The government has launched online registration of newborns, deaths, marriages and divorces, among others, as a way of consolidating the country’s statistics and coming up with timely and accurate figures.
The web-based application to record vital events occurring in the lives of Rwandans is being piloted in Huye District, Southern Province.
The pilot study, launched yesterday, will last three months and it is being championed by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).
The software is set to enhance straightforward data collection and production of vital statistics which will be gathered from health facilities, including health centres and hospitals, then transmitted through the system to sectors, district and the national level.
Officials believe the web-based application will advance data collection, quality and the overall reporting of vital statistics.
Records are directed to a server at NISR at the moments data is entered, allowing statisticians to track events that are happening within the community such as births and deaths easily.
Willy Gasafari, NISR director of census, told The New Times that the online system is expected to give timely, unbiased, reliable and accurate figures.
He said the figures will supplement and update those from the general census, which is conducted every 10 years.
“With this web-based system we shall be able to have proper records of the population that are necessary for proper planning and policy formulation,” he said.
Gasafari also said the system will cut on the costs that were involved in gathering such data.
The pilot phase will run from July to September, after which the system will be expanded throughout the country.
Officials said proper civil registration is important for policymakers to come up with informed policies.
According to Dieudonné Manago Kayihura, the director of data collection at the National Identification Agency (Nida), civil registration provides room for people’s rights to be protected, including rights to property, inheritance and so many more.
Unregistered individuals are, in many ways, “invisible” and are less likely to benefit from social protection programmes, he said.
“This system is a boost in ensuring that every birth or death is recorded,” he said.
Civil registration officers were also optimistic that the system will ease their job while at the same time opening opportunities for better and proper records.
Albert Niyonzima, one of the officers, said he also hoped once the system becomes fully operational data generated could also be used in the issuance of official documents such us birth, marriage or death certificates anywhere in the country without necessarily having to travel to the home sector.