Sample Vital Registration with Verbal Autopsy: A New Approach for Collecting Mortality Data
Victoria Velkoff, U.S. Census Bureau
Philip W. Setel, MEASURE Evaluation
Data on both the number and causes of death in developing countries are virtually nonexistent. Mortality estimates are patched together and modeled from limited sources of data (surveys, censuses, and demographic surveillance sites). Sample Vital Registration with Verbal Autopsy (SAVVY) is a system that the U.S. Census Bureau and Measure Evaluation are developing, which is designed to collect nationally representative data on mortality by broad age groups and by broad causes. The foundation of SAVVY is demographic surveillance. Following an initial census of SAVVY sites to determine resident populations, a network of supervised lay reporters would continue to enumerate all births, deaths, and migrations through annual or semi-annual ‘census’-update rounds. An active death reporting will run in parallel to the census system in which all deaths will be followed up at the household with a verbal autopsy interview implemented by trained staff.