Developing an investment case for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems and costing exercise for the CRVS system in South Africa

Home > Our Experience > Case Studies > Developing an investment case for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems and costing exercise for the CRVS system in South Africa
Client Health Metrics Network (HMN)
Dates 2012
Sector(s)Global Health
Service(s)Policy & Economics, Strategy & Finance

Hosted by WHO, the Health Metrics Network (HMN) aims to assess and sustainably improve Health Information Systems (HIS) and increase the availability of information for decision-making to improve health outcomes in countries.  

Our work involved:

  • developing a methodology for the preparation of the investment case, including a value proposition and estimation of social and economic returns, to advocate for CRVS; and
  • developing and finalising the investment case, in consultation with HMN and its partners.

The investment case highlights the value proposition and benefits of CRVS systems across stakeholder categories; the vital ingredients (‘building blocks’) and types of costs in developing these systems; and key actions going forward. It considers a range of country experiences with CRVS systems so as to provide some practical evidence on the utility of CRVS.

The investment case also considers alternative approaches for the collection of demographic data, commenting on the benefit of CRVS in comparison to other approaches and can be found here. In addition to the investment case, our team also prepared a short technical note on a comparative assessment of the cost estimates of these alternative data collection approaches.

The investment case is being used as a key resource for CRVS by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Asia eHealth Information Network.

As a follow on exercise to the drafting and finalisation of the investment case, CEPA undertook a costing exercise for the CRVS system in South Africa, as the absence of cost data was one of the challenges faced during the development of the investment case. This was based on desk-based research and review of the relevant documents (budgets, expenditure statements and organisational charts of the relevant government agencies), and a country visit to understand the system in detail and hold consultations with key stakeholders in South Africa.

The costing study was used to inform the second report of the independent Expert Review Group (iERG) on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, which can be accessed here.

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