Job Opening

Posting Title: An international consultant for the project on strengthening civil registration and vital statistics systems in Asia and the Pacific
Department/Office: Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Duty Station: BANGKOK
Posting Period: 02 December 2022 - 14 December 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific-196627-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

1. To explore and possibly initiate the establishment of a network for civil registrars in South East Asia
2. To facilitate knowledge exchange and potential collaboration on issues of concern of civil registrars in the region
3. To document existing practices in the region and common challenges

Work Location

Home base

Expected duration

17 Jan- 17 Mar 2023

Duties and Responsibilities

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasizes the inclusive and sustainable future for all with a focus on leaving no one behind. With a well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system, it helps ensure that every person has a legal identity, facilitating access to the benefits and protections of the State. Moreover, registering, documenting and recording life events enhances good government and sustainable development. Knowing the population of a country and its subdivisions, leading causes of death, fertility rates and life expectancy enhances public administration by informing effective, efficient and directed policies at the national and local levels. However, more than 100 low and middle-income countries lack functional CRVS systems, and, as a result, the registration rate of births and deaths is incomplete, which results in uncertainties of who is being left behind as the relevant disaggregated population data are not available.

CRVS data is also critical for monitoring development indicators, including SDG indicators, and 67 of the 231 SDG indicators rely on effective CRVS data, including those aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality, eliminating poverty, building resilience to climate-related disasters and guaranteeing legal identity for all.

Despite continuous efforts, an estimated 64 million children, under the age of five, within Asia and the Pacific have not had their birth registered, and millions of other vital events, including deaths, are not registered. The midterm reports submitted by countries at the midpoint of the CRVS Decade demonstrated the need for greater efforts to accomplish the vision of universal and responsive CRVS systems. Reaffirmed commitment to improved CRVS systems has also been made at the Second Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, which was organised in November 2021.

Against this backdrop, ESCAP and Bloomberg Philanthropies have collaborated and implemented the project entitled Getting everyone in the picture: strengthening civil registration and vital statistics systems in Asia and the Pacific (Data 4 Health Initiative). The project builds on lessons learned through three phases of projects with the Data 4 Health initiative as well as multiple projects on CRVS implemented by the Statistics Division since the inception of the Asia and the Pacific CRVS Decade (2015-2024). The work supports implementation of the Regional Action Framework on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific and the further commitments made in the Ministerial Declaration on Building a More Resilient Future with Inclusive Civil Registration and Vital Statistic.

More specifically, the project aims to develop statistical capacity and demographic skills within national statistics offices (NSOs) and other line ministries/organizations responsible for the production of statistics. This includes various activities at national, subregional and regional levels such as capacity building workshops, technical advisory services, knowledge sharing activities as well as development of knowledge products.

The project will help selected countries to improve CRVS systems to be well-functioning and universal through three project outcomes.

1. Selected countries produce vital statistics from civil registration records and identify inequalities related to civil registration.
2. Selected countries improve their CRVS systems through the review and analysis of their civil registration processes and implement a holistic approach to civil registration, vital statistics, and identity management.
3. Selected countries use CRVS-related evidence to improve policies and programmes.

This consultancy will be supporting the third outcome through support to the inception meeting of a network of South East Asian civil registers.

While Asia-Pacific civil registrars face unique national challenges in achieving universal registration, they must also address practical registration issues, as well as cross-border issues such as migration caused by conflict, natural hazards and climate change. As such, strengthening information and communications technology, and adopting innovative approaches to meet these challenges requires registrars to network in a space suitable for sharing ideas, learning from each other, and finding common solutions through South-South cooperation.

Recognizing universal civil registration as critical for sustainable and inclusive development, ESCAP and its development partners hosted an initial meeting of Asia-Pacific Civil Registration Authorities in 2014. The participants agreed to create subregional mechanisms for national registrars to meet, share ideas and practices and collaborate on cross-border issues.
An initial meeting of a network of South East Asian Civil registrars will be organized with support of the Philippines Statistics Authority on 7-9 February 2023 in Manila and will be part of the CRVS month in the Philippines.

The objectives of the meeting are:
1. To explore and possibly initiate the establishment of a network for civil registrars in South East Asia
2. To facilitate knowledge exchange and potential collaboration on issues of concern of civil registrars in the region
3. To document existing practices in the region and common challenges
The consultancy will support the documentation of existing practices in assessing and addressing inequalities in CRVS. Some countries experience lower civil registration completeness rates among certain marginalized and hard-to-reach population groups or within specific geographic areas. Despite these inequalities and their negative impact, this problem often remains a blind spot.
The groups affected remain largely invisible if the matter is not specifically investigated.
To ensure progress in registration is truly universal and fully inclusive, the Ministerial declaration to "Get Every One in The Picture” in Asia and the Pacific recognized the need to address disparities in civil registration completeness and coverage of these groups. Hence, the Regional Action Framework (RAF) for the Asia-Pacific CRVS Decade 2015-2024 (ESCAP resolution 71/14) calls upon countries to assess any CRVS-related inequalities experienced by population subgroups. Doing so is an essential step to getting every one in the picture. This step is also key to the realization of the 2030 Agenda in terms of both data and social protection. It is also critical from a gender perspective. First, it is essential to know how and why there are differences in civil registration by sex and any gender-related barriers to registration, especially for different sub-groups in the population.
The thematic discussions around this topic will evolve around the involvement of civil registration authorities in both quantitative and qualitative assessments of inequalities in CRVS as well as changes to legislation and operating procedures to support registration of hard to reach and marginalized groups. This includes outreach campaigns, mobile registration points and other initiatives.

In this connection, ESCAP is seeking a consultant to write a background paper to document activities on assessing and addressing inequalities in CRVS in South East Asia.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills :
- Strong understanding of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems
- Strong drafting skills, including the ability to summarize technical material.
- Excellent coordination, planning, communication and organizational skills
- Ability to collate a vast array of information and ideas, use critical thinking, conceptualize ideas, and articulate relevant subject matter in a clear and concise way
- At least 5 years of experience in providing technical assistance to strengthen national CRVS Systems
- Understanding of official statistics in the Asia-Pacific region
- Familiarity with the issues of assessing and addressing inequalities in CRVS


Fluency in English, including written and oral is required.

No Fee


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