Data for Health

Strengthening health policy by ensuring completeness and quality of civil registration

Around 29.4 million deaths around the world go unrecorded each year. Meanwhile, 40% of 128 million babies born worldwide annually are unofficially registered. Based on the latest available data in 2011, death registration in the Philippines was estimated at 66%, with only 40% of deaths medically attended. Of this number, about 15% had ill-defined causes of death with unusable International Classification of Diseases (ICD).


ImagineLaw, under Bloomberg Philanthropies – Data for Health Initiative, conducted a legal and regulatory review of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in the Philippines to evaluate the legal and regulatory framework of the Philippine CRVS system, identify policy gaps, and recommend interventions that may be adopted without the need for new legislation.

ImagineLaw continues to work with Department of Health in developing policies to improve completeness and coverage for birth and death registration. In December 2019, the Department of Science and Technology awarded ImagineLaw with a research grant to conduct research on best practices in medico-legal death investigation and ultimately develop a policy creating a medico-legal death investigation system policy in the Philippines.

Papua New Guinea

In 2018, ImagineLaw was enaged to provide legal and technical assistance to Papua New Guinea’s Constitution and Law Reform Commission in conducting an institutional and legal assessment of Papua New Guinea’s CRVS system and in developing its Civil and Identity Registration Bill.

In Papua New Guinea, where birth and death registration are estimated at very low rates of 10% and 5% respectively, ImagineLaw is directly working with its key government agencies to develop its Civil and Identity Registration Bill, which aim to address issues on coordination of key actors, accessibility of registration areas, and creation of incentives to increase the registration of vital events.