Fourth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration

The Fourth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration will be held from 4 to 8 December 2017 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. 

 

The African Union Commission, in collaboration with the ECA the AfDB as well as other partners, is organizing the Fourth Conference of Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on the theme: ‘Accelerating a coordinated improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) for implementation and monitoring development in Africa: Review of progress and the way forward’.  The meeting will be preceded by an Expert Group Meeting.

The overall objective of the conference is to deliberate on the possible ways of making strategic shifts to move the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS), to the next level of maturity through taking stock of the achievements and challenges.

 

The specific objectives include:

  1. To contextualize APAI-CRVS against the backdrop of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063 in line with national development plans to build political momentum and international human rights instruments;
  2. To identify key challenges in implementation of APAI-CRVS at the regional level and in countries and propose solutions;
  3. To review the current tools and guidance under APAI-CRVS and discuss possible corrective measures for improved delivery of the programme;

The Ministerial Conference is expected to deliberate on the recommendations of the experts meeting, among others, and give policy directives to the APAI-CRVS Secretariat on:

  1. the CRVS improvement process focusing on implementation at country levels, and in particular in the context of Agendas 2030 and 2063;
  2. strategic direction to revitalize the APAI-CRVS through a systematic review and improved coordination, monitoring and reporting; and
  3. endorsement of the CRVS strategic plan (2017-2021) and approval of the establishment of “Africa CRVS Systems Improvement Fund”.

*Download Information Note for Participants  [Arabic][English][French]


POST SESSION DOCUMENTATION

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Report of the Meeting of Experts AUC/CRMC4/EXP/2017
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IN-SESSION DOCUMENTS


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Declarations N/A

PRE-SESSION DOCUMENTS


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Provisional Agenda for the Meeting of Ministers AUC/CRMC4/MIN/2017/1
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Draft Programme of Work for the Meeting of Ministers AUC/CRMC4/MIN/2017/INF/2
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Concept Paper AUC/CRMC4/2017/INF/1
           

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Provisional Agenda for the Meeting of Experts AUC/CRMC4/EXP/2017/1
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Annotated Agenda for the Meeting of Experts AUC/CRMC4/EXP/2017/Add.1
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Draft Programme of Work for the Meeting of Experts AUC/CRMC4/EXP/2017/INF/2
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CRVS for Progress Monitoring on Agendas 2063 and 2030 AUC/CRMC4/2017/2
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Previous Ministerial Declarations on Improving CRVS in Africa AUC/CRMC4/2017/3
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Review of the progress against the ministerial declarations AUC/CRMC4/2017/4
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CRVS and Statelessness AUC/CRMC4/2017/5
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Birth registration as an opportunity to integrate civil registration and ID management systems AUC/CRMC4/2017/6
Moving from Plan to implementation AUC/CRMC4/2017/7
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Innovation and CRVS digitization AUC/CRMC4/2017/8
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Vital Statistics from Civil Registration Records AUC/CRMC4/2017/9
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Civil Registration in Conflict and Emergency Situations AUC/CRMC4/2017/10
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Commission of African Registrars General: The rationale and terms of reference AUC/CRMC4/2017/12
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Civil registration and vital statistics and the demographic dividend AUC/CRMC4/2017/13
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Global Financing Facility and WB Support for CRVS in Africa AUC/CRMC4/2017/14
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Issue paper: INDEPTH and CRVS AUC/CRMC4/2017/15
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Improving mortality statistics and cause of death recording and its linkages to CRVS systems in Africa AUC/CRMC4/2017/16
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APAI-CRVS Costed Strategic Plan: 2017-2021

 
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Financing mechanisms and health sector engagement for strengthening CRVS systems in Africa  
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Report on the status of CRVS in Africa  
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State-of-the-art CRVS eLearning course modules to enhance African capacity  
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Advocacy Messages for CRVS  
 
