New agreement signed to improve birth registration system.
18 October 2021
The Samoa Bureau of Statistics and the UNDP Accelerator Lab will explore digital solutions to address birth registration systemic issues.
The continuous delay in the birth registration process is one of the issues that will be improved in a new partnership between the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (SBS) and the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab (Acc Lab).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the SBS, Aliimuamua Malaefono Taua and the Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP Multi-Country Office for the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau, Verena Linneweber signifies a commitment towards mapping the digital pathways and potential solutions for a national digital registration system that is accessible and user-friendly for everyone.
“The Division of Births, Deaths and Marriages still faces delays of birth registrations despite continuous training with village representatives and media advocacy programmes to encourage birth registration within three months after the child’s birth, as mandated in the Registration for Births, Deaths and Marriages Act 2002,” the Aliimuamua said.
“One of our Strategic Objectives in the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics 2011-2021, is to increase the timeliness, availability, quality, coverage, transparency and usefulness of statistics on Samoa and its people,” she added.
“Noting the fast technological changes and the changing environment in terms of data collection, testing a digital solution to increase the timeliness and coverage of birth registration is a great opportunity to supplement the usual advocacy programmes,” said Aliimuamua Malaefono Taua.
The SBS and the Acc Lab will begin with exploration activities to assess the causes of delays and/or no birth registrations (as in some cases of home births), and to carry out community asset and solutions mapping to inform its experimentation designs.
SBS will work with the Acc Lab to co-create and co-design appropriate digital solutions to enhance the robustness of the Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM) system and registration process.
The Acc Labs are UNDP’s new way of working in development. Together with our core partners, the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany, 92 labs serving 120 countries are working with national and global partners to find radically new approaches that fit the complexity of current development challenges.
"This partnership with SBS is a great example of this vision at work in the local context, in an area of need,” said Verena Linneweber, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.