OUR VOICES | Why solid Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems are key for sustainable development?


As we celebrated World Population Day on 11 July, Michelle Delgado, Project Manager with B&S Europe for the EU Support to Civil Registration, looks into the importance of population issues and provides us with an insight on how Civil Registration is key for sustainable development and emergency response.

The United Nations defines civil registration as the continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events pertaining to the population, as provided by the legal regulations of each country. Civil registration is the best source of vital statistics since it constitutes the basis of the social contract by collecting statistics on vital events in a lifetime. 

A well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system directly improves the lives of citizens and lies as the basis of the state’s governance and monitoring of progress. CRVS systems in countries also play an important role in effecting progress in other SDG targets and indicators. 

It comes to something so basic like knowing who your population is during national emergencies such as COVID-19. Particularly now, registration functions should be maintained in order to continue the registration of births, deaths (including causes of death) and other vital events, as well as ensuring the production of accurate statistics on births and deaths. 

From Kosovo to Sierra Leone, B&S Europe has a solid experience and network in the field of CRVS through building up civil registration systems. Amid the pandemic, it has become clear that there are not enough registers in the world, with more and more countries acknowledging just how key registration is.  

The moment to fast track CRVS systems in developing countries is now and we cannot afford to wait until 2030, the deadline for the SDG target on CRVS. In Sierra Leone, we are glad to be part of this process through the implementation of the EU-funded project together with the National Civil Registration Agency.



With a background in international relations and sustainability, Michelle has been a Project Manager with B&S Europe for the past 3 years. During this time, she has coordinated public reforms in the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa, managing small to large projects in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Jamaica, Rwanda and Malawi. A committed professional, she has also coordinated projects supporting the cooperation between the European Union and the African Union. Michelle is passionate about photography and hiking.