Identification of the Correlates and Reasons for Death Registration in the Most Populous States of India using a mobile phone-based survey

Nandita Saikia , International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai
Stephane Helleringer, New York University Abu Dhabi

Background: Although about 70 percent of deaths are registered in India, it varies widely betwenn 100 percent in the Mumbai district of Maharastra to 5% in Kurung Kumey district of Arunachal Pradesh. Objective: The purpose of this study is twofold, a) to investigate the individual and household correlates of death registration, b) to analyze the reasons for registering deaths or the reasons for not registering deaths in the most populous states of India. Data and Methods: Our study is based on mobile phone-based survey data primarily in the most populous states of India, viz., Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand with the lowest level of death registration Findings: Males, adults aged 15-59 and accidental deaths have higher odds of death registration. ‘Compliance of the law” was the foremost reason for registering deaths (50% of the registered deaths) whereas “receiving government benefts” was the second reason for registration. Conclusion: The study findings provide crucial methodological input to upgrade survey questions on death registration in large-scale surveys such as DHS or MICS in low and middle-income countries. Our study findings also argue that mobile phone-based survey findings, despite their limitations, can give meaningful insight into death registration status with limited resources and relatively in a short period. Finally, our study findings reveal an in-depth understanding of the reasons for registering or not registering deaths, which are significant for policy measures to improve death registration.

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 Presented in Session 28. Flash session New and Critical Perspectives on Data Collection and Measurement