Table of contents for Principles and recommendations for a vital statistics system / Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Statistics Division.


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Preface  .......................................................................................................   iii
INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................1
Chapter
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF CIVIL REGISTRATION RECORDS AND VITAL STATISTICS................................................ 3
     A.   Definition of a vital statistics system and sources of data .............................................. 3
     B.  Uses of vital statistics ...................................................................................3
     C.  Uses of vital records from a civil registration system.......................................................
     D.  Strategic objectives for civil registration and vital statistics systems ................ ..................6

II. THE VITAL STATISTICS SYSTEM .....................................................................................8
     A.   Sources of data for a vital statistics system ...... .................................. .                  8
     B.   Priority in method of collection ............................. ...............                             9
     C.   Recommended definitions of each vital event for statistical purposes .................................... 10
     D.   Principles for the collection and compilation of vital statistics ............... ....................... 11
           1.  Universal coverage ........................, .........................................               11
           2.  Continuity..............................................................................             11
           3.  Confidentiality.........................................................................             11
           4.  Regular dissemination ..........................               ......................................11
     E.   Designation of responsibilities and organizational structure of a national vital
           statistics system ................................................................ ..... ........ . .....12
     F.   Integration and coordination in the vital statistics system ............................................. 12
     G.   Recommendations on topics to be investigated in a
          vital statistics system and their definitions ........................................................... 13
          1.   Factors determining the selection of topics . ...................................................... 13
          2.   List of topics to be investigated by the civil registration method ................................. 14
          3.   Definitions and specifications of topics .............. ..................................... ...... 27
               (a)   Dates (time reference) (Topics 1-2) .......................................................... 28
               (b)   Geographic characteristics (Topics 3-11)...................................................... 28
               (c)   Personal characteristics (Topics 12-40) ............ .... .................................... 31
               (d)   Economic characteristics (Topics 41-43) ............................ ... ........ ............
               (e)   Other characteristics (of the event) (Topics 44-54) .......................................... 39
     H.   Principles for compiling and processing vital statistics based on a civil
           registration system          ........................................................................    42
           1.  Advance planning.....................................................................................43
           2.  National centralized compilation from individual statistical reports
               (either paper-based or electronic) .............................................................     43
               (a)   Control of receipt of statistical reports ..................... ........................ ... . 43
               (b)   Editing     ....   .........................................................................   43
               (c)   Querying ..............................       ................................................ 43
               (d)   Imputation of missing or inconsistent data items.............................................. 44
               (e)   Coding data ...................................................................................44




              (f)  Converting data into electronically readable form .............................................  44
              (g)' Tabulation using electronic equipment .......,.................................................. 45
              (h)  Quality control              ................................................................... 45
          3.  Tabulation principles ..........        ............................................................. 46
               (a)  Tabulation coverage ........................................................................... 46
               (b)  Time reference ................................................................... ..........   46
               (c)  Geographical reference ......................................................................   47
     I.  Presentation of results and data dissemination ... ... ................................................... 47
          1.  Annual publications ................................................................................. 47
          2.  Working tabulations ...............................................................................   48
          3.  Monthly and quarterly bulletins ...................................................................   48
          4.  Electronic media for dissemination .....             ........................  .....................  48
          5.  Special tabulations on request ...................................................................... 48
          6.  Technical meetings   ...............................................................................  48
          7.  Directory of users .................................................................................. 48
     J.  The role of sampling in processing data for vital statistics ............................................  48
          1.   Quality control (sample verification) .............................................................  49
          2.   Tabulations         ................................................................................ 49
               (a)  Advance tabulations ..........................................................................  49
               (b)  Final tabulations ........ .............. ......................................................49
               (c)  Tabulation for special purposes ........      .. .....  ............ ..  ...................... 49

III. THE CIVIL REGISTRATION SYSTEM AS A SOURCE OF VITAL STATISTICS DATA............................................ 50
     A.   Definition of civil registration, method and system ................... ................................  50
     B.   The fundamental role of the civil registration system ............................... ............. ..... 50
          1.   Legal and protective advantages to individuals ....................................................  50
          2.   Administrative advantages .........................................................................  51
          3.   Statistical advantages ................................................ ..... ...................... 51
     C.   Recommended vital events to be registered . ............... .................................. .......... 51
     D.   Characteristics of the civil registration method .................            .   ......................  51
          1.   The compulsory nature of civil registration              ..........................................  51
          2.   Universal coverage .............................. ........................... ........ ............. 52
          3.   Continuity and permanence ..... ..... ............................................................ . 52
          4.   Confidentiality   .................................................................................  52
          5.   Goal of the registration programme .. ......     ...... ................................. .......... 52
          6.   Designation of responsibilities and organizational structures for civil registration
               at the national level ............................................................... .............  52
               (a)   The legal framework for civil registration .             ....................................  53
               (b)   Organizational structures for civil registration .................................... ..  ...  53
                      (i)  Centralized civil registration system ................ ................................. 53
                      (ii) Decentralized civil registration system  ........   .................................... 54
                      (iii) Operational units within the system           ......................................... 54
               (c)   Type of agency administering civil registration .............................................. 54




