Improving Civil Registration through Introduction of Information and Communication Technology in Siaya District
ODUOR, Godfrey Juma Shadrack
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Civil registration is a fundamental step towards good governance because it makes it virtually possible to plan or implement effective development strategies. The process requires an efficient system for quick dissemination of information among stakeholders. This can be achieved through the use of ICT. Experience has indicated that manual registration leads to delays in registration process and issuance of births and death certificates. In Siaya civil registry, there is limited use ofICT. The main purpose of this study therefore was to explore how Information and Communication Technology could be used to improve civil registration in Siaya civil registry. The specific objectives were to explore how civil registration stakeholders could be linked through networking, to analyze how ICT could speed up the process of births and deaths registration and finally to examine how ICT could ensure safety of births and deaths records. The study was conducted in Karemo Division, Siaya District. The sample size was384 from a population of 21,150 households. The study also included all the 30 health workers, 17 area assistant chiefs and 3 data clerks. Purposive sampling was used to collect data from the key informants who were the health workers, area assistant chiefs and the data clerks while simple random sampling was used to collect data from the households. Primary data was collected through questionnaires, observation and interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statisticsat a significance level of 0.05 and presented in the form of charts, tables and graphs while qualitative data was summarized and presented in narrative form.The study established that manual registration is still common in all the civil registration offices because of inadequate ICT hardware and software. The study established that 72% of the civil registration stakeholders are not linked through ICT. The speed of data transmission is still very slow and causes delays in issuing out registration certificates. 67% of the civil registration stakeholders have difficulties in acquiring records from registration centers. The study further established that the use of ICT provides the best alternative for improving data security by creating backups or assigning password to stored data. 60% of the respondents noted that manual system has no . adequate security of civil registration records.The study concluded that ICT is an important tool in improving linkages among civil registration stakeholders, speeding up registration process and ensuring safety of civil registration records. The study recommended that among other things; full implementation of ICT for improved efficiency of service provision; the government and other development partners should provide computers and internet connection to civil registration centers, training and awareness creation on how the use of ICT can help to revolutionize civil registration processes.