Table 1

Description of country governance for VA implementation

CountryAim of the VA interventionGovernance of VA implementation
National CRVS policy and coordinating committeeNational subcommittee/technical working group on mortality and cause of deathBusiness case/rationale for VA implementation
ChinaTo explore the feasibility of using VA to improve the quality of community cause of death dataNo CRVS committee Chinese CDC responsible for VA pilot studiesChinese Centre for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, of
Chinese CDC
The current procedure for capturing community cause of death was not standard and needed improvement.
MyanmarTo produce nationally representative data on community cause of death in the country. Coordinating committee for birth and death registration was in existence.
 Members include
  •  Ministry of Health and Sport.

  •  Ministry of Education.

  •  Ministry of Home Affairs.

  •  Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population.

  •  Office of the Attorney General.

  •  Ministry of Planning and Finance.

  •  Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

  •  Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

  •  Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development.

Mortality technical working group was created to oversee the VA implementation as well as other CRVS strengthening activities.
Members include
  • Central Statistical Organisation.

  • Ministry of Health and Sports.

  • General Administration Department.

  • Critical information on majority (~84%) of deaths occurring outside a facility is missing (either through low registration or very poor-quality cause of death).

  • Hospital cause of death is biased and does not provide good information on population cause of death patterns in the country.

PNGTo improve the quality of cause of death data in defined mortality surveillance sites Dormant CRVS committee was re-established, cochaired by the registrar-general and the manager of the Performance Monitoring and Research Branch at the National Department of Health.
 Members include
 Development partners
  •  DFAT.

  •  WHO.

  •  World Bank.

  •  UNFPA.

  •  UNICEF.


 Government stakeholders
  •  National Department of Health.

  •  Department for National Planning and Monitoring.

  •  Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs.

  •  National Statistics Office.

  •  Department of Justice and Attorney General.

  •  National Department of Community Management.

National Burden of Disease Technical Committee, reports to the secretary for health and the Medical Society of PNG.
Members include
  • National Department of Health.

  • School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of PNG.

  • Institute of Medical Research staff.

  • Senior physicians and hospital directors.

  • Critical information, including fact of death as well as cause of death, was missing for most deaths occurring outside of health facilities.

PhilippinesTo improve the quality of the cause of community deaths nationally using SmartVA for Physicians (using SmartVA as a decision support tool to certify deaths by physicians) Interagency committee on civil registration and vital statistics existed.
 Chair: Philippine Statistics Authority
 Vice chair: Department of Health
 Members include
  •  Department of Foreign Affairs.

  •  Department of Justice.

  •  Department of Education.

  •  Department of Social Welfare and Development.

  •  Department of Interior and Local Government.

  •  Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

  •  Population Commission.

At first a technical advisory group for VA was established to provide guidance.
Later, the epidemiology bureau at the Department of Health took over the training and implementation of SmartVA.
The quality of cause of death data for the deaths occurring outside of health facilities needed improvement.
Solomon IslandsTo achieve national coverage of community deaths and deaths-on-arrival at health facilitiesA national CRVS committee was established, comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, and Ministry of Home AffairsA national mortality technical working group was established, primarily comprising senior clinicians, health information management staff and health policy makers.Critical information, including fact of death as well as cause of death, was missing for the majority of deaths occurring outside of health facilities.
  • Chinese CDC, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention; CRVS, civil registration and vital statistics strengthening; DFAT, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; PNG, Papua New Guinea; UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund; VA, verbal autopsy.