          7.   Integration and coordination in the civil registration system .      ........  ....................  54
               (a)   Uniform legislation and regulation nationwide ...............................................  54
               (b)   Inter-agency coordination committee ....................................... ................   55
               (c)   Other coordination, liaison and communication within the civil registration
                     system and with users ......................................................................   55
          8.   Designation of responsibilities and organization of civil registration at the local level ...        55
               (a)   Recommendations regarding local civil registrars ......................................        55
                 (i)  Appointment and status of the local civil registrar ........................................  55
                 (ii) Duties and responsibilities of the local civil registrar ..................................   56
                (iii)  Improving the efficiency of local registrars ...................  ....................... .  56
                (iv)   Penalties for failure to comply with the law, rules and regulations ...........            . 57
               (b)   Recommendations on local registration units .................................................  57
                 (i)  Primary registration areas: number and size of primary registration units..................   57
                 (ii) Secondary (subsidiary) registration unit ..................................................   58
                 (iii)  Mobile registration units for remote places .............................................   58
           9.  Designation of legally responsible informant for each event .....................................    58
     E.   The civil registration  process .......................................................................   59
          1.  Place of registration  ............................................................................   59
          2.  Time allowed for registration                   ........................... ..........................60
          3.  Cost of current registration  .....................................................................   60
          4.  Proof required for the registration of vital events ............................... ................. 60
          5.  Provision for late and delayed registration           .................................... ........   61
          6.  The vital event registration record ............................................................  ....61
              (a)  Ways and means of preparing records of vital events   .......................................... 62
              (b)   Storing and preserving records of vital events ..... .....     ...............................  62
                 (i)  Space and storage considerations ...................      ..................................  62
                 (ii) Preservation methods and safety   ..................          ....... ....................... 63
                 (iii) Cost........................................................................................ 63
                 (iv) Flexibility of handling ..................................................................... 64
                 (v)  The need for central storage and preservation of vital records .............................. 64
              (c)   Storage and preservation of other related registration documents .............................. 64
              (d)   Recommended policies for the release of individual information on
                     vital records ................................................................................ 64
              (e) Content of the vital record for legal purposes .......     ...     ................. ........ .   64
              (f) Numbering vital records  .....................6....... ........................... ...............67
           7.   Complementary notations (additions) in vital event registration records .........................   67
           8.  Amendments (corrections) to vital records        ..................................................  68
              (a)   Authority for making amendments (corrections) ................................................  68
              (b)   Methods of amendments (corrections) ............................................................68
           9.   Recommendations for issuing certified copies of vital event registration records................... 68
          10. Linkages of vital records within the registration system ............................................ 69
          11. Linkages of vital registration records with records of other systems ...............................  70
          12. Recording, reporting and collecting civil registration data for statistical purposes..................70
              (a)   Types of statistical reporting forms and content .............................................  70





              (b)   The statistical reporting process ........... ......... ....................................   71
                     (i)  Principles of statistical reporting .........  .., ...................................   71
                     (ii) Improvement of completeness, accuracy and timeliness for
                          statistical purposes ............................           ..........................   72
      F.  Computerization of the civil registration system .................. .....................................72
           1.  Computerizing a paper-based civil registration system ............................................  72
              (a)  Centralized compilation and processing of vital records ....................................    73
              (b)  Control of receipt of vital records from the local offices ...................................  73
              (c)  Editing ......................................................................................  73
                     (i)  Querying ................................................................................73
                     (ii) Coding of data ......................................................................... 73
          2.   Computerizing a system based on electronic reporting...........  .................................  73
          3.   Developing integrated databases for civil registration and vital statistics systems ............... 74
     G.  Civil registration and its linkages to the population register .........................................  75
          1.  Main uses of the population register ..............................................................  75
          2.  Coordination arrangements between the population register and the civil
               registration and vital statistics systems ......... .......................  ........... .......... 75

IV. RECOMMENDED STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING CIVIL REGISTRATION
      AND VITAL STATISTICS SYSTEMS................................................................................ 77
      A.  Training and other strategies for improving civil registration and vital statistics systems.......       77
          1.  Training.............................................. ...........................................   77
          2.  Seminars and workshops .......................      ....... .......................................  77
          3.  Feedback from users ......................................       .............................       77
          4.  National and regional civil registration and vital statistics committees ..........................  78
          5.  Development and implementation of action plans for improvement...................................... 78
     B.   Public education, information and communication for effective civil registration
          and vital statistics systems  .......................................................................... 78
          1.  Government officials  ............. ...................... ......................................... 78
          2.  The general public ..................................................................................78
          3.  Members of institutions, professions or agencies ..................................................  79
     C.   Evaluation studies .......... ...................................................... ....................79
          1.   External evaluation method  ......................................................................  79
          2.   Internal evaluation  ........................... ......... .......................................  79
               (a)  Performance measure evaluation.............         ..........   ............................  79
               (b)  Attitudinal measure evaluation...............................................................  80
          3.   Pilot studies and demonstration area projects .......................... .........................  80
      D.   Use of information technology and automation ...................................................... ..  80

