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UNFPA to strengthen reporting, use of vital statistics data

It is essential to create a comprehensive Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system to fully support planning and decision-making, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said.
A meeting on the subject discussed the need to harness vital statistics in Laos through the UNFPA and the Lao Statistics Bureau for strengthened collaboration in producing updated vital statistics aligned with international standards.
An efficient CRVS system is also needed to support planning aligned with the 9th NSEDP as well as sectoral and provincial plans. The existing system is not sufficiently comprehensive, the Head of the Lao Statistics Bureau, Mrs Phonsaly Souksavath, said.
To improve the situation, the UNFPA and the Lao Statistics Bureau convened stakeholders to discuss the need for strengthened collaboration in producing updated vital statistics, in a meeting co-chaired by the UNFPA Representative to Laos, Ms Mariam A. Khan.
Timely and updated vital statistics data on births, deaths, marriages and divorces is a prerequisite to socio-economic planning and informed decision making. Individuals having their vital events recorded can secure legal identity, enabling them to exercise their civil rights, Ms Khan said.
The consultation meeting was a first step following the dissemination of the results of the regional situational assessment of national vital statistics commissioned by the UNFPA regional office in Asia-Pacific in 2021. 
The studies identified gaps and lack of recent vital statistics, which requires capacity building across all levels to timely generate, disseminate and use vital statistics.
UNFPA will work closely with the Lao Statistics Bureau to use the existing data from the Census and the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS) as complementary sources to produce a new set of vital statistics.
Ms Khan said “UNFPA takes a life-course approach to civil registration and vital statistics that begins with birth, continues through to death, and includes marriage and divorce, combined with a Population Data Systems Approach to CRVS strengthening.”
“The holistic approach of integrated population data systems includes civil registration and vital statistics, household surveys and censuses.”
“This technical cooperation on civil registration and vital statistics work will inform the preparation of the 5th PHC 2025 and the Lao Social Indicator Survey III. It will identify where the gaps are and how we can fill the gaps through the upcoming PHC and LSIS III to enable the government to have a better plan and programme to improve the CRVS,” Ms Khan said.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
 (Latest Update March 22, 2022)

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