Source: World Bank
In the absence of a birth certificate, more than 6 million Burkinabe (34.5 per cent of the population) are unable to produce a proof of their identity. Lack of civil registration cuts citizens from fundamental rights, such as access to education or social welfare services. In Burkina Faso, as anywhere else, those without an identity are also those who suffer the most from poverty.
“By 2030 provide legal identity for all including free birth registrations.”—Sustainable Development Goal 16.9.
Individual identification, and related rights, have become a top priority for governments all around the world and are part of the Sustainable Development Goals. In Burkina Faso, the issue of civil registration is now part of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES). ICT has been recognized as an essential tool to manage identification in West Africa.
In May 2015, a workshop on the deployment of an Integrated Management System for Electronic Identification of Citizen in West Africa (SIGIEC) took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Following this regional meeting, and in the context of growing demand for better identification management in the country, it was necessary to assess more precisely the situation in Burkina Faso.
With support from the World Bank ID4D initiative, a team undertook the Identification Management System Analysis of Burkina Faso, with the aim of preparing an e-Government lending project in the country, for which identification management would be a key asset. In order to conduct the assessment, a World Bank technical assistance mission visited the country from April 26 to May 4, 2016. Based on this assessment, the Government of Burkina Faso may consider the following steps to strengthen the integration between civil registration, identification, and vital statistics in the country and support achievement of universal and continuous birth registration.
Strengthen focus and leadership on civil registration and identification
Civil registration and identification have been the subject of numerous laws and programs for the past 10 years, including the National Strategy for Civil Registration in 2012. The focus on identity has recently been renewed during the national and municipal elections and with the newly elected Président Roch March Christian Kaboré who committed to implementing the national unique identification number in its presidential program. However, the focus on civil registration and identification may not have reached the momentum it deserves. In particular, the topic is not closely linked to the high-level development agenda of the country.
There is a need to raise awareness and consensus among high-level officials regarding the importance of an integrated approach to civil registration, identification, and vital statistics for development. The issue of civil registration and identification needs also to be more connected to sectoral policies, administration’s reforms, and the high-level development agenda.
Update the institutional framework to develop an integrated system for registration and identification
As expressed by dedicated stakeholders, it is recommended to update the institutional framework to offer more space for collaboration between technical and high-level officers from Office of National Identification (ONI), DGMEC, and National Institute of Statistics and Demography (INSD). This may be done through flagship projects such as birth registration, the digitization of the civil register, and the implementation of a national unique ID. Only the highest authority level in the country can lead and push for this reforms.
Increase digital capacity to manage the digitization of the civil registry
It is recommended to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and decentralization (MATD) in terms of ICT with the appointment of several IT staff and training programs for civil officers, in particular in primary and health centers. It is also recommended to involve more closely ANPTIC in projects related to the digitization of the civil register and establishment of a unique identification number as well as in efforts toward improving interconnectivity with other foundational and functional registries.
Leverage existing efforts on birth registration through stronger public-private collaboration
It is recommended to convene a technical group of experts to supervise and assess more closely the birth registration technologies and procedures currently tested in pilot phases. The development of an efficient and low-cost solution might also benefit from closer collaboration between private and public institutions currently involved in these projects. In terms of investment and funding, this collaboration might take the form of a public-private partnership in the longer term.
Establish health centers as official civil registration centers for birth
Health centers, where most of the births take place, are not fully integrated as part of the birth registration system. Maternities play an important role in improving the rate of births’ registrations. It is possible to further increase this rate by investing more in health centers as birth registration centers. While 86 percent of births take place with the help of health care professionals, and 91 percent of children under five are vaccinated, only 77 percent are registered. By improving the rate of births in health centers, and by training health care professionals, in particular with mobile technologies, it might be possible to make great progress toward universal birth registration.
Review the definition of the Unique Identification Number in order to enable digitization of the civil registry
The current definition of the unique identifier for the citizen, which is based on biographical data, would oblige to digitize the whole civil registry. An alternate solution would be to define a unique identifier, not based on biographical data, that would enable to avoid the need to use data in the civil registry. It would then be possible to start from the National Burkinabe Identity Card (CNIB) database (including the digitization of corresponding 7 million copies of birth certificates archived by ONI) in order to quickly consolidate a preliminary civil registration database and generate the Unique Identification Number for every individual possessing a CNIB.
Download from World Bank website: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/653431522763079651/Burkina-Faso-ID4D-WebFinal040318.pdf