Improving accuracy and timeliness of vital statistics demands better coordination and stronger collaboration among statistical agencies, ministries of health and civil registration authorities. This is especially needed for improving completeness of death registrations and recording causes of death. These issues were discussed at the Regional Workshop on Production and Use of Vital Statistics by 15 participants from 12 countries, mainly statisticians working in the areas of vital statistics compilation from registration records and estimating key vital statistics from population censuses and change surveys and demographic and health surveys.
Participants discussed the principles and recommendations for a vital statistics system, the key indicators derived from vital statistics and the sources of vital statistics as the foundations for assessing their existing systems. The workshop topics also included tools for assessing completeness and quality of data on vital events. Participants carried out self-assessments using the WHO-UQ rapid assessment tool as the basis for identifying specific goals that statisticians could aim for in contributing to the improvement of vitals int heir countries.
The workshop facilitated the sharing of information on the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses and data sources of the vital statistics systems of China, Georgia, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Philippines and Maldives discussed the strategic plans for improving vital statistics and civil registration arising from the conduct of a comprehensive assessment of the systems.
The workshop was conducted by the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific, a regional institution of ESCAP and organized in collaboration with the ESCAP Statistics Division and Statistics Korea and support from the ADB-ESCAP-UNDP project: Supporting the Achievement of the MDGs in Asia and the Pacific (Phase III).