Back to What Counts: Birth and Death in Indonesia

In July, the CPC affiliate Center on Child Protection at the University of Indonesia (PUSKAPA)–working with the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) and the Australian-Indonesia Partnership on Governance for Growth (KOMPAK)–launched a study looking at the bottlenecks, barriers, and opportunities in the existing birth and death registration system in Indonesia. The findings of this study inform and bolster the government’s plan to achieve 85% civil registration coverage by end of 2019.


This study found that civil registration is far from universal in Indonesia. One in three children had no legal documentation of their birth, two in five marriages were considered illegitimate by the state, almost one in five adults could not produce an ID or family card with their name on it, and death certificates were almost non-existent.  “In addition, we found that civil registration services are difficult to reach, application procedures are overly complicated, and obtaining certificates involves informal fees and late registration fines, reducing the chance for the poorest to be registered”, said Santi Kusumaningrum, Co-Director of PUSKAPA. As a result, millions in Indonesia are deprived of their basic rights, and the government is lacking complete, accurate, and timely population data on birth, death, and causes of death as well as other vital events such as marriage and migration, data necessary for evidence-based policy planning and evaluation.


This study recommends durable solutions for civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) within the context of decentralization and locally available basic services, such as health, education, and social assistance. In the next three to five years, PUSKAPA and KOMPAK as well as other development partners will support the government in bringing civil registration services closer to the community to reach the most vulnerable, facilitating civil registration processes through frontline health, education, and social assistance services so that events can be recorded at their first instance, and improving the quality of vital statistics produced from civil registries.


Read the report here.


To read more about our work in Indonesia, please see our priority country page.

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