On Monday, September 12th 2016, Clara Siagian, technical lead for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and basic services at the Center on Child Protection at Universitas Indonesia (PUSKAPA) presented PUSKAPA’s latest research and publication on institutionalization of CRVS in basic services at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University. The research is a part of PUSKAPA’s strategic partnership with KOMPAK, a facility to support government of Indonesia funded by Australian government and with support from BAPPENAS. The session was moderated by Sharon Bessell, Director of Research from Crawford School, ANU. Participants came from various departments in ANU and institutions around Canberra, such as Indonesia Project ANU, School of Demography ANU, Center on Children’s Policy ANU, Data 61 CSIRO, and students from various schools in ANU.
As the key end products of CRVS system, legal identity documents in Indonesia are still far from universal, due to ineffective and weak CRVS system. In her presentation, Clara explained the barriers faced by both supply and demand side and the lack of immediate value attached to owning legal identity documents. She also mentioned that unreliable CRVS system will create data gaps, compromise the delivery basic services, and create confusion over data for government planning. Another issue stated by Clara is about NIK, or Unique Identity Number, which is used by the Government as the single main identifier across various databases. However, not everyone can meet the requirements to have NIK, which means not everyone in Indonesia has NIK and thus, consequently, many individuals in Indonesia cannot access certain benefit such as health insurance.
At the end of her presentation, Clara posed question on what kind of registration system that takes into account the changing nature of human relationship and physical movement. Equally pressing is how to best engineer appropriate incentive model to increase demand? During the discussion, participants posed queries around death registration, particularly about its potential implications in relation to land tenure in the future. Questions were also raised on the sampling method, consequence on government planning and targeting, and the way forward to improve CRVS system in Indonesia. One main observation remains that with strong CRVS system, the Government will be able to effectively plan, implement, and monitor population services. That is why, CRVS system is key to improve the wellbeing of Indonesian population.