UGANDA, 2013. A mother displays her child’s short birth certificate generated by Mobile Vital Records System (Mobile VRS), at Mulago hospital. At the hospital, birth registration is done using Mobile Vital Records System (Mobile VRS) an innovative technology supported by UNICEF to improve birth registration in Uganda. © UNICEF/UGDA201300588/MICHELE SIBILONI

UNICEF’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) Launch of Uganda Study Tour Report on Innovations for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS)

In my blog submission on September 24, “Reaching the Unreached: Innovations and Child Protection“, I shared about the Study Tour in Uganda focusing on using innovations in partnerships and technology to improve civil registration and vital statistics, specifically birth registration (although death registration is just as an important to CRVS systems). The Study Tour was organized by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) with support from UNICEF and the European Union. The Study Tour brought together government partners and UNICEF staff from 12 countries across Africa to explore how innovative technology can increase the registration of child births (and deaths). Expert facilitators from India and Switzerland as well as members of the Core Group, including UNECA, WHO-Geneva, Plan International and UNICEF led the process.

ESARO has just launched the Report of the Study Tour and a one-page Executive Summary.

The highlight of the event included field trips to observe how one of the key innovations, Mobile Vital Records System (MVRS ), uses simple phones owned by most Ugandans, even in rural areas, to register births, leveraging with the health system. MVRS is the product of an innovative partnership among UNICEF, the Government of Uganda and Uganda Telecom. Among the outcomes of this event, participants identified the core elements of the birth registration process that could be enhanced using technological innovations.

For more information on the Study Tour, contact Milen Kidane in the ESARO office at mkidane(at)

Bill Philbrick
Innovation and Child Protection Project Lead

Read more about birth registration:

Prototyping birth registration services in Nicaragua

Making people count by counting people

Nigeria – Using RapidSMS for birth registration

Reaching the unreached: Innovations and child protection

Adapting child health innovations for the field of child protection