Samoa’s Birth Registration System Enhanced through SBS-UNDP Acc Lab Partnership

"The Division of Births, Deaths and Marriages still faces delays of birth registrations despite continuous trainings with village representatives and media advocacy programmes to encourage birth registration within three months after the child’s birth"

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The Samoa Bureau of Statistics (SBS) is partnering with the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab (Acc Lab) to explore the enhancement of Samoa’s birth registration system.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed this week marks the beginning of this partnership to map the digital pathways and potential solutions towards a national digital registration system that is accessible and user-friendly for all citizens.

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.

Aliimuamua Malaefono Taua, SBS Chief Executive Officer says the Division of Births, Deaths and Marriages still faces delays of birth registrations despite continuous trainings 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.

“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..

“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.

The MOU signals the start of exploration activities by SBS and the Acc Lab to assess the causes of delays, as well as cases where there are no birth registrations as in some cases of home births.

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”.