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Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Ethiopia

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1 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Ethiopia
Recent Experiences of the Central Statistical Agency and Its Challenges Samia Zekaria Gutu Director General Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia June 2009 Presented at PARIS 21 Side Event Meeting June 5, 2009

2 Outline of the presentation
Background Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in Ethiopia Legal Provisions for the Establishment of CRVS in Ethiopia Previous Efforts of the CSA and Its Challenges Ongoing Efforts of the CSA Lessons from Model Registration Program Way Forward

3 Background Geographically, Ethiopia is situated in the horn of Africa between 3 and 5 degrees north latitude and 33 and 48 degrees east longitude. The total area of the country is about 1.1 million square kilometers. Total counted population of the country on May 2007was reported to be million with annual growth rate of 2.6. Ethiopia is administratively sub-divided into nine regional states and two city administrations.

4 Background (cont’d) The topographic features range from the highest peak at Ras Dashen, (4,550 meters above sea level), down to the Affar Depression at 110 meters below sea level. The climatic condition of the country varies with the topography, ranging from 47 to 10 degrees celsius. Ethiopia is a home to about 80 ethnic groups that vary in population size from more than 27 million to less than 1000 persons. In general, Ethiopia is the second largest countries in Africa in terms of population size and total area with diversified culture, linguistic and large ethnic compositions.

5 Source of Population Dynamics Information
In Ethiopia, institutional based statistical data generation is close to only five decades old, which is very young, compared to many other countries. Currently Ethiopia’s major sources of population dynamics information (fertility, mortality and migration) are censuses and surveys. Countries like Ethiopia that do not have an information system that provides population statistics at least on annual basis are forced to be based on less reliable statistical information, especially that of population projections as in the case of Ethiopian 1994 PHC.

6 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of the many African countries that does not have a working conventional Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Systems which: assist various government departments in the country to formulate programs of services. is used to develop an integrated legal and statistical population database that meets national and international standards.

7 Legal Provisions for the Establishment of CRVS in Ethiopia
The 1900 Proclamation was to carry out population censuses and to establish a vital events registration system by recording births, deaths and marriages, The 1960 Civil Code of Ethiopia Proclamation No.165 contains sets a detailed and compressive provisions on the establishment of vital events registration, but due to lack of specified order in the Civil Code it was not operational. Proclamations of 1976 and 1981 also states that every kebele in urban areas carry out the Registration of births, deaths, and marriages occurring with in its jurisdiction based on the directives to be issued. However, these directives have not come into existence and these proclamations came to no avail. Proclamations that established the CSA clearly designated the CSA for the collection of vital statistics data through registration and enumeration (census or sample surveys).

8 Legal Provision for the establishment of CRVS in Ethiopia, (Cont’d)
The 1995 FDRE Constitution specify the right of a child to a name and nationality which could be said the constitution accepts the importance of vital events registration, The National Population Policy of Ethiopia: In this document enacting laws/regulations for vital events registration, the responsibility to facilitate the establishment of vital registration systems has been imposed on the CSA. Even though there were legal provisions that stipulate the establishment of the CRVS in the country, one would observe lack of coordination and integration of activities among the institutions involved in civil registration and vital statistics data collection systems. Lack of adequate, qualified and experienced persons and financial resources could also be main reasons for the failure.

9 Previous Efforts of CSA
The CSA has made numerous attempts to lay the foundation for the establishment of civil registration and vital statistics system in the country. The Central Statistical Agency has done much in this field. In accordance to the powers and responsibilities given to the Agency. In 1977 the CSA initiated an experimental sample Vital Statistics Registration in some selected urban and rural areas of the country. The main objective of this initiative was to test whether it would be possible to carry out civil registration and vital statistics by providing technical and material assistance to urban and rural dwellers associations. Its other aim was to learn about some expected fundamental problems that would arise in the methodological, administrative, legal and financial aspects of the registration activities.

10 Previous Efforts of CSA (cont’d)
In 1982 Experimental Sample Vital Event Registration was initiated in 500 rural kebeles that were selected for Rural Integrated Household Survey Program and the survey was carried out for one year. It was designed to generate data on birth, death, marriage and divorce events through sample registration and survey methods . After three years in 1986 a new program of Experimental Sample Vital Registration was launched in the rural areas, that was run for only one year. This exercise was again disrupted because of financial, personnel and other problems. Again after 11 years, it was restarted in This time it was devised in such a way that it would cover both the urban and rural areas using dual methods of data collection; the registration of vital events and the household surveys.

11 Previous Efforts of CSA (cont’d)
In 1999 CSA conducted a technical review program on the methodologies followed in the study for the establishment and development of vital statistics system through the registration method. After the review and extensive debate, the management of the then Authority decided to quit the experimental sample vital registration and household survey, which is categorized as dual recording data collection method that was followed as one methodology for the establishment of CRVS system in the country. Therefore, all efforts were shifted to the principles and recommendations of the UN that provided guideline and methodologies for the establishment and development of CRVS system in developing countries.

12 Challenges Absence of a comprehensive compulsory Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems law; Lack of sufficient experts with the necessary knowledge and experience; Inadequate attention and lack of focus on the part of the concerned authorities; Lack of adequate technical support and initiative by health authorities in the development of methodologies in recording the causes of death classification; Lack of institutionalized system that provides technical support and capacity building; and Inadequate support from the concerned UN agencies like UNFPA, WHO etc...

13 Ongoing Efforts by the CSA
The CSA is incorporating the past experiences learned from the previous countrywide Sample Vital Registration in late 1970s and 1980s, and The 2005 UNICEF assisted Model Vital Registration that run in three regions showed the Sample Vital Registration outcomes are positive and worthwhile. In collaboration with other stakeholders, the CSA has been striving to incorporate necessary inputs for the drafting of the Civil Registration Law. Currently, the CSA is strengthening its Vital Events Registration and Statistics Department in order to be able to provide technical supports and to compile the vital events statistics regularly as the law comes into force.

14 Way Forward Intensively working for the promulgation of the draft Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems law; The draft proclamation establishes a central office, at the federal level, for the registration of vital events, which also coordinates and facilitates the registration of vital events throughout the country. It is also entrusted to create the necessary conditions for exchange of information using appropriate modern technology. This proclamation is expected to provide a compulsory, universal, permanent and continuous system of civil registration to be in place.

15 Way Forward (cont’d) Advocacies through organizing national and regional workshops; Involving all stakeholders; Improving the capacity of duty bearers; Increased political will; Set up relevant institutions; and Work in partnership with civil society.

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