UNDP, EU, and Switzerland Partner for Civil Registry Modernization in Tajikistan

May 20, 2024

Archives in the Main Department of the Civil Registry Offices in Dushanbe

Mufiza Kenjaeva/ UNDP Tajikistan

For several years now, Tajikistan has been actively pursuing the implementation of e-government to enhance the quality of public services. One of the key focus areas in this digital transformation journey is the modernization of civil registry offices. This story will highlight how Tajikistan’s efforts toward a digital future are being supported by the “Civil Registry System Reform Initiative” supported by the European Union and the Government of Switzerland and implemented by the UNDP. 

What Progress Has Been Made So Far?

Tajikistan began its efforts towards civil registry modernization in 2014, when its Government approved "The Development Program of Bodies of Civil Registration for 2014 - 2019," in alignment with the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On State Registration of Acts of Civil Status" and the "National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan."

Later, in 2016, a UNDP study revealed that tasks and operations that once took hours in archives could now be completed in just 5 minutes, highlighting a significant increase in efficiency.

Continuing this momentum, in 2019 - 2020, under the UNDP pilot project on “Digitization of Civil Registry Archives” coming the “Civil Registry System Reform Initiative,” essential equipment for modernizing civil registry offices was procured, resulting in over 188 thousand civil registration records digitalization.

This laid the groundwork for a more accessible future where citizens could access archival records swiftly and conveniently, without enduring long queues or multiple visits to registry offices.

What Future Developments are Anticipated?

Looking ahead, the project aims to train 300 civil registry office employees in data entry and scanning methods, alongside equipping 74 offices with equipment valued at 482 thousand 379 US dollars. This initiative will establish a simple and dynamic digital workflow, liberating records from being confined to archival databases reminiscent of the past.

As digitization progresses, both civil registration officials and the people of Tajikistan will witness significant changes, including increased accuracy in searching archival data, elimination of duplicates, time savings, and the end of manual access to archives and handwritten certificates.

Advantages of the "Electronic Civil Registry Office" System:

It's worth noting that by 1920, over 25 million vital records, including birth, marriage, and death certificates, were recorded on paper. These extensive archival documents are stored in large premises, occupying significant space and being vulnerable to risks like fire, flooding, and natural disasters.

The "Electronic Civil Registry Office" system is designed to address these challenges by organizing reliable long-term storage of electronic copies and records of archival data. It ensures efficient document search and provides multi-user access while automating the process of entering new documents into the electronic archive to keep it updated.

This automated search and reference system will reduce the time required to provide public services through the use of new information technologies. It will systematize and optimize document storage in electronic form, decreasing overhead costs associated with paper documents and minimizing the risks of damage and loss through primarily accessing their electronic images.