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New York, New York, UNICEF, 2005 Feb. 32 p.The objective of this study is to present available empirical evidence obtained through household surveys in order to estimate levels of registration and to understand which factors are associated with children who obtain a birth certificate, and thus realize their right to a name and legal identity. The paper presents a global assessment of birth registration levels, differentials in birth registration rates according to socio-economic and demographic variables, proximate variables and caretaker knowledge, as well as a multivariate analysis. Statistical associations between indicators regarding health, education and poverty can reveal potential linkages in programming to promote the registration of children. By analysing levels of birth registration in the context of other health, education and poverty indicators, the study points to opportunities to integrate advocacy and behaviour change campaigns for birth registration with early childhood care and immunization. By linking birth registration to early childhood programmes, a legal hurdle can become a helpful referral to promote improved health, education and protection for disadvantaged children and their caretakers. (excerpt)
Feasibility study on accelerating the improvement of civil registration and vital statistics systems of the Philippines.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1995. vii, 119,  p. (ST/ESA/STAT/110)This evaluation of the Philippines Vital Statistics and Civil Registration system was conducted by the International Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics. The aim is to ascertain whether system improvements are feasible. It is concluded that substantial financial assistance and external cooperation with the Filipino government will be required. The report is presented in three parts: 1) an analysis of the legal, administrative, and technical constraints on the civil registration and vital statistics systems; 2) nationwide strategies for improving quality and reliability; and 3) concrete recommendations for reforming the system within five years. Constraints to registration are identified. Filipinos perceive that the system pertains to Christians only. The central filing office is inaccessible from rural barangays. Ethnic minorities have different customs (naming, polygamy, divorce, burial) that do not fit the system. Civil registration is not an immediate requirement for living one's life. Births are not always registered under the name of the natural mother. Births should be registered by place of occurrence, but migrants may delay registration or register twice. There are civil and religious marriages and sometimes double registration. Civil registers are sometimes left with incomplete information or lost. It is recommended that government responsibilities for registration management be defined, all local chief executives be instructed in legal procedures for registration, and assessments be made of over and under staffing patterns. Incentives, taxpayer reporting requirements, and work registration were other suggestions. Long term solutions include the establishment of a National Civil Registration Office and the inclusion of minority reporting. Recommendations, which were made in the five year agenda (1992-96), were implemented in part during 1992-93.
POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1998 Sep; 24(3):659-64.Choosing the topic of birth registration as one of the main themes addressed in its recent report "Progress of Nations 1998," UNICEF presents a well-reasoned argument about why such registration is important, offers a critical description of the deficiencies of birth registration in developing countries, and calls for improvement. Although the quantitative assessment of the degree of completeness of birth statistics is difficult to accomplish when a large percentage of births remain unregistered, UNICEF's report concludes that approximately 40 million births per year are not registered. This means that about one-third of all births go unregistered. Excerpts of the report are presented. The first section of the paper discusses the deficiencies of birth registration and presents UNICEF's rough regional and country estimates of the incompleteness of birth registration. The second section consists of an excerpt from an incisive commentary on the topic by Unity Dow, a High Court judge in Botswana.
AFRICA HEALTH. 1998 Jul; 20(5):39.This brief article voices a concern about unregistered births and the recent decline in immunization coverage, especially in developing countries. A recent report by UNICEF, "The Progress of Nations, 1998" reports that 1 in 3 newborns, or about 40 million births, are unregistered. Some developing countries lack a registration system. UNICEF is concerned about unregistered births because of the implications for receipt of services. In Kenya, for example, unregistered children may not be eligible for immunization. In the past 20 years, immunization coverage rates have increased from 5% to 80%. This progress may be further improved with the possibility of vaccine coverage for diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infections. It is predicted that soon it may be possible to save the lives of 8 million children yearly. However, there is a declining trend in immunization at a time when new vaccines are about to enter the market. In addition, 2 million children's lives could be saved if every child were vaccinated. Only 50% of the children in sub-Saharan Africa receive immunization against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus. Measles kills over 800,000 children yearly, but measles immunization is often not performed. Measles immunization varies widely by country in Africa. In Uganda, all children are vaccinated against measles, while only 20% in Kenya are protected against measles. In developed countries, only 89% of children in the US were vaccinated against measles. Adults need vaccination against hepatitis B, which kills about 1 million/year. Yellow fever is reoccurring in Africa and Latin America.
