On-Spot Birth Registration Centres and Universal Birth Registration Campaigns
civil and National Registration

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The aim of the study attempt to highlight the initiatives and strategies implemented by DCNR to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people through inclusive services and participation, it further discusses the importance of promoting transparency, accountability and integrity in public services and mores over the creation of innovation and excellence in delivering health services to the public. For progress to be achieved in the future development of national systems, particular attention must be paid to the special problems of rural areas. These include difficulties of terrains, distances, transportation and communication. However there suggested initiatives, which has been implemented and has proven to be effective over the past two years. This initiative includes among others, On Site Registration, Decentralization, Mobile registration, The Special Project on the Universal Birth Registration of Vulnerable Groups (the poor, street kids, people in far to reach areas and orphans).

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
This initiatives has come with a great deal of improvement and creativity with the Department of civil and national registration after giving birth the mothers register their children's birth and go home with a printed certificate. The public has also been sensitized enough about the need for birth registration.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
In 2011, the First generation, Universal birth, Death and National Registration Campaign was launched targeting the whole population and specifically conducting awareness and registration campaigns in remote areas. The remote dwellers particularly those in the Okavango sub-region have always experienced difficulties in accessing civil registration services, thereby placing them amongst the districts with the lowest birth registration coverage. The mobile registration campaign was launched on the 9th November 2015 at Beetsha village in Okavango sub-district by the Honorable Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Mr. Edwin Jenamiso Batshu with a view to educate members of the public on the value of birth certificates to community members. The rationale behind the campaign was to address the issues pertaining to late registration so that members of the community could have access to essential social services and to achieve the goal of Universal Birth Registration. The campaign targeted the vulnerable groups(orphans and vulnerable children, people living in the hard to reach areas, and street children).The universal registration is featured as a suggested target under the illustrated goal of good governance and effective institutions(Goal 10) as per the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals which further states that by 2030 legal identity should be provided for all including birth registration. In the case of Botswana, legal identity is required to help members of the public access social services. In order to improve the success of the campaign, The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs collaborated with other Development partners and interested parties. UNICEF provided technical support in the form of 5 mobile laptops and 7 printers and financial support as provision for daily subsistence allowances. The mobile units were handed over 24th October 2015 and were meant to improve the capacity of the Department of CNR to effectively implement the campaign by facilitating on spot registration and issuance of civil registration documents. Non-state actors such as TOCADI were involved with community mobilization and identification of the unregistered members of the communities. The first Phase of the campaign was from the 31st October 2015 to the 16th November 2015 while the second phase commenced on the 30th November 2015 to the 15th December 2015. The overall goal will be achieved by increasing access to and utilization of registration centers, backed by adequate periodic campaigns, use of mobile devices and public education and sensitization. Strong leadership, stakeholder commitment, resources, and efforts are needed to achieve the objectives. The objectives are: • Increase access to registration through the establishment of additional centers ,regular campaigns and public awareness • Build management and service providers competency that will endure country wide to leverage resources and develop a cohesive approach to service deliver • Provide logistics and material resources to improve registration services • Encourage operational proficiency, effectiveness and flexibility that will enable utilization and high coverage • Maintain shared commitment among all stakeholders to adhere to this improvement plan, its related plan and any modifications. The birth registration improvement approach focuses on promoting public education on the importance of birth registration, bringing registration services closer to the users, building the capacity of both service providers and relevant institutions and encouraging strong partnership through coordination and collaboration. In addition to issues relating to protection, a functioning system of birth and civil registration ensures that the country has an up-to-date and reliable database for planning. This is useful for national level planning as it is for local government bodies that are responsible for maintaining education, health and other social services for the community.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
On-site Birth Registration Realizing that health institutions are a natural partner in civil registration, and in order to utilize their key position as a source of data where about 94 percent of births and 54 percent of the deaths occur, Botswana instituted a strategy of electronic On-site Registration of Births and Deaths in hospitals in 2011 and to date has opened up onsite registration facilities in 13 hospitals. Assistant Registrars are placed in health institutions to register births and deaths as they occur. The strategy goes a long way in significantly reducing late birth registrations (that is, registration after the 60 days of birth stipulated in the Births and Deaths Registration Act but before age 1 year) or delayed registrations (after age 1 year) and the initiative is expected to significantly bring the country up to the level of universal registration, building on the advantage of already having in the system the 94 percent of births occurring in health institutions. This is crucial since every life counts and must be counted and accounted for in a timely manner.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
This initiative was implemented by the Department of Civil and National Registration- under the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs. The problem that was being solved was the under registration of births in the country especially among the vulnerable communalities or members of the society (destitute, poor, and people in far to reach areas. The problem was late birth registration which affected the whole population of the country. This problems lead to citizen not being able access certain service within the country which needed birth registration documents and other documents involved to access them. The Department then decided to introduce a two in one initiative which its mandate was to make sure that all venerable members of the society are registered and also that birth is registered according to the Botswana birth registration Act CAP (1968 LAST AMMENDED IN 2014) under DCNR which provides that for mandatory registration of every birth and every death that occurs in Botswana within 60 days and 30 days, respectively, of each occurrence. Since the commencement of this initiative in 2011 Botswana has achieved 21% increase in birth registration which is a success that worth to be applauded. • Currently all births are registered on the spot at the health centers thus no-more late birth registration unless the victim has a special case of having given birth at home. • The destitute, people living in far to reach areas and the poor now have access to government services like food hampers and health because they have valid identification documents and the they are included in the population data base. • They are also able access their right to vote the government they want
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
In 2011, the First generation, Universal birth, Death and National Registration Campaign was launched targeting the whole population and specifically conducting awareness and registration campaigns in remote areas. The remote dwellers particularly those in the Okavango sub-region have always experienced difficulties in accessing civil registration services, thereby placing them amongst the districts with the lowest birth registration coverage. The mobile registration campaign was launched on the 9th November 2015 at Beetsha village in Okavango sub-district by the Honorable Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Mr. Edwin Jenamiso Batshu with a view to educate members of the public on the value of birth certificates to community members. The rationale behind the campaign was to address the issues pertaining to late registration so that members of the community could have access to essential social services and to achieve the goal of Universal Birth Registration. The campaign targeted the vulnerable groups(orphans and vulnerable children, people living in the hard to reach areas, and street children).The universal registration is featured as a suggested target under the illustrated goal of good governance and effective institutions(Goal 10) as per the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals which further states that by 2030 legal identity should be provided for all including birth registration. In the case of Botswana, legal identity is required to help members of the public access social services. In order to improve the success of the campaign, The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs collaborated with other Development partners and interested parties. UNICEF provided technical support in the form of 5 mobile laptops and 7 printers and financial support as provision for daily subsistence allowances. The mobile units were handed over 24th October 2015 and were meant to improve the capacity of the Department of CNR to effectively implement the campaign by facilitating on spot registration and issuance of civil registration documents. Non-state actors such as TOCADI were involved with community mobilization and identification of the unregistered members of the communities. The first Phase of the campaign was from the 31st October 2015 to the 16th November 2015 while the second phase commenced on the 30th November 2015 to the 15th December 2015. The overall goal will be achieved by increasing access to and utilization of registration centers, backed by adequate periodic campaigns, use of mobile devices and public education and sensitization. Strong leadership, stakeholder commitment, resources, and efforts are needed to achieve the objectives. The objectives are: • Increase access to registration through the establishment of additional centers ,regular campaigns and public awareness • Build management and service providers competency that will endure country wide to leverage resources and develop a cohesive approach to service deliver • Provide logistics and material resources to improve registration services • Encourage operational proficiency, effectiveness and flexibility that will enable utilization and high coverage • Maintain shared commitment among all stakeholders to adhere to this improvement plan, its related plan and any modifications. The birth registration improvement approach focuses on promoting public education on the importance of birth registration, bringing registration services closer to the users, building the capacity of both service providers and relevant institutions and encouraging strong partnership through coordination and collaboration. In addition to issues relating to protection, a functioning system of birth and civil registration ensures that the country has an up-to-date and reliable database for planning. This is useful for national level planning as it is for local government bodies that are responsible for maintaining education, health and other social services for the community.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Civil Registration is defined by the United Nations as the “Universal, continuous, permanent and compulsory recording of vital events provided through decree or regulation in accordance with the legal requirements of each country.” Civil registration provides the most important source of vital statistics and is a basis for identity management. It provides individuals with documentation needed to establish legal identity and family relationships, and by extension, to exercise their civil rights, access services and participate in modern societies. In Botswana the Births and Deaths Registration Act CAP (1968, last amended in 2014) under the Department of Civil and National Registration provides for mandatory registration of every birth and every death that occurs in Botswana within 60 days and 30 days, respectively, of each occurrence. On this point Botswana through the DCNR under took a countrywide comprehensive assessment of CRVS and the research recommended that notification of births and deaths be required as part of the duties of health personnel. Although about 94 percent of births are occurring at health care facilities, there is a mechanism in place for also working with community leaders and engaging in community outreach for registration of non-institutional births. The mandate of the Department of Civil and national registration, in the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs is to facilitate the registration of Births and Deaths, Marriages, Societies, National Identity, and Divorces.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
At the beginning of the campaigns, training of the campaigns,trainings of service providers on registration requirements and the importance of registration was conducted to ensure that all those involved are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities.More importantly to ensure that they are skilled and empowered to confidently conduct their tasks.at implementation levels,technical assistance on mobile device to conduct effective registration services was provided by an IT Officer Increased inter-agency collaboration and partnership emphasis by linking registration services for birth,death and national identification with other activities like immunization,school enrollment and claiming of social benefits will be promoted to increase registration coverage.A targeted intervention to reach particularly vulnerable children,such as orphans and remote dwellers is pursued.Registration services will be provided through multiple channels such as regular campaigns,health facility-based registration and outreach programmes. For the vulnerable groups registration service is provided free of service charge.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
• Due to expensive transportation fares, bad and lack of regular public transport it is difficult for the community members to visit the service centres. • Most people had registered more than one • Language barrier was a serious problem • Cross border issues because some children were born in the neighboring countries. • Cultural believes. Action Plan Reinforce manpower by other departments Translators were introduced Engagement of cultural authorities

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
It is a requirement for a person to possess a valid identity card in order to access numerous services, including opening a bank account, obtaining credit or loans, reporting to the tax authority, obtaining a marriage certificate, obtaining private health insurance, enrolling in social insurance programs, qualifying for cash transfers, food or other safety net programs (especially those provided by or through the government), obtaining a cell phone account, obtaining a passport, getting a drivers’ license, registering for and voting during national elections, registering a vehicle, obtaining health care, purchasing property such as a house, and obtaining tuition assistance for education. Furthermore, Government agencies and programs are not expected to issue their own forms of identity cards because the DCNR is the only authority for issuing the Omang. However, the electoral registration card and old age pension scheme card are issued on the basis of the Omang but they are not national ID cards per se. Other government institutions use this one identity created to facilitate data authentication through system interfaces and integration of data. The organic linkage of the National Identification System (NIS) with the Births and Deaths registration system (BDRS) has been mutually beneficial. The ongoing project of establishing a Population Register or People Hub will further improve the interoperability of systems. Despite this Inter-Agency information flow and interoperability described above, there are some information communication technology (ICT) related constraints. While ICT infrastructure is available, in some very few instances the network is unstable. Specialized ICT technical skills are scarce, and this has necessitated the dependence on international private contractors, especially for systems design and maintenance. As already indicated, Botswana has a single foundational Identity Management System which creates one identity per person pursuant to the current legal framework which is used several times by the person at various institutions, and by those other institutions, to facilitate transactions between themselves as individuals and service providers. For instance, the post office card is simply a debit card produced on the basis of the Omang. The same principle applies to the voter’s card, which is given as proof that somebody has registered and is issued purely on the basis of the identity card issued under national registration. Also, the Electoral Act is explicit that a valid Omang is a requirement for one to register for elections and to be given a voter registration card and to vote in elections. The Electoral act, Ch0209s54]54(b) states that every voter desiring to vote shall go to the polling station where the voter is registered to vote, and shall produce his or her voter registration card and identity card to the presiding officer.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
NON APPLLICABLE

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
NON APPLLICABLE

Contact Information

Institution Name:   civil and National Registration
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Caroline Davids Okello-Wengi
Title:   Director for Civil and National Registration  
Telephone/ Fax:   +267 3611445/3959998
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   cokello-wengi@gov.bw  
Address:   Private Bag 00240 Gaborone,Botswana
Postal Code:   00267
City:   Gaborone
State/Province:   Gaborone
Country:  

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