Registering Newborn Babies by Smartphone

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According to a report published in 2013 by UNICEF “One in three children under-five does not officially exist."
The report says “the births of nearly 230 million children under-five have never been registered; approximately one in three of all children under-five around the world.”
Children unregistered at birth will not have documentation proving who they are, including a birth certificate, which can deny them from accessing education, health care and social security programs and from obtaining a passport.
For poor families in underdeveloped countries, especially those living in remote areas, registering a birth can mean having to travel a great distance to a government office which they do not have time to do or for which they are not able to afford the cost.
Adama Sawadogo, a documentation security consultant in Burkina Faso worked three years on an invention he calls ‘iCivil’ that could revolutionize the registration of children. iCivil couples the SMS text capabilities of a smartphone with a secure authentication technology called ‘Bubble Tag’, developed by the French company Prooftag.
A newborn child receives a wrist bracelet with a QR (Quick Response) barcode which can be scanned by the smartphone. Details of the child’s birth are then sent as an SMS message to a central computer server operated by the government of the country.

ROUGH-CUT VERSION AVAILABLE HERE: https://www.transterramedia.com/media/66991

Script

  1. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 00.02 – 00.14 In 2010 I wanted to build a school in the the village of my mother. When gathering children for the school I realized that of the 105 children that came to class only five had a birth certificate.
  2. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 00:19 – 00:28 Globally there are 250 million children younger that five years old who have never been registered. When the child is not registered it’s rights are not recognized.
  3. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 00:28 – 00:40 I worked for three years on this project with Francis Bourrière, the president of Prooftag, the inventor of the bubble code. Together we worked out a mobile application called iCivil which was created for African countries.
  4. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 00:42 – 00:51 Every bracelet has a unique bubble-code which lets us identify the child that was just born.
  5. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 00:52 – 01:03 Once we scan the bracelet using the QR-code, the application will automatically generate a field to declare the birth.
  6. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 01:04 – 01:24 We will then validate all the correct information. After that is done the nurse will send the declaration using a crypted SMS to a central server of the civil registration service. After processing the declaration the birth certificate will be ready to print out at the central server.
  7. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 01:26 – 01:37 In Africa 50% of the population has not been registered. Where does it go wrong? When the child is born the parents have to declare the baby with a paper certificate that they have to bring to the nearest registration office.
  8. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 01:37 – 01:48 The problem is on one hand the distance; some have to travel more than 50 kilometers by foot. On the other hand there's the deadline. In some countries they have to bring in the declaration within 30 days of the birth.
  9. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 01:48 – 01:54 So the combination of the limited time and the distance they have to travel compromises the transfer of the paper declaration to the civil registration service.
  10. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 01:55 – 02:10 She says she's happy, she doesn't have identity papers herself. She doesn't have a birth certificate either or identity card. So for the child it's very welcome to be able to get out of this cycle.
  11. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 02:11 – 02:21 Did you already have a lot of problems because of the lack of identity documents? The police always stop me because I don't have any papers. Do you have to pay? Yes, every time.
  12. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 02:22 – 02:42 We manage to register children of all ages and from every social status at the civil service immediately. This permits countries to better plan their development policies because at least they will know the number of inhabitants, their age, sex and population distribution.
  13. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 02:44 – 02:59 iCivil is already operational in Burkina Faso and other countries are interested as well; Niger, Benin , Mali and Ivory Coast. We are also contacting all the other African countries, because the application is very relevant for them as well.
  14. soundbite (French)
    Aadama Sawadogo, Documentation Security Consultant: 03:01 – 03:13 Everytime I see the bracelet on the arm of a baby I see another baby that has been saved. That alone makes my day just great.