Civil registration and vital statistics systems, that is, the registration and enumeration of births and deaths and causes of death, give countries critical information to plan health programs. But simply having data is not enough. Governments also need – but often lack – the expertise to turn data into action and prevent needless deaths and suffering.
Over the next four years, the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative – funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the government of Australia – will focus on supporting twenty countries where improved health data systems will translate into saving lives and healthier people. These countries, in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, comprise 1.2 billion people. Moreover, the tools and methods developed there will provide a roadmap for other countries facing similar challenges.
Drawing upon its strengths, Vital Strategies will focus on two pieces of the global project. The first is support in improving civil registration and vital statistics systems and the second is in translating data into action – growing the knowledge to use and understand data for policymaking. Vital Strategies joins other Data for Health partners in this ambitious initiative, such as the CDC Foundation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Melbourne, and the World Health Organization.