Plan’s partnership work with UNICEF
Plan and UNICEF have been working closely together to achieve universal birth registration. The collaboration has adopted an integrated strategy built on each partner's respective strengths. UNICEF, as a UN agency, attracts high political attention at global, regional and national levels, whilst Plan has many years of experience working with partners at grassroots level and recognising children as an important stakeholder group.
Asia: the unregistered children project
The unregistered children project (UCP) was launched by Plan and UNICEF in 1998. Its aim was to assess registration of children in South and South-east Asia and to develop realistic strategies and networks for action to promote universal birth registration in the shortest time possible.
The first phase of the UCP was designed to assess the magnitude of non-registration, raise awareness of major stakeholders and the public, forge national and regional committees on birth registration and spur resource mobilisation.
The process started with an assessment on the status of and barriers to birth registration. The exercise was implemented in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
National workshops were held in each of the eight countries, where participants discussed the findings of their assessments and mobilised political will, which led to the development of a ‘birth registration declaration' and a national action plan to take the issue forward.
The Asia Birth Registration Committee, a network of professionals committed to the promotion of birth registration was also set up to monitor and support Pan-Asian progress and to expand collaboration on the issue to other parts of the world.
This was followed by implementing interventions, from regional and national levels to the grassroots.
These efforts led to the registering of 3.2 million children in India's state of Orissa and more than four million children in Bangladesh alone. The number of countries involved in the project continues to grow.
Other joint projects
Other joint Plan/UNICEF initiatives in Asia include:
- the development of a joint communication strategy to raise greater awareness of the issue in Bangladesh
- work with the Indonesian government to develop a training manual for civil registrars and to carry out training
- establishing a pilot project to register children under the age of five in two districts in Timor Leste.