 
Birth registration  
 
 
Death Registration    
 
Marriage and Divorce Registration  
 
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Making Everyone Visible  
 
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WHO Fact Sheet - counting every death  
 
 

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Practical Guide on the Improvement of Death Registration and Causes  
 
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Guidelines and template for developing a vital statistics report  
 
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Improving Mortality Statistics in Africa: Technical Strategy 2015-2020  
 
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Task Force Presentation by RG - Zimbabwe(17 Oct 2017)  
 
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Comments

SWAZILAND’S COUNTRY BRIEF

1 Background

1.1 Definition
Civil registration is defined by the UN Statistical Commission as “the continuous, permanent, compulsory, and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events (live births, deaths, foetal deaths, marriages, and divorces) and other civil status events pertaining to the population as provided by decree, law or regulation, in accordance with the legal requirements in each country.” It is the total process of (a) collecting information by civil registration, as well as relevant characteristics of the events themselves and the person or persons concerned, and (b) compiling, processing, analysing, evaluating, presenting and disseminating these data in statistical form. Complete coverage, accuracy and timeliness of civil registration are essential for quality vital records and statistics.

1.2 Civil Registration: Swaziland Context

The National Population Register in Swaziland was legally established in 1927 with the Birth, Marriage and Death Act. This was replaced by the Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) Registration Act No.5 of 1983 that mandates the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics department (CRVS), under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) to register and archive all vital events occurring within country as well as those occurring to its citizens outside the country. The Act makes it compulsory for individuals to notify civil registration officers of the occurrence of vital events. Conversely, the MoHA through CRVS department has an obligation to ensure a system that is functional, continuously available and universally acceptable with sufficient infrastructure to facilitate the population’s access to local registration services. Supplementary to Act an Identification and PIN Order of 1998 is used to regulate the issuance of PIN and the enrolment of National Identification Card. In this way, the Government of Swaziland shares the responsibility with its citizens and residents to ensure that the identity of each person is officially recognized. This maximizes the potential for fulfilling international and national development initiatives such as SDG and Swaziland’s Vision 2022.

2. CRVS System in Swaziland

The birth and death registration process in Swaziland is initiated by an informant, usually a parent or next of kin, and must begin with informing a civil registration officer within sixty-days after the event has occurred. A registration can still happen after the sixty-days, and this is officially known as a “late registration”.

There are two types of event certifiers: health institutions and non-health (chiefs or tindvuna in communities and Royal Swaziland Police [RSP]). Health institutions are responsible for certifying events that happen in their respective health facility whereas chiefs or tindvuna and RSP are responsible for certifying events that occur outside of the health facility.
The CRVS system registers both forms of marriages namely Civil Rites and Swazi law and custom marriages. In registering a Civil Rites marriage the registration office is notified by the Marriage Officer and for the Swazi Law and Custom the Indvuna notifies about the event.

2. Key Stakeholders

2.1Ministry of Home Affairs
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) provides services to the population through ten (10) local civil registration service centres (CRSCs) using an in-house-developed system. The MoHA headquarters is responsible for approving late registrations and also the registration of vital events that occurred outside the country.
The system used is a mainframe based system and not web-based, it is accessed through mainframe terminal emulation software. Various checks and validations are programmed in the data entry application with relevant error messages to alert the responsible officer of out-of-range entries. The system currently provides simple reports and extract using download functions for further processing to achieve cross-tabulation/visualization.

The type of services offered at CRVSs consists of the legal registration of births, deaths and marriages, as well as the issuance of the respective certificates. In addition, the CRCSs’ issue a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) which is a 13 digit number at birth (for current registrations) or later (for late registrations). Upon attaining the age of 16, a person is required to enrol for a national identity card using the PIN and both the passport photo and fingerprints are captured.
The PIN is the basis for the National Population Register (NPR) that is capable of linking vital events as well as other services accessed by an individual. The registry is becoming increasingly complete as people unregistered at birth are compelled to register for a multitude of reasons, for example to enrol in school, access health and social services, banks and utilities, and obtain national identification, travel or immigration documents. Several government entities use information from the NPR including the Pension Fund, elderly grants, Election & Boundary Commission and health and insurance systems.
MoHA is the owner of the NPR and has full access rights to the data hosted at Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT). MICT provides expertise in producing performance quarterly reports.

