Inclusive development starts with inclusive civil registration and statistics On July 28th 2016 the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) with the Center on Child Protection Universitas Indonesia PUSKAPA and the Australia-Indonesia Partnership on Governance for Growth KOMPAK launched a study looking at the bottlenecks, barriers, and opportunities in the existing birth and death registration system in Indonesia.
The findings of this study inform Government interventions to bolster President Joko Widodo’s plan to achieve 85% birth registration coverage by end of 2019 as well as his goal to reduce maternal and child mortality that can only be measured within an improved vital data. An ambitious plan considering that about 40% of Indonesian children were still unregistered. The study titled “Back to What Counts: Birth and Death in Indonesia” found that civil registration in these areas is far from universal. One in three children had no legal documentation of their birth, two in five marriages were considered illegitimate by the state, almost one in five adults could not produce an ID or family card with their name on it, and death certificates were almost non-existent. “In addition, we found that civil registration services are difficult to reach, application procedures are overly complicated, and obtaining certificates involves informal fees and late registration fines, reducing the chance for the poorest to be registered”, said Santi Kusumaningrum, Co-Director of PUSKAPA.
As a result, Indonesia’s millions are deprived from their basic rights and the Government is lacking a complete, accurate, and timely population data on birth, death, and causes of death as well as other vital events such as marriage and migration necessary for evidence-based planning and evaluation. This study recommends durable solutions to civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) within the context of decentralization and locally available basic services such as health, education, and social assistances. In the next three to five years, PUSKAPA and KOMPAK as well as other development partners will support the Government on bringing civil registration services closer to the community to reach the most vulnerable, facilitating civil registration processes through frontline services of health, education, and social assistance so events can be recorded at its first instance, and improving the quality of vital statistics produced from civil registry. All putting the most vulnerable -children, women, and people with special needs, at the center.