Decentralization and computerization of ubr in kwale kenya 2011
ICT supported birth registration in Kwale, Kenya Enhancing the Community-led decentralized model for birth registration Updated 1/10/11 Plan Kenya / Plan Finland Mika.Valitalo@plan.fi
Focal problem: only 4 out of 10 children are registered• Why?• Poor accessibility of government staff and offices – due to a) distances b) unvailable chiefs c) fear of gov. representatives d) bribes and corruption• Slow processing of birth notifications – due to a) shortages of registration stationary (forms) b) the transportation to DCRO is manual c) no information channel to notify when possible to apply for the certificate and when to fetch it.• Slow processing of birth certificates – due to a) low human resources at DCRO compared to amount of (manual) work b) the payment process is too centralized c) the demand for the parents to travel to DCRO• Disjoint administratives structures – due to a) the delink between birth notification and certificate process b) manual records management c) no means to cross checking the data during verification.• Lack of incentives for parents to register their children – due to a) low awareness on birth registration benefits b) disconnect between the government departments dealing with registration of persons c) no perceived need for certificates before secondary school d) child marriage is a hinderance (those practising it do not want to contact officials).• High costs – due to a) distance to DCRO b) the cost of the certificate c) movement between government offices (e.g. one needs to visit a separate office for payment in addition DCRO).• Manual analysis and storage of data – leading to poor tracking of records and difficulties to utilize data for e.g. planning and statistics.
The current birth notification and registration process – an overview 4. In the DCRO the nofitication vefiried, approved and 6. Processing the applications for filed. In case of missing/incorrect information the certificates is manual and time- notification is returned to the community. consuming task in the DCRO, thus delaying the services for parents. up to 100 km 3. Chief verifies the notifications and takes them to District Civil 0-1 km Registration Office (DCRO) approx. monthly. Mobile teams This takes time and money 1-10 km 2. An informant (e.g. parent, relative, community health workers etc.) makes notification of birth to5. When the notification process the CBO (Communityhas been completed, the parents Basedcan apply for the certificate. For Organisation) or to thethis they need to travel all the Chief.way to DCRO, usually twice (for 1. Mother gives birth to a childapplication and later to get thecertificate once it has beenprocesssed.)
In Kenya, communities are empowered to report births as the system isdecentralized to allow registration and record keeping at (community and) district level. Community Based Organization can also have mobile teams that visit remote parts of the community and receive birth notifications to be sent forward. At the moment mobile teams rely on paper forms.
Kwale’s District Civil Registration Office (DCRO) manages and archivesall the birth notification as well as produces birth certificates. The population in the district area is estimated 590,000. Kwale district is has a border with Tanzania which creates challenges to registration system. For example it can be difficult to know if a baby is actually Kenyan or (s)he is brought over the border in order to obtain the Kenyan citizenship.
Although the DCRO has twocomputers running a databaseon Microsoft Access, all therecords are still handled andstored manually. Due to lowstaffing and problems with thedatabase, old records havenot been digitized.Processing birth notificationsand producing birthcertificates takes a lot of timeand manual work.
Birth notification that is done at the community level by CBO or Chief. Currently these notifications are taken by the Chief to the DCRO every month. Notification does notyet mean that the child would get a certificate. For that parents need separately to apply and pay.
By law, the birth certificates need to be produced in the districtlevel. Travelling to DCRO can be an expensive and long journey hindering parents to apply for the cerfiticate. The cerfiticate itself costs approx. 60 Kenyan shillings, which is a lot of money for many.
Community meeting on birth registration. Enhancing the birth registrationprocess has been a community initiated and owned process supported by Plan Kenya. Stakeholders in the ICT supported UBR project: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland: funding Plan Kenya: implementation with local partners Nokia: support and contribution in utilizing mobile technology Plan Finland: ICT and programmatic support & stakeholder coordination
Raising awareness event organised by district officials and PlanHundreds of birth registrations were delivered to parents during the
Community volunteer Ali collecting birth notifications with a mobile device and software (Nokia Data Gathering) .
The birth notification form has been transferred to mobile version. Even if the forms have ran out, notifications can still be collected.
Five participating community based organisations are also using com to gather, store, analyse, visualise and send the data forward.
Flow of birth notification/registration information from community to district to country level. Nairobi Kwale district office District Civil Registration Office using Plan/Raccuda developed software to handle notificationsNational Civil from both mobiles andRegistration System computers.(NCRS) by Govermentof Kenya / CivilRegistrationDepartment Kimadzo location Community Based Community Based Organisations using Organisations using KCRS Nokia Data Gathering (NDG)