Table 4

Selected topics to be considered in national strategic plans for mortality statistics strengthening in South East Asia Region countries

DomainCompletenessCauses of death (COD)Vital statistics
Structure and organisation
  • Reduce birth and death reporting period

  • Strengthen infrastructure/decentralisation

  • Develop intersectoral coordination mechanisms at national/local levels

  • Strengthen legislation for reporting COD

  • Identify health agency to lead implementation

  • Issue regulations for health sector roles and responsibilities

  • Enact vital statistics law (including COD statistics)

  • Nominate national statistical authority

  • Define relationship between statistical authority, civil registration and health

  • Conduct business process improvement analysis

  • Document procedures for active event notification49

  • Implement protocols for field supervision

  • Design forms/guidelines for MCCD/VA

  • Integrate COD reporting with death registration

  • Monitor health facility reporting compliance

  • Document SOPs for data compilation and submission

  • Establish ICT infrastructure with interoperability

  • Monitoring of data timeliness, completeness and accuracy

Technical support
  • Capacity building for civil registration staff

  • Local level vital record computerisation

  • Completeness monitoring at local level

  • Capacity building of physicians/VA staff

  • Mortality coding and data quality audit

  • Periodic validation research

  • Institutional capacity for vital statistics dissemination

  • Analysis of integrated MCCD and VA data55–57

  • Compliance with international vital statistics mandates

  • ICT, Information and Communication Technology; MCCD, Medical Certification of Cause of Death; SOP, Standard Operating Procedures; UNESCAP, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific; VA, verbal autopsy.