Bethesda, Maryland, International Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics, . 20 p.The International Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics (IIVRES) is a non-governmental, international organization free from political, commercial or national affiliation. Its principal objective is to promote the improvement of civil registration of births and deaths and other vital events and the compilation of vital statistics from such registration records. National officials responsible for civil registration or vital statistics in countries that are members of the UN or UN specialized agencies are eligible for membership. International agency personnel with related responsibilities are also invited to join. The annual Directory of Members is based on information received from countries and agencies, the IIVRES Chronicle, and a series of technical papers. This Directory lists 346 national members in 150 countries, as well as 31 international officials and technical assistance advisers. The national members include 79 from Africa, 55 from North America, 40 from South America, 86 from Asia, 56 from Europe, and 30 from Oceania.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1986; (19-20):146-57.The Statistical and Population Commissions perform the work of the United Nations (UN) Secretariat in population statistics. Their Demographic Yearbook has come to serve an ever wider variety of users. Most data comes from an annual questionnaire sent to national statistical services in >200 contries or areas worldwide. Data quality and reliability improved significantly with each decennial round of population censuses. Standardized definitions and classification methods; detailed footnoting; and the complementation of missing or incomplete data from official national sources promote their usefulness and international comparability. From 1955-74, demographic and related economic and social statistics were integrated by attempts, through technical cooperation, to improve national statistical services, and by methodological work, including the publication of handbooks, manuals, and technical reports. The Statistical Office, under Statistical Commission guidance, promoted sampling technics for obtaining demographic and related information and for evaluating census and civil registration systems. The UN also promoted efforts to improve civil registration and vital events data accuracy. Those efforts included revising recommendations and handbooks and preparing the World Program for the Improvement of Vital Statistics. Every decade, the UN has issued principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses and contributed to the improvement of national efforts, including the recent development of regional variants of the World Population and Housing Censuses recommendations; emphasizing developing country needs; and promoting electronic data processing worldwide. 193 countries representing 95% of the world's population conducted a census between 1975-84. The UN launched the National Household Survey Capability Program in the late 1970s, to provide data on population and related demographic characteristics linked with other social and economic variables.
["Census" in the twentieth century: on the indispensability of the census] Zensus im 20. Jahrhundert: uber die Unverzichtbarkeit einer Volkszahlung
Wirtschaftswissenschaftliches Studium. 1984 May; 13(5):253-7.This article focuses on the uses and limits of a population census from a scientific statistical viewpoint, with a geographic emphasis on the Federal Republic of Germany. Comparisons are made among the minimum census program recommended by the United Nations and the U.S. and German census programs. The role of the census in relation to population registers and surveys is also discussed. Finally, the indispensability of the census for economic and social policy is noted. (ANNOTATION)
Civil registration and vital statistics in the Africa region: lessons learned from the evaluation of UNFPA-assisted projects in Kenya and Sierra Leone.
New York, New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], 1984 Dec. viii, 25 p.To review the experience of vital statistics and civil registration in the Africa Region, projects in 2 countries were evaluated in-depth: the Civil Registration Demonstration in Kenya and the Strengthening of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System in Sierra Leone. Based on these project evaluations and on experience in the area of data collection and project implementation in other parts of the Africa Region, specific observations/conclusions and recommendations are made in 5 areas. 1) United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) support for civil registration is justified if and when it can be expected to produce vital statistics which are not less reliable than estimates derived from censuses and surveys. 2) Regarding project strategy, a gradually expanding registration area is preferable in countries in the Africa Region which have extensive rural areas. 3) A thorough assessment of the registration hierarchy is required when establishing new methods and procedures for civil registration. In deciding upon the topics to be included in the region records, usefulness, collectability and neutrality of the inputs are important criteria. 4) Regarding project inputs, Governments may wish to choose an existing organization which has a large field staff and a bureaucratic hierarchy to undertake civil registration activities. In this way these activites could then be added on as new functions of existing posts. The careful selection of types of equipment and supplies greatly affects the implementation of civil registration activities and external resources are required in many projects for vehicles and paper for registration forms. 5) While the projects evaluated have followed the procedures for monitoring through the submission of Project Progress Reports and the holding of Tripartite Review Meetings, the monitoring system has not served as a triggering mechanism for actions. This is mainly due to the lack of follow-up by the governments, and executing and finding agencies of the monitoring reports, and at times, the absence of key technical and administrative persons at Tripartite Review Meetings. Recommendations made concerning these conclusions are addressed to the governments of the Region to improve their civil registration systems; some are addressed specifically to UNFPA and the United Nations Department of Technical Cooperation for Development to improve their assistance to governments.
Report on the evaluation of UNFPA assistance to the civil registration demonstration project in Kenya: project KEN/79/P04.