2.2 Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health (MoH) plays an important role in ensuring that institutional births and deaths are registered timeously and provide informant authentic proof of vital events.
The MoHs mandate is to ensure quality and completeness of the NPR by being the source of required documentation that informants need for registering a birth or death. For births, a proof of birth is issued for registration. For deaths, a medical certificate of cause of death is issued for registration and for obtaining a burial permit. Currently there is an ongoing birth and death registration service pilot in one hospital driven by the MoHA.

2.3 Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology
Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT), is responsible for the central management of government systems, hardware, network and hosting of data through the Government Computer Services (GCS) Department. This ministry ensures that it continues to enhance the existing the CRVS system and installs updated software in all CRVSs, and enables ministries to allocate relevant system access rights.
Since 2001, MICT has collaborated with MoHA to design an electronic system to capture and store civil registration records. The in-house system uses the Adaptable DAta BAse System (ADABAS), which is not a pure relational database. The MoHA headquarters and the ten (10) remote CRVSs offices are connected via a wide-area network (WAN) using fiber cables and leased datalines. The system is not web-based; rather, it is accessed through mainframe terminal emulator. The NPR data is daily back-up are taken and kept off-site.

2.4 Ministry of Economic Planning and Development
The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) through the Central Statistical Office (CSO) is empowered by the Statistics Act of 1964 to collect, analyze and disseminate data, including demographic and vital statistics. Currently, the CSO collects and disseminates vital statistics data through decennial censuses and surveys on information on births (live births) and deaths. Initiatives to produce regular statically reports have begun

3 Challenges with the CRVS system
3.1 Weak linkages in the system -The current systems across the all stakeholders (CRVS and HMIS) which then make electronic sharing of the information difficult. This is attributable to lack of a coordination mechanism among the two stakeholders as well as a limited understanding of their respective roles.
3.2 Use of out-dated tools – An out-dated legal frameworks limit all key stakeholders (CRVS,CSO,HMIS,GCS) from aligning and coordinated their functions. The medical certificate of the cause of death used to collect the data is not aligned with the international standard. Technology platform used is outdated.

3.3 Access – Current infrastructure limits access to CRSV offices especially for the elderly and those living with disabilities. Some of the offices have no proper ventilation or space to enable privacy. In addition officers are unable to fully service all sectors of society i.e. Braille documents and inadequate of sign language interpreters.
3.4 Failure to establish causes of death for out patients (not admitted)
3.5 Low registration coverage due to -Societal perceptions on the importance of CRVS towards the right of the child;

4 Recommendations
• There is a need to strengthen the coordination between ministries / departments [MoHA, MoH, and RSP] and community leadership.
• CRVS department should be supported to advocate and sensitize the public on the importance of CR and for timely registrations of vital events.
• The Ministry of Health should be supported to speed up the ICD-10 transitioning process, so that the country can accurately capture and report underlying causes of death.
• The Ministry of Health and CRVS department should be supported to rollout health facility based births and deaths registration in all facilities.

• Develop and implement an integrated Electronic Document and Record a Management System.

5 Moving Forward
• Currently there is a zero draft of the CRVS Bill, which intends to review and align the current BMD Registration Act No.5 of 1983 to the Country’s Constitution as well as regional and international standards.
• Strengthen the collaboration between CRVS, CSO, GCS and HMIS to ensure the periodic production of quality vital statistics reports and continue to guide further improvements in the civil registration system.
• As HMIS is modernizing its health information system by establishing a Client Management Information System (CMIS), in-patient facilities will be networked with the NPR leading to technological potential for real-time notification of hospital-based birth and death events.