Theses Doctoral

Ending Invisibility: Three Papers Examining Ways to Improve the Birth Registration System for an Advancement of Population Health in Indonesia

Kusumaningrum, Santi

Civil registration (CR) is a continuous recording of births, deaths, causes of death, marriages, divorces, and migrations, and is fundamental to the socioeconomic development in every country. It establishes the legal identity of individuals and produces vital statistics (VS) of a population. Identity documents, including a birth certificate, signifies an individual's citizenship. They preset access to basic services, legal protection, and economic opportunities. Statistics produced from the civil registry are key to inform the planning and monitoring of development programs, including health. Birth registration is fundamental to the CRVS system because at-birth records provide the basic information needed by other sectors in order to plan and deliver their services. Also, they create a documentation path over individuals’ lifecycle. Poor birth registration performance, therefore, epitomizes a weak CRVS system. This study focuses on birth registration in Indonesia, one of the countries with the largest number of unregistered under-five years old children. It aims to identify factors that generate stronger birth registration in other lower middle-income countries and to examine the current state of birth registration in Indonesia. Based on the review of the global and regional practices and the analysis of the empirical evidence, this study proposes comprehensive solutions to engender an effective birth registration system in Indonesia.
This study is presented in three papers, each of which addresses specific aims and research questions and together offer conceptual coherence on birth registration system in Indonesia. Paper 1 titled “Enablers to Stronger Birth Registration Systems in Developing Countries: A Qualitative Systematic Review” synthesizes experiences from birth registration strengthening programs. Paper 2 titled “Barriers and Opportunities of Birth Registration: Evidence from Indonesia” quantitatively analyzes the current state and the factors that affect the access to birth registration services in Indonesia. Paper 3 titled “Ending Invisibility Since Birth: Solutions for Birth Registration Policy in Indonesia and the Global Practice” discusses strategic changes that are required to improve the birth registration performance in Indonesia and potentially beyond. It is hoped that this study can contribute to the literature about Indonesia and birth registration systems while offering applicable ways to improve the situation.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Population and Family Health
Thesis Advisors
Wessells, Michael G.
Dr.P.H., Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Published Here
May 10, 2019