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Registering Newborn Babies by Smartphone
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
By Wouter Elsen
15 Mar 2016

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.

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