100&Change: 2020

Plan International USA

OpenCRVS, Ensuring All Lives Count by First Being Counted

With universal civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS), Plan International and partners will aid two governments to register every birth and death over five years.

DOWNLOAD: Project Factsheet
Two-page overview of proposal
Competition Participation
100&Change: 2020
Current Work Location(s):
  • Northern Region, Uganda
  • Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Kwale, Kenya
  • Lusaka Province, Zambia
  • Dhaka Division, Bangladesh
  • Lusaka Province, Zambia
  • Dhaka Division, Bangladesh
Priority Populations:
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 3. Good health and well-being
  • 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Executive Summary:

The world is facing an identity crisis. 500 million children have no official identification. They are invisible and uncounted. If they don’t exist, they don’t have rights, cannot be protected under the law, and struggle to access public services. For people to count, they must first be counted, and that’s what a CRVS system does, recording major life events like births, deaths, and marriages. A quality CRVS system is critical to a country delivering services, raising revenues, and progressing on more than half of the SDGs. Yet 100 countries do not have functioning CRVS systems: many are costly, paper-based, operate separately from other country systems, and not built inclusively to empower individuals to access their rights. We believe that by scaling a holistic digital registration model, we can aid two governments to register all births and deaths over the next five years, setting an example for other countries to follow.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Plan International USA

website: https://www.planusa.org/
Organization Headquarters
Providence County, Rhode Island, United States
Organization ID
Annual Operating Budget
$10 to $49 Million
Number of Full-time Employees
100 to 299

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

COVID-19 Response

Plan's staff are responding to the crisis in the 70 countries where it operates. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposal has been adjusted to ensure the civil registration processes and systems allow for remote registration. In particular, Plan proposes to extend OpenCRVS to include a Rapid Mortality Surveillance (RMS) module to capture minimal data related to all deaths occurring at the community level and thus provide critical real-time mortality data and reporting on excess deaths. In addition it will be important to convince the government to recognize CRVS as an ‘essential service’ and to provide birth/death registration services during an emergency. The self-service and remote registration models proposed by Plan will provide mitigations for the latter. There are unique concerns about responding adequately in Bangladesh, which has been on full lockdown and has a high poverty rate; Plan is working to adjust its operating model here in response.

Racial and Ethnic Injustice Response

Being recognized from birth is one of the first and most foundational rights a person has. For over 80 years, Plan International’s programs have delivered lasting change against discriminatory norms, policy, and laws because we take a rights-based approach, often listening to the most excluded voices in the community: children, girls, orphans, ethnic minorities, refugees, those with disabilities. A rights-based approach recognizes that individuals need to be fully informed of their rights and to participate in the decisions that affect them, while encouraging governments to respect, protect, and fulfill these rights.