Key Staff: Our Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
In one of our most productive quarters ever we’re delighted to report that in spite of the limitations of coronavirus we’ve still been able to (safely) conduct a number of activities in the community strengthening work on Birth Registration.
One key success has been in the training of our Community Advocates – these are members of the Bubi and Umguza districts who are taking the next step in being able to advocate for themselves on issues related to Birth Registration. Doing this in different parts of local and national government they are starting to hold duty bearers to account for the services they provide to the community. Our evaluations show that the advocates show a strong understand of issues and now have the confidence to put what they’ve learned into practice. This doesn’t mean that we’re leaving them to it tough – we continue to provide support visits to help advocates and those within CPCs (Child Protection Committees) with the additional help they need to be able to drive forward individual cases of birth registration as well as the agenda as a whole.
In a similar vein this quarter saw us meet with national officials to discuss issues such as; registration centres, opening up online registration (particularly relevant in coronavirus times when the registry office has been closed) and health centre’s withholding records. We’re happy to have assurances that policies, enshrined in law, will be carried out in these provinces. We also met with the district nursing officials who agreed to prioritise informing communities on the importance of registering births, ensuring that this vital issues grows in the public consciousness.
We’ve also been holding Community Dialogues where, communities have been identifying their own issues and making Community Action Plans. These highlight priorities for them work on (with our support) and should be some of the most effective means of ensuring change. Issues chosen include;
- Doing home visits to support the registration of children who were born at home/outside of a medical centre
- Encouraging expectant mothers to register with medical centres
- Emphasise the importance of accurate record keeping as a way to remove a simple barrier to birth documentation
- Work with the Registry Office to be lenient and supportive of cases in order to facilitate completion
In addition to this we’ve been supporting the birth registration cases of undocumented children and recently contributed to an online forum discussing the impact of coronavirus on birth registration nationally.
Did you know: It’s estimated that around 200,000 children will have been born in Zimbabwe whilst the registration office has been closed. The backlog created only heightens the urgency of our work in making birth registration easier and more consistently done for the children of Zimbabwe.
Training In Action