Telenor Group and UNICEF scale mobile birth registration pilot to Myanmar

Via Telenor Media Center

Aug 28, 2018

(Nay Pyi Taw/Fornebu, 27 August 2018) Telenor Group and UNICEF today announced that its successful mobile birth registration pilot will be scaled to Myanmar. The organisations signed a partnership agreement for a Mobile Birth and Death Registration (MBDR) project endorsed by the Government of Myanmar.

Published: 27 August 2018 09:00

When launched in Mon State, south eastern Myanmar, the pilot will allow midwives to enter birth and death registration on a smartphone application. Township health offices receive and register this information and issue certificates using a digitalised recording system instead of the previously manual method.

Reducing inequalities

More than one billion people in the world today lack an official identity. The ability to prove one’s identity is crucial to social, political and economic inclusion and enables greater access to basic services such as healthcare and education. Changing this reality is a challenge, but also an opportunity to reduce inequalities on a huge scale.

The ability to prove one’s identity is crucial to social, political and economic inclusion and enables greater access to basic services such as healthcare and education.

“Telenor Group is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #10. By supporting the government’s civil registration system with UNICEF, Telenor Group and Telenor Myanmar focus on reducing inequalities by leveraging innovative digital services and connectivity to bring the benefits of e-government to the public, and to support Myanmar’s future digital economy,” said Petter Furberg, Chairman of the Board for Telenor Myanmar and EVP, Head of Emerging Asia for Telenor Group.

In addition to the financial support, Telenor Group will grant free data access to MBDR’s web-based platform and provide training to midwives on how to register information and manage the digital system.

A game changer

UNICEF Representative to Myanmar, June Kunugi said, “We enter this partnership having witnessed the results of a recent birth registration campaign in Myanmar that opened the door for children to go school and access other basic services. The support from Telenor Group will be a game changer in allowing UNICEF to support the Government of Myanmar to reach all children through establishing a digital vital statistics system.”

Although Myanmar already uses an electronic platform (eVR) to archive birth and death records at Union, State and Region levels, registration in townships is completed in paper forms. The agreement signed today to extend eVR in Mon State, is targeted to increase birth and death registration coverage, improve data confidentiality and security, and reduce the use of additional resources to fill, print and transport paper forms. The pilot aims to reduce the time it takes to receive a birth registration certificate from 3-6 months down to around one month.

The new pilot is based on experiences from a first-of-its-kind Digital Birth Registration pilot carried out by Telenor in Pakistan, together with UNICEF and local Governments. By training local health workers visiting newborns for health check-ups to also register the births via a mobile app, the pilot saw an increase in birth registration from 30 percent to 90 percent during just six months. The project has been gradually scaled and the ambition is to register 700,000 children by end of 2018, covering a total of nine districts in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Telenor Group has a global ambition of facilitating access to identity for seven million across its footprint by 2020.

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