Genesis studies why 30% of SA births go unregistered

Genesis Analytics has been contracted to evaluate the Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) birth registration programme. Despite various interventions through the DHA’s birth registration programme only 694 000 out of approximately 1.1-million births are registered per year in South Africa.

One of the policy objectives of the DHA is to ensure the efficient determination and safeguarding of the identity and status of South African citizens. The fundamental means to achieving this is an up-to-date, reliable National Population Register (NPR) in which all births are registered timeously.  

The purpose of the implementation evaluation contracted by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) is to understand why births are not registered within the legislated period, the first 30 days after birth, and to develop recommendations to improve this.

Evaluation for Development partner, Alyna Wyatt, said that Genesis is using a systems thinking approach because birth registration takes place in a complex and multi-stakeholder environment.

A systems approach to evaluation is iterative and requires continuous input from the key stakeholders with the aim of developing an evaluation that can improve the system.  

Genesis has committed to a consultative and collaborative approach to the evaluation. The evaluation team has met with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba and Fatima Chohan respectively, to understand what they view as the main objectives and outcomes of the evaluation. As part of a collaborative approach and skills transfer initiative, four members for the DHA and one from DPME are on the evaluation team.

The evaluation will provide insights into the legislative, social and economic obstacles that effect birth registration as well as identify strategies and good practices that the DHA, in collaboration with other government departments and NGOs, can employ to improve early birth registrations.