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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Civil Registration of Births and Deaths and on Availability and Utility of Vital Events Data

The complex and evolving picture of COVID-19–related mortality highlights the need for data to guide the response. Yet many countries are struggling to maintain their data systems, including the civil registration system, which is the foundation for detailed and continuously available mortality statistics. This report conveys findings from a search of country and development agency websites and partner and media reports describing disruptions to the civil registration of births and deaths associated with COVID-19 restrictions. It discusses the implications for decision-makers facing an acute need for timely and reliable data, particularly on mortality.