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Open-CRVS (Civil Registration and Vital Statistics) Initiative Named “Best Bet” for Philanthropic Investment

The MacArthur Foundation 100&Change proposal featured among top 11 “Bold Ideas for Philanthropists” by The Center for High Impact Philanthropy

(New York, USA) – Vital Strategies announced today its Civil Registration and Vital Statistics initiative, Open-CRVS, was named a “Best Bet” in a new guide published by The Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP). A joint effort led by Plan International USA with support from Vital Strategies, Accenture, and Jembi Health Systems, Open-CRVS aims to create an adaptable and scalable system to track major life events such as births, deaths, causes of death and marriages in low- and middle-income countries.

“At present there is a global scandal of invisibility. An estimated 625 million children around the world do not have documentation proving their legal identity, and millions of births this year will not be recorded,” said Dr. Philip Setel, Vice President and Director for CRVS Program at Vital Strategies. “Lack of documentation on births and deaths leaves our most vulnerable populations essentially unseen, and prevents people from obtaining services and exercising rights. Open-CRVS has the potential to improve the lives of tens of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people and empower countries to engage in effective policy-making. We are delighted by CHIP’s decision to name the initiative a ‘Best Bet’ and shine a light on a solution to one of the most pressing problems of our time.”

Open-CRVS is an open-source platform system that would integrate both identification and health data. It is designed for use in resource-poor locations and will accelerate improvements in civil registration and statistical reporting. The plan also includes support for governments as they launch the system and grassroots community campaigns to drive demand for registration.

Chosen by a panel of CHIP senior staff, analysts, fellows and funders, the guide, titled “Bold Ideas for Philanthropists to Drive Social Change,” identifies 11 projects with “the greatest potential for impact.” The projects were sourced from 192 of the Top 200 MacArthur Foundation 100&Change finalists.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our team combines evidence-based strategies with innovation to help develop and implement sound public health policies, manage programs efficiently, strengthen data systems, conduct research, and design strategic communication campaigns for policy and behavior change. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a Vital Strategies public health expert, please contact