Ramallah, 21 September 2020 – The Palestinian Ministry of Interior, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Development Programme launched today a digital birth and death registration system that will strengthen civil registration and provide reliable vital statistics for policy makers. The intervention comes as part of UNDP’s COVID-19 response and strategy to strengthen government’s use of e-services.
The system, developed by the Ministry of Interior, will improve the productivity of health staff by enabling the registration of vital data in real time for faster processing and by significantly reducing the use of paper forms.
The system is important because a birth certificate is every new-born’s formal inclusion in society and crucial for accessing social services and protection of legal rights. Currently, those who give birth in hospitals are given a registration paper and told to go to their local district civil affairs office to register the birth. In most cases, it could take days or weeks for them to visit and register the newborn. The system is now even more critical with the COVID-19 pandemic, as it will reduce overcrowdings and time required by citizens to stay inside district registration offices. Now, the child is immediately registered online and a confirmation message is sent via SMS to the parents to pick up the birth certificate.
On the other hand, the process to register a deceased person is similar. Once the information is completed online, a notification is sent to the relevant bodies, including the Land Authority and banking system to cease all activities related to the deceased, hence reducing identity theft and fraud. The system will also record the reason of death based on WHO criteria for further analysis.
The launch ceremony was held at the Ramallah Medical Complex and attended by Deputy Minister of Interior Mr Yousef Harb, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Wael Al-Sheikh, and UNDP Programme Design and Implementation Analyst Nader Atta. The launch was followed by a presentation of the registration system and activation.