Genesis studies why 30% of SA births go unregistered

Project name:
Implementation evaluation of the birth registration programme

Monitoring and evaluation

Public and Social

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation & impact assessment

Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Department of Home Affairs (South Africa)

2016 - 2018

South Africa

Birth registration is a constitutional right for all born in South Africa. To extend access to this essential service, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has implemented a range of interventions targeting early registration of birth (ERB), within 30 days of birth. 

The key intervention is the hospital footprint programme, which enables ERB at connected healthcare facilities. Genesis conducted an implementation evaluation of these DHA-led interventions that was commissioned within the South African National Evaluation Plan. 

The purpose of the evaluation was to systematically uncover the constraints that hinder ERB. Due to the complexity of the birth registration system, Genesis employed systems thinking for the evaluation. 

Genesis also prepared a theory of change for birth registration and used the OECD DAC Criteria for Programme Evaluation as the foundation of the evaluation framework. The evaluation methods included key informant interviews, observations at sites (DHA offices and healthcare facilities), interviews with registering parents and guardians, an extensive literature review, and an analysis of departmental data. 

The evaluation findings and recommendations were disseminated to, and validated with, the Evaluation Steering Committee and a broader stakeholder group. The Evaluation Steering Committee and DHA exco have accepted all 13 recommendations and will adopt a management improvement plan for implementation of the recommendations.


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