An open-source, digital civil registration system designed to positively transform civil registration services in low-resource settings.

Past and Current Partners

Plan International, Plan International Australia, Vital Strategies, Bloomberg Data for Health, Jembi Health Systems, Digital Public Goods Alliance, Digital Impact Alliance, DIAL Catalog of Digital Solutions, Digital Square (member of the Global Goods community), NORAD, Australia Aid,

Active Countries
Nigeria, Madagascar
Thematic area(s)
Health, Inclusive Growth, Crisis
Open Source, Digital Public Good
Organisation Name

The Problem

25% of children under 5 remain unregistered; 1 billion people around the world cannot prove their legal identity; 66% of the world's deaths are not recorded. These are staggering figures, and reflect the fact that over 100 countries around the world still don't have a reliable method of recording vital events. For people to count, they must first be counted, and that's what a Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system does, recording the details of all major life events, such as births and deaths. As the sole continuous source of population data, it provides the foundation forhuman rights, government service delivery, and the measurement of development goals. While modern digital technologies have the potential to transform CRVS services cost-effectively, current systems are not delivering on this promise and rarely fully reflect a country's practical needs.

The Solution

OpenCRVS is an open-source digital solution for civil registration, specifically designed for low resource settings and available as a Digital Public Good. Our mission is to make civil registration easy and valuable for everyone by making high-quality and cost-effective digital systems widely available and sustainable.

How it works?

  • Step 1: The village leaders visit the home of a family with a newborn baby and collect details of the birth on the OpenCRVS app on their phones
  • Step 2: The data syncs with the National Database and the Registrar at the District Registration Office reviews the birth record in OpenCRVS on their laptop
  • Step 3: The Registrar validates the birth data against supporting documentation provided and registers the birth
  • Step 4: The parents of the newborn child are informed by SMS that the birth has been registered and that the birth certificate is ready for collection
  • Step 5: The parents visit the District Registration Office and collect the birth certificate which is digitally signed by the Registrar
Digital X Solution OpenCRVS

Bridging the digital divide

OpenCRVS is specifically designed to respond to the challenges of low-resource settings, increasing accessibility to civil registration services and making real-time data available to decision-makers to ensure that no one is left behind. Key features include offline functionality that allows civil registration services to be provided in the remotest of communities, as well as multi-language support to ensure that it is understood by all. OpenCRVS interoperability approach also enables safe and secure integration with ID and functional registries to enable key rights-based use cases such as identification of eligibility for cash transfers.

Impact and highlights

In Bangladesh, a pilot of OpenCRVS enabled Community Health Assistants to send digital notifications of birth and death, leading to large increases in the birth and death registration completeness rates (from 14% to 63% and from 2% to 47% respectively). OpenCRVS has been successfully integrated with: - The Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP) proving the potential of issuing a unique identification number from birth that is linked to the NID programme. - DHIS2, receiving birth and death notifications from existing health data for subsequent registration.

Plans for expansion

In Nigeria, Phase 1 of the eCRVS digital transformation using OpenCRVS commenced in April 2022. The product has been configured, and field testing commences in October 2022. Madagascar is conducting a Proof of Concept to prove the applicability of OpenCRVS across the country. Mauritius has selected OpenCRVS as the solution on which to fulfil their eCRVS needs - implementation begins in 2023. An eCRVS strengthening programme in Cameroon started in August 2022. The project will use OpenCRVS to prove innovative service delivery models that will contribute to an increase in civil registration rates. In Niue, a successful proof of concept was concluded proving the applicability of the product for implementation in the Pacific context (2021). Several countries have expressed interest in the product including Uganda, Togo, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Belize, Guinea-Bissau, and more.