The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Vietnam and Vital Strategies on August 9 signed an agreement for a 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.
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 from July 2021 to March 2023 by Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice in collaboration with relevant line ministries.
Dr. Kelly Henning, Public Health Program Lead, Bloomberg Philanthropies said “We are pleased to continue in partnership with the government of Vietnam in their efforts to collect better public health data. Stronger civil registration and vital statistics systems provide better data to assist in decision making that will protect the health of the Vietnamese people.”
“By continuing our partnership with UNFPA and the Vietnam government to improve CRVS systems, together we can ensure that every person is counted,” said Jana Shih, Technical Advisor for Vietnam and Thailand, CRVS, at Vital Strategies.
“Registering births and deaths are key to unlocking rights and protections for individuals, as well as providing decision makers with data that can guide policies to improve quality of life for all. Strengthening the CRVS system’s legal framework in Vietnam is a critical step toward meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goal targets of universal birth registration and 80 percent death registration by 2030.”
In the first phase, the programme supported quality improvements of birth and death registrations through strengthening CRVS governance, assessing CRVS system functioning, 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 of the programme 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 relevant ministries in sharing CRVS data to be used in policymaking. The programme will also pilot an innovative model on the registration of births and deaths for nationwide scaling up.
Nguyen Cong Khanh, Director of Civil Registration, Nationality and Attestation Department, Ministry of Justice emphasised the important role of the programme’s second phase.
"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 Programme on CRVS is necessary and significant. This partnership will contribute to improving the legal framework and CRVS business process in a more modern way; and promoting creative communication and inter-sectoral coordination at all levels. The linkage and sharing of data and statistics, especially on births and deaths among sectors will not only serve the policy making process by relevant ministries, sectors and localities, but also protect people's health and ensure other lawful rights and interests as stipulated by the law,” he said.
Vietnam has been implementing the National Action Programme (NAP) 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 subnational policies for health, social protection, education, population and human rights, and measure the impact of various public projects and programmes.
UNFPA Representative Naomi Kitahara highlighted that the most important outcomes of the first phase were the increased capacity of civil servants involved in CRVS and the streamlining of birth and death notification and registration processes.
She expressed belief that a well-functioning CRVS system will help ensure individual’s social benefits including education, health care, property inheritance and the right to vote, among others. A streamlined registration mechanism across the life course is particularly important for women, creating a framework for addressing gender inequalities.