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Watch: Toward a World Where Everyone Counts

Watch our roundtable event and hear from leading civil registration and vital statistics experts engaged in the life-changing work of making millions of invisible people visible.

Lack of investment in civil registration and vital statistics has been called one of the most important shortfalls in global development over the last 30 years, and the results are devastating. 

Tens of millions of people, including 450 million women and girls, without legal identities and the rights that a birth certificate can unlock. Governments flying blind. 

The New York Times Magazine makes the case: It is time for every person to count. 

The New York Times Magazine story, “The Incredible Challenge of Counting Every Global Birth and Death” by Jeneen Interlandi shines a spotlight on one of the most important yet underappreciated public health issues of our time through interviews with people whose lives have been changed by being counted.

For the first time in history, we have the technology, tools and know-how to make every person count. We’ve proven that in Bangladesh, where birth and death registration have been boosted fivefold since 2015.

Vital Strategies’ Civil Registration and Vital Statistics program has been working with governments in more than 30 countries since 2015 to strengthen CRVS systems, with impressive results:

In Peru, civil society efforts with Vital Strategies’ support are working to empower transgender people to obtain identity documents in line with their gender identity. They are now seen. Governments from Rwanda to Papua New Guinea are using novel methods to uncover the leading causes of death for people who die where there are no doctors present to document their death. They are now seen. And in Bangladesh, village health workers now visit homes where births and deaths have occurred so those events can get counted. They are all now seen. 

Read more about our #CountingEveryone campaign

The #CountingEveryone campaign was created to inspire those in positions of leadership and authority to champion the improvement and expansion of CRVS systems to the benefit of all. The campaign shines a light on the role that leadership and intersectoral coordination are playing in accomplishing country-level improvements to CRVS systems around the world.


Vital Stories on CRVS