A passport to protection – A guide to birth registration programming

This handbook provides those working on birth registration with the background, general principles and programming process. The guide is divided into three main chapters:

Understanding birth registration in the context of civil registration sets the scene for the rest of the guide, discussing why birth registration matters in the lives of children. It provides an overview of what birth registration is and the international framework that governs its implementation. It discusses the principles of birth registration and the registration process from notification to certification. It also provides some basic data on birth registration and an overview of other organizations engaged in this area.

Situation analysis – Understanding the programme task sets out an 8-step approach to conducting an analysis of the birth registration situation in the country, leading to the analysis of possible directions for UNICEF support. It starts with an analysis of the general conditions in the country that impact on civil registration supply and demand. It includes guidance on carrying out an assessment of the current standing on birth registration, and an organizational and legal review as well as government policy directions. It also delves specifically into communication for development options, and analysis of possibilities and gaps in the birth registration process.

Programming for birth registration in the context of civil registration gives guidance on how to translate the outcomes of the situation analysis into birth registration programmes. It includes a discussion on birth registration programming within civil registration and some specific intervention areas that are particularly relevant to UNICEF’s strengths and mandate, including civil registration management, organization and resources; and the use of ICT and interoperability with other sectors such as health. It also reviews the possibilities that communication for development programmes offer and some of the national and international coalition activities, including work with parliamentarians. The Annexes provide some further detailed information, including a glossary of terms necessary for working in this area.

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