New York, New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], 1984 Dec. xi, 36 p.Kenya established a compulsory vital statistics and civil registration system in 1963 and it was extended nationwide in phases until it covered the whole country by 1971. Serious under-registration of births and deaths however, has persisted. In order to improve registration coverage, the government submitted a proposal to UNFPA to support experimentation with ways to promote registration in some model areas. The original project document included 4 immediate objectives: the strengthening of the civil registration system in the model areas including the creation of a new organizational structure, the training of project personnel and the decentralization of registration activities; the improvement of methods and procedures of registration through experimentation; the collection of reliable vital statistics in the model areas; and, the establishment of a public awareness program on the need for civil registration to ensure the continuation and extension of the new system. Of the 4 objectives of the project, 2 have been achieved--the strengthening of civil registration in the model areas and the improvement of methods and procedures of registration. The major deficiency during the project period was the lack of required staff in the field. The primary feature which distinguishes the project is that traditional birth attendants and village elders become key persons at the village level and act as registration informants after receiving training. The strong points of the project are the high quality of technical assistance provided by the executing agency, the close collaboration among various government departments, and the choice of project strategy and model area. Recommendations have been made to correct the problems of a lack of key personnel at the head office and in the field, and the expansion of registration to new areas before consolidation was completed in the old areas.
Report on the evaluation of UNFPA assistance to the strengthening of the civil registration and vital statistics system in Sierra Leone: project SIL/79/P03.
New York, New York, United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA], 1984 Dec. x, 28 p.While Sierra Leone has a long tradition in registering births and deaths, dating back to the mid-1880s, registration has remained low. In order to improve registration coverage, the original project formulated in 1979 by the government included 3 immediate objectives; the strengthening of the civil registration system in a model area, the experimentation with field organization procedures most suitable for the registration system in the country, and the production of estimates of demographic variables in the model area and in the rest of the country. In the Tripartite Project Review held in 1981, 2 additional objectives were added to the project; the unification of the civil registration laws, including the provision of a uniform and universal legislation for the entire country, and the reorganization and training of the registration hierarchy. While the strategy to use a model area for the development was a sound one, without the law being enacted, new forms and registers could not be printed and thus few of the planned activities could take place. Of the 5 immediate objectives of the project, only one has been achieved--the passage of the Act of 1983 which provides the legal framework for registration to take place nationwide under the new system. Little progress has been made in the achievement of the 4 remaining objectives. The Evaluation Mission made recommendations concerning the need to reformulate the extension document early in 1985, taking into account the results of the Evaluation Mission, the concentration of government action on registration in the non-model areas, and thereafter the gradual expansion of registration to adjacent areas where more complete coverage is possible.
Population Bulletin of the Economic Commission for Western Asia. 1980; (19):69-80.The author cites problems in the definitions of different categories of economic activity and employment status which have been made by the UN. The term "casual workers" has never been clarified and these people were described as both employed and unemployed on different occasions; there is also no allowance for the term underemployed in the UN classification. The latter term, he concludes, is not included in most censuses. The UN in its Principles and Recommendations for Population Censuses, discusses sex-based stereotypes which he states are based on a set of conventions that are arbitrary, irrational, and complex. However on the basis of the UN rules it is possible to divide the population into 3 categories: 1) those who are economically active (black), 2) those who are not active (white), and 3) those whose classification is in doubt (gray). In developed countries most people are either in the black or the white area and the amount in the gray area is small, but in developing countries the gray area may be the majority of the population. In the Swaziland census no attempt was made to provide a clear picture of employment. In view of the complexity of the underlying concepts, the decisions as to whether a person should be classified as economically active or not should be left to the statisticians, not the census enumerators.
International Social Science Journal. 1979; 31(2):343-52.As a result of UN recommendations, improved collaboration between census offices, shared experience among officials, census methodologies, concepts, and statistical output are becoming more standardized. The modern census has been extended into a general purpose survey of socioeconomic conditions. Information collected has expanded to include duration of residence, previous residence, farm or nonfarm, year of immigration, ethnic group, income, secondary occupation, journey to work, school attendance, school location, educational history, holidays taken, and parents' history. Census statistics are used by central government departments, regional or state authorities, local government, public enterprises, research institutes, business and industrial concerns, lobbyists, and community action groups. The census also provides time-series data covering decades, even centuries. Since the census is a standard form of data collection, it is an important form of cross-national research. The release of census statistics on magnetic tape, or of Public Use Sample tapes, facilitates the application of sophisticated analytical techniques to the data.