Project to enable birth registration via cell phones launched
ISLAMABAD: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has launched a pilot project with Telenor Pakistan, aimed at using mobile technology to access birth registration. The project would play a pivotal role to improve citizens interactions through process optimization, better planning and management of data for the government, and improved health awareness through uptake of mobile-health (m-health) services. This unique pilot project also aims to help create an enabling environment by making the process of birth registration user-friendly, and provide facilitation to citizens and other stakeholders through the use of technology and innovations.
According to UNICEF here, currently, rate of birth registration in Pakistan is quite low due to various socio-economic factors. Time, cost, travel, process hindrances and general lack of awareness all contribute towards exacerbating the situation while on the other hand, the ubiquitous prevalence and adoption of mobile technology in Pakistan has opened avenues that offer unprecedented potential for services and applications for masses at large. A one-of-its kind initiative under Telenor Pakistan Corporate Social Responsibility umbrella, the project will not only aim at increasing demand for registrations in selected Union Councils of Sindh and Punjab but will also induce a proactive approach towards bringing birth registration services to the public. In his comments, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor Pakistan, Muhammad Aslam Hayat said Telenor aims to empower societies by extending the benefits of telecommunications through innovative measures to the masses.
Considering proof of identity an essential prerequisite for gaining access to basic services, and to exercising fundamental human rights, the Company has announced its partnership with UNICEF Pakistan which will not only help boost birth registration rate but will also establish the importance of technology for enabling a child's right to registration.
This project has tremendous implications for the right of every child in Pakistan as birth registration is an important instrument to realize children's right to health, education and other services in particular protection against violence, abuse and exploitation, said Dan Rohrmann, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan.