data Analysis and Dissemination at SPC, discussing SPC’s Role in Supporting Improvements in CRVS in the Pacific

Improving CRVS in Pacific region
Photo credit: Imagicity, Graham Crumb - Family in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Civil registration is the process through which governments keep a record of important events that happen in the lifetime of a person. The United Nations recognises 10 such events that should be compulsorily registered. Among them are live births, deaths and foetal deaths. The registration of these events establishes an individual's legal identity within a society and facilitates the realisation of fundamental human rights.

Can you tell us about CRVS work at SPC?

SPC provides technical assistance to Pacific Island countries and territories in developing civil registration and vital statistics systems and data. This involves supporting the establishment of a robust legal, organisational and management framework to facilitate universal registration of vital events and the production of statistics pertaining to these events.

SPC’s role is to help countries identify and address weaknesses in their registration systems–these span various areas such as legislation, information technology, the design and organisation of registration processes as well as knowledge and awareness among staff. SPC also provides support in compiling statistics based on vital events that are registered and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic is supporting efforts to improve the recording of causes-of-death in the region.

In addition SPC has an important coordination and representation role serving as the secretariat of the Brisbane Accord Group (BAG), representing members of BAG at the regional steering group on CRVS, which is led by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), the global CRVS group and among other international fora. More broadly, SPC actively contributes to international discourse on this topic.

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