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2022 Year in Review: Behind the Numbers

Participants during the amendment of the maps_Cameroon_Oct 22 1
Vital Strategies' Civil Registration and Vital Statistics program, part of the Data for Health initiative, supported a workshop in October 2022 in Mfou, Cameroon to develop an action plan for institutionalization of CRVS process maps.
On Nov. 17, the city of Buenos Aires carried out a tactical urban planning project aimed at redistributing the use of streets, gaining space for pedestrians, and achieving a real change in drivers' behavior so that they adapt their speed to 20 km in school environments. Children and adults painted streets with messages calling for slower speeds and dedicated bike lanes.
Discussing the challenges of lead poisoning
Local leaders discuss the challenges of lead poisoning at a site in Indonesia as part of Vital’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program.
As a part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities initiative, high-fatality intersections in the downtown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic were given crosswalks and other pedestrian protections and traffic-calming measures to reduce speeding.
Youth Union in Vietnam advocate for smoke-free beaches
Young people from Binh Thuan Youth Union in Vietnam advocate for smoke-free beaches.
Rwanda has quadrupled its registration of deaths in the country with Vital Strategies support. At this hospital in Kigali, Sister Fortunata Nzwige (midwife and vital events notifier) and Happy Mwkizu (data entry clerk) enter data at the hospital.
Terrel is a harm reduction advocate and worker, who appeared in Vital Strategies' Overdose Prevention Initiative’s national Support Harm Reduction campaign which was launched in February 2022 and seen over 5 million times.
Vital Strategies trains Accredited Social Health Activists
Vital Strategies trains Accredited Social Health Activists, professionals who act as a bridge between the health care system in India and the community, on air pollution and how to mitigate its effects on health.
Elected Officials and community members with the National Support Harm Reduction Campaign Memorial in Newark, NJ 1
Vital Strategies created the first traveling national Overdose Memorial, and the first installation was unveiled in Newark, New Jersey on International Overdose Awareness Day with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and local advocates.
Barbados Food Policy Campaign
"Are We Drinking Ourselves Sick?" was a 2022 campaign supported by Vital Strategies in Barbados which called on the government to support policies that reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Everyone Counts: Bangladesh Increases Registration of Birth and Deaths by 500% in Five Years

Counting bangladesh's people

Officials from a local civil registration center (the Pirojpur Union Parishad Office) meeting with local health workers and others to discuss the process for the timely civil registration of birth and death.

In Bangladesh, most births and deaths went unregistered, depriving people of critical legal rights. To complicate the situation, many births and about 80% of deaths occur outside of hospitals. Vital Strategies has supported Bangladesh in rapidly transforming its system to count its people:


increase in birth and death registration achieved in five years with Vital's support.

Birth and death registration allows governments to understand their populations, make investments and help individuals gain legal rights, protections, entitlements and services including attending school, voting and inheriting property. Vital’s Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) program has supported governments in 29 countries to improve their CRVS systems.

How did Bangladesh strengthen its civil registration and vital statistics system so quickly?

In 2015, Vital Strategies began working with the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative, which identified countries interested in improving their CRVS systems. The countries were supported with technical assistance and given catalytic funding every two years. Vital Strategies then supports governments to make it happen.


In 2016, Bangladesh began by exploring innovative approaches to increase birth and death registration in one pilot location—Kaliganj, a sub-district in the Gazipur District with a population of around 300,000—with a plan to scale up successful approaches.

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In Bangladesh, there were many government ministries and departments that would have to work together, many for the first time, to make sure that births and deaths are registered locally and nationally and that the CRVS system functions optimally.

Vital Strategies helped Bangladesh create the office of the Registrar General and other governance structures to oversee the coordination of birth and death registration in the country.

Getting government agencies to work together is non-trivial. You’d think it’s like working in one company, but it’s like working in many separate companies. To have data from each and share data and have processes where the data is being handed over from one to another is daunting. But, with political will it’s possible. One of the reasons Bangladesh was chosen is that there was strong buy-in and leadership with a willingness to go through the process."
Martin Bratschi
Technical Director CRVS, Vital Strategies
"Without that identification, you are not visible in the system. So women, underserved citizens in the rural areas, indigenous populations, persons with disabilities, widows, they remain outside the system and we can not serve them, even though we want to in the government.... Civil registration is a matter of rights for a person. It's also a matter of dignity for that person."
Anir Chowdhury
Government of Bangladesh

What does Vital Strategies do?

We have collaborated with governments in more than 20 countries to count every human life and death and enable high-quality cause of death data to be available to policy makers.

We provide catalytic funding to demonstrate solutions which can then be brought to scale.

We provide technical assistance that balances country ownership and leadership, technical rigor, and operational feasibility. Examples of our expertise include legal and regulatory review, trainings on medical certification of cause of death, implementing verbal autopsy in areas where deaths commonly occur outside of hospitals and using CRVS data to develop policies that improve health.

Five countries—Bangladesh, Ghana, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka—that were not using the international death certificate at the outset of their work with Vital changed their death certificate to align with international standards during their work with Vital.

Vital Strategies’ Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Program has trained more than 60,000 government professionals on strengthening CRVS systems since 2015.

Challenges and Solutions

How do you track deaths when the majority happen outside of hospitals?

Create intricate local networks of community health workers and village leaders who know their communities and learn when their neighbors die.

How do you make CRVS systems more proactive and get government workers to register deaths?

Train community health workers and police on the importance of death registration and build the number of deaths registered into their performance expectations for their jobs.

How do you put less of a burden on families when they are dealing with a loved one's death?

Establish systems that track the performance of government officials with regard to birth and death registration, and when going to people’s homes, bring a letter of condolence from the government and all the necessary forms to facilitate the process.

Our Impact

A family registering their baby’s birth.

A family registering their baby’s birth.

Birth and death registration increased rapidly in the six years

Birth and death registration increased rapidly in the six years since Vital has been working in Bangladesh.

Lasting Results

Bangladesh continues to work to strengthen its system. The government now invests their own money in strengthening their system, and Vital continues to provide technical support.