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Creating human centric designs; learning from the Pacific


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Presentation by Gloria Mathenge (SPC) at the international conference on innovations in Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems - Ottawa on 27-28 February 2018. See more at

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Creating human centric designs; learning from the Pacific

  1. 1. Creating human centric designs; learning from the Pacific Gloria Mathenge, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Advisor, The Pacific Community (SPC) Designing systems that are about people: where they live, how they behave, and events that occur to them.
  2. 2. Outline 1. “What” and “Why” of human centred designs 2. Contextual factors and how these must influence system design 3. Innovating to increase demand for civil registration in the Pacific 4. Design must observe and correlate to changes in human behaviour—the case of population movements in the Pacific
  3. 3. Human centred designs: the “what” and “why” • Human centred designing: taking a truly customer-centric view of design and delivery of civil registration services to the public • Providing ease and convenience of civil registration, as a component of a greater process to fulfil important life needs • Why human centred designs?: Civil registration is a primary responsibility of a government to its people and not vice-versa. It is a human right that a government must deliver to its people • Unfortunately, for most LMICs the burden of registration lays with the public: individuals are left to search-for and even finance civil registration activities
  4. 4. Contextual factors influencing system design • Design of ideal systems must draw on a proper understanding of who the system serves, their characteristics and the environment in which they live • Systems must respond to the unique characteristics of population i.e. the demographic, social and economic characteristics coupled with common and continuously changing human behaviour • In the case of South Pacific countries : • Demographically –Highly mobile populations, • Socially- informal adoptions, name changes, largely rural populations, education as a critical social services • Economically-Low income populations, Fishing as major economic activity • Environmentally-Regular weather disasters
  5. 5. The South-Pacific context
  6. 6. Contextual factors influencing system design: (i)Population mobility Civil registration in the context of high population mobility and disconnected systems Key issues a) High no. of deaths off-island unknown to the country of origin b) Name changes off-island unknown to the country of origin Impact—incomplete systems and risks of identity theft and fraud. What has been done: Under leadership of Pacific Civil Registrars Network, data sharing arrangement and MoUs between New Zealand and selected countries. Plans are underway to create single data sharing platform for registrars in the region Population estimate (2013) Born in the Pacific, Currently living in NZ (2013 Census) Born in the Pacific, died 2014 in NZ (NZ Life data) Born in the Pacific, Currently living in AU (2011 Census) Samoa 187,400 50,661 430 19,093 Cook Islands 15,200 12,954 205 6,092 Niue 1,611 4,197 57 703 Tokelau 1,200 1,338 23 525 Fiji 859,200 52,755 219 56,979 Tonga 103,300 22,416 242 9,209 Kiribati 108,800 1,473 3 500 Tuvalu 10,900 1,419 12 122 PNG 7,398,500 1,344 2 26,788 Vanuatu 253,763 - 1 1,107 Table sourced from: Article by Jeff Montgomery, Chair of PCRN Also refer :
  7. 7. Contextual factors influencing system design: (ii)Social characteristics of pacific populations • Highly rural populations; Small populations spread very thinly over multiple islands • Accessibility of civil Registration services is a key issue; Interdependence on other public resources e.g. schools and health resources is paramount and largely the main way to make registration services cost-effective to govt and accessible to the people • Cross-sectoral collaboration: use of schools in Vanuatu and health personnel/infrastructure in Kiribati, Tokelau, Nauru, …. Country Population size Inhabited islands % Rural popn* Kiribati 113,400 21 Fiji 867,000 106 Samoa- 187,300 9 80.7 Solomon islds 642,000 347 78.1 Tonga- 103,300 36 76.3 Tokelau- 1,160 4 Tuvalu- 11,010 11 Vanuatu 277,500 65 74.1
  8. 8. Contextual factors influencing system design: (iii) Economic • The proportion of the population living below the national basic needs poverty line in the region ranges from 13% in Vanuatu to 35 % in Fiji (PIFS). ADB* estimates population living below the poverty line as follows: Fiji-28%, FSM-41%, Solomon Island-12%, PNG-40%, Tuvalu- 26%. • This calls for three important approaches in system design: a. Emphasizing incentives for registration rather that penalties for non-registration b. Adoption of policies on free birth registration. However, the public still has to pay for birth certificates in a number of countries. c. Linking registration to monetary incentives makes a big difference in improving response by the public • Linking social welfare benefits with birth registration: Cook islands, Niue, Kiribati, Nauru • Countries with free birth registration: Kiribati , Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Niue • Countries with free birth certification: Solomon islands, Kiribati, •B.C: Newborn Infant Grant (financial support for newborns - $2,000) •D.C: Funeral Grant for Pensioners (60yrs +) Niue • B.C: Pension and old age benefits • B.C for Funeral Grant for Pensioners (60yrs +) lKiribati •Apply for Scholarships offered in Nauru. •Disability & Welfare Pension 60+Nauru
  9. 9. Contextual factors influencing system design: (iii) Environmental Extracts from PCRN Newsletter sletter.pdf • Pacific countries are faced with an increasing risk of weather related disasters. These have in the past significantly affected performance of civil registration systems • The region has prioritised and is still deliberating on strategies for designing disaster resilient civil registration systems and disaster management strategies for civil registration in disasters: Some of the actions that have been proposed in the recent past in this regard include need for: • Off-site record back- up • Water proof certificates • Disaster resilient CR infrastructure incl. constructing offices in higher grounds, operating systems when there is no electricity • Designing disaster mgt. plans for civil registration • National standards and guidelines for management of Civil registrar on during disasters • Mobile registration services post-disaster
  10. 10. Life is about people: where they live, how they behave, and events that occur to them. It is important that civil registration systems are designed, to align and respond to this reality