JIS News

A sum of $8.5 million has been allotted to the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems Modernisation Programme, in the 2013/2014 Estimates of Expenditure.

The project aims to enable Jamaica to modernize its vital statistics and civil registration system. Project activities are designed to improve inter-agency co-ordination and communication, data collection, processing and management, and resource strengthening.

In addition, the programme seeks to strengthen capacities within the ministries of Health, National Security (Police Statistic Unit), Justice (Coroner’s Court), Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), to collect, store and process vital data and produce vital statistics which meet internal standards for policy and planning.

The programme is being implemented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIUOJ) and is funded by the Government, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Achievements up to February 2013 included: plan of operation for first phase of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems Modernization Programme completed; launch of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Modernization Programme; and the development of a comprehensive manual on standards and vital events and standards for calculation of vital statistics.

Other achievements included: redesign and development of public education arm for the RGD; review of legislative framework for the introduction of a national unique identifier; and five regional consultations held.

Anticipated targets for the 2013-2014 fiscal year include: implementation of technological platform in RGD to link civil events; proposal for a common technological platform to be shared by all of the stakeholder agencies and to allow for greater inter- connectivity and inter-operability across each of the agencies systems; and methodology developed, completed and approved to track an individual’s vital history from birth to death across each agency that collect vital data.

Other targets include: the development of software, protocols and manuals, and purchases and installation of hardware and software, to link vital events in the RGD database; comprehensive review of the current process of death registration and reporting for each of the relevant stakeholder agencies; and undertake a technical review to analyze the legal framework and technical requirements for the introduction of a unique identifying number.

The programme started in October 2009 and is slated to be completed by December 2013.

The Standing Finance Committee is to begin looking at the Estimates on Tuesday, April 9, at Gordon House.

By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter