Strengthening the Birth Registration System in Samoa report launched


A partnership between the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (SBS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has led to the strengthening of the birth registration system.

This is reflected in the launch this past week of a new report – Strengthening the Birth Registration System in Samoa – which highlights birth registration as a fundamental right, a critical first step for the protection and development of children, yet it remains a challenge for Samoa.

The Report is the result of effective partnerships between SBS, through its Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) Division, UNDP through its Accelerator Lab (AccLab), and relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, and actors involved in the birth registration process at the community level.

“The Samoa Bureau of Statistics recognizes and acknowledges the need to strengthen the birth registration system in the country. As such, birth registration is part of a wider civil registration system that includes the free and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of key events – births, deaths, adoptions, marriages, and divorces – and other civil status events pertaining to the population,” said Leota Laki Lamositele Sio, Minister of Statistics.

“In Samoa, every person has a right to a name that connects to the land and matai titles – their fa’asinomaga. The registration of birth protects and instils that right and identity, which enables entitlement to health, education, sports, employment opportunities and many other social and economic benefits. A child’s birth certificate is the primary identity to all social and economic entitlements.”

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the current situation, identifies gaps and opportunities, and proposes innovative and concrete recommendations like using collective intelligence and leveraging technology and a whole-of-government collaboration across sectors to improve birth registration in Samoa.