Impediments to Civil Registration: The case of Somali Regional State in Ethiopia
Civil registration is the best source of demographic data, compared to population census and sample surveys, as the last two are not continuous. It is defined as the continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events pertaining to the population, as provided through decree or regulation in accordance with the legal requirements of each country. Civil registration systems are basic components of good governance, essential for the production of vital statistics, and many other health and population indicators. However, civil registration systems and data are at their infant stages, if non-existent. in many developing countries. Sub-saharan African nations have the largest number of unregistered vital events. Using interviews, office reports and related documents, the study found that little progress has been made on civil registration in the Somali region due to a number of challenges that affect the system. Financial, human resource and logistical challenges, lack of political priority, lack of value for registration, low awareness, the registration process and the mobile nature of pastoralists are among the key challenges that hinder the progress. The study proposes legal reforms, political commitment and strengthening coordination (interoperability) between and among the key stakeholders to improve the functionality of the system.
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