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The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics system (CRVS) has been in Rwanda for decades but with slow progress towards proper functioning. Events captured by CRVS web based system in addition to birth, include deaths, marriages, divorces and adoption.

In 2015, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) in collaboration with other stakeholders including UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund has put in place a web-based application to link the CRVS from administrative level to the central level and further linked to other existing information systems at health facility.

The capturing of CRVS information at health facility, notifying the sector level has been very efficient in a sense that it shows the number of registration and pending cases that inform the sector on the person who is lagging behind and her location so that outreach could easily be done to officially register the baby.

“Linking CRVS with health insurance (Mutuelle de santé) has helped in the performance of CRVS because at health centre, when parents go to register their new born for health insurance, which is a priority for them, they are requested to bring a birth registration certificate which they can only get once they have officially registered their baby in the civil registration system at sector”, Civil Registration officer explained.

A well-functioning CRVS would enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the management of service delivery in government including in health and other social welfare of the population. However, all players from central to decentralised level in this process need to collaborate to achieve desirable results.


Photo: A mother registering her new born baby at the civil registration Office. Inspecting the registration activity is Agnes NTIBANYURWA, UNFPA Assistant Representative and Faustin NILINGIYIMANA, in charge of Vital statistics and cross-cutting social statistics at NISR during a joint field visit to assess performance of CVRS in Districts.


“Team work and collaboration in sharing relevant information on population registration between health data managers and health personnel in maternity ward on one side, and data Managers and Civil Registration Officers on the other side have proven to be efficient to improve the registration of vital events and making the system everyone’s business in visited Districts. I encourage them to keep up the team spirit” Agnes NTIBANYURWA, Assistant Representative, UNFPA Rwanda

Civil Registration officers reported that the system has helped them a lot in a sense that they could perform outreach activities for parents to register the unregistered children. This also included sending a message through local administration channels such as Cells or “Umudugudu” to inform the parents that they need to register their children within 30 days of birth.

“Incorporation of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in District performance contracts impacted much on boosting registration coverage and should therefore be maintained” Faustin NILINGIYIMANA, Vital statistics and cross-cutting social statistics Team Leader, NISR.


Karongi District in Western Province emerged as the best in CRVS performance during the period July 2018- February 2019.  The graph below shows the ranking of all Districts during the mentioned period.


Sharing some good practices that helped achieve desired results in CRVS performance in the 3 visited districts of UNFPA intervention in the Western Province (Karongi, Nyamasheke and Rusizi) were observed in: District ownership whereby inclusion of CRVS in District performance contract (imihigo) and cascading down to sectors and the ranking of sectors on CRVS performance was a motivation for each sectors, not wanting to lag behind. Technical support provided by NISR when needed, and linking CRVS with health insurance (Mutuelle de santé) where parents have to bring a birth registration certificate which they only get after official registration of their baby in the civil registration system at sector.

Although progress in Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) is coming along very clearly, some challenges are still faced by Sectors and health facilities. Concerned partners have pledged support and collaboration towards working together to address the issues.