V. EVALUATING THE QUALITY OF CIVIL REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND
      REGISTER-BASED VITAL STATISTICS ..............................................................   ......      82
      A.  Evaluating completeness and accuracy of register-based vital statistics ....... .......................  83
          1.   Assessing the completeness of statistical reporting        .......................................  83
               (a)  Direct assessment ........... .. ................... ........................................  83




             (b)   Indirect assessment ...................................... .................................    83
                     (i) Comparison of trends ..................................................................   83
                     (ii) Delayed registration..................................................................   83
                   (iii)  Comparison with census data .........................................................    84
                   (iv)   Comparisons of rates observed in similar populations or in
                          previous periods .....................................................................   84
                    (v)   Incomplete data methods: indirect techniques ..........................................  84
             (c)   Advantages of indirect methods ................................................................ 84
             (d)   Limitations of indirect methods ..............................................................  84
         2.   Assessing the accuracy of vital statistics ........................................................  85
              (a)   Direct assessment  ..........................................................................  85
              (b)   Indirect assessment ........................................................................   86
     B.  Completeness and accuracy of civil registration ......................................... .........       86
          1.  Direct methods of evaluation ......... ........ ................... ..............................   86
              (a)  Types of direct methods .....................................................................   86
                     (i)   Use of civil registration records ....................................................  86
                     (ii)  Use of administrative and social records ..........................................     86
                     (iii) Use of lists obtained from population censuses and surveys ............................ 87
                     (iv)  The dual records system       ......................................................... 87
              (b)  Advantages of direct methods .................................................................  87
              (c)  Limitations of direct methods .. .......      ...... ........... .............................. 87
         2.  Indirect methods of evaluation .....................................................................  88
     C.  Choosing appropriate methods to assess completeness and qualitative accuracy
          of registration data ................ ...................... ........................................... 88
          1.  Objectives.........................................................................................  88
          2.  Degree of precision   .................................................................... ......... 88
          3.  Timeliness  ......................................................................................   88
          4.  Type of event to be studied ......................................................................   88
          5.  Assessing completeness and/or accuracy of vital statistics ......................................... 88
          6.  Resources    ...................... .................................................................88

VI. POPULATION CENSUSES AND SURVEYS AS COMPLEMENTARY
      SOURCES OF A VITAL STATISTICS SYSTEM       .................................... .. ......................... 90
      A.  Complementary sources of a vital statistics system ....... ... .. ... ..... ...... ......................90
          1.  Population censuses    ...........................................................................   90
          2.  Household sample surveys .............................................. ....... .................... 91
               (a) Single round retrospective household sample survey methods..................................... 91
               (b) Individual in-depth single-round retrospective sample survey .................................. 92
               (c) Follow-up household sample survey method ...................................................    93
               (d) Sample registration system .......................          ................................ .  93
               (e) Dual records system................................. ..... .................................... 93
     B.   Available information on vital events and rates .....................         .............. .........   94
          1.  Live births  .....................................................................................   94
               (a) Current fertility  .................. .... ... .....................  . .......... ..........   94
                      (i) Live births within 12 months preceding the census or survey ............................ 94





                    (ii)  Date of birth of last child born alive .... .. , ................. ..................... 94
              (b)  Lifetime fertility: children ever born alive .................................................. 95
         2.   Deaths ....................................... ............................................. ....... 95
              (a)  Child mortality .......... ......... .......................................................... 95
              (b)  Adult mortality ............................................................................... 95
         3.  Nuptiality: characterization of marital status of a population ...................................... 96
     C.  Techniques for estimation of vital rates and ratios............. .. ..................................... 96
          1.  Estimates of fertility ..........................................................................    97
              (a)  Children ever born..............................................................................97
              (b)  Children ever born and births in the past year ..... .......................................... 97
              (c)  Own children method ........................................................................... 97
          2.  Estimates of mortality ... ................................... ..................................... 97
              (a)  Childhood mortality .................. . ............ ....................................... . 97
              (b)  Adult mortality (general) ..... ..................... ......................................... 98
              (c)  Maternal mortality ..................... ...................................................... 98
          3.  Advantages and limitations of indirect techniques .................................................. 98
              (a)  Fertility estimates ..........................................................................  98
              (b)  Mortality estimates .............................................. ............................ 98
          4.  Conclusion .................  ......... ... ........................................................ 99

Annex. Annual tabulation programme of vital statistics compiled from civil registration data:
        outlines of essential tables             ................................................................ 101


Glossary          ............................................................................................... 167
Reference          .............................................................................................. 172





Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Vital statistics, Recording and registration, Statistical services