CRVS Strengthening With SAVVY Implementation
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The majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa lack a fully functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system. These countries rely primarily on population-based surveys and censuses to generate fertility and mortality data, which are essential elements in determining health issues and services needs in any country.
In recent years, a number of countries in the region have initiated efforts to strengthen their nascent CRVS systems. In particular, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia have implemented Sample Vital Registration with Verbal Autopsy (SAVVY) as part of a sustained, incremental effort to gather this essential data. SAVVY was developed by MEASURE Evaluation and the U.S. Census Bureau and is a family of methods that allows the direct measurement of vital events and the determination of causes of death in a nationally representative sample of small areas, or in selected ‘sentinel’ locations. The components of SAVVY include demographic surveillance that registers resident population, mortality surveillance to report and register deaths in a resident population, and verbal autopsy (VA) to determine likely cause of death through interviews with next of kin and caretakers.
The regional workshop, held at the Umodzi Park Conference Center in Lilongwe, Malawi, February 23rd through 25th, 2016, was designed to improve knowledge among the three countries about processes, institutions, and structures required to implement SAVVY, and to share details on how each has designed and implemented SAVVY within their countries. Specifically, the three countries shared how they work with civil registration agencies locally; their steps for linking SAVVY findings with facility-based health information systems and newly developed CRVS systems so that the causes of death SAVVY finds can be captured in the CRVS system; and how they have educated and informed stakeholders and donors of SAVVY accomplishments and potential—both to generate ongoing donor support and to build a constituency for SAVVY and new CRVS systems to complement each other.
Attendees included officials from ministries of health (MOH), partners implementing SAVVY activities, national statistics offices and registration officials, and donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Data for Health Initiative (D4H), the Karonga Prevention Study/Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit (KPS/MEIRU), the U.S. Census Bureau, the World Health Organization (WHO), and MEASURE Evaluation.
This document is not available in print from MEASURE Evaluation.