The Solomon Islands Civil Registry Office (within the Ministry of Home Affairs) and the national CRVS committee hosted a national stakeholder meeting in June. The meeting was part of the Solomon Islands’ ongoing review of CRVS legislation and brought together key national and partner agencies. It was supported by UNICEF with funding through DFAT; and facilitated by the Pacific Community (SPC), with technical support from Brisbane Accord Group Partners (SPC, UNICEF, WHO and the Australian Bureau of Statistics); and the D4H project (including the University of Melbourne and Vital Strategies). While the Solomon Islands has made a broad range of improvements in the coverage and completeness of their CRVS system and data over the past few years, and the national committee has been extremely active in the implementation of their national CRVS improvement plan, there are still significant challenges remaining to ensure registration is available for all vital events in the country and that no one is “left behind”. The government has recognised that continuing these improvements requires a major revision of the current legislative framework, which has not been updated for nearly 30 years, to ensure that the Solomon Islands is able to make full use of opportunities such as new technology and increasing community outreach through national stakeholders and partners.
The meeting focussed on addressing key structural and design issues in relation to the national CR system as a first step towards updating the legal framework. The committee and stakeholders agreed on updating reporting pathways, timeframes and delegations that will significantly improve the ability of the system to capture and centrally collate records of vital events. These proposed changes will now be the basis for further consultation by the national committee and will form the basis of a white paper to government in order to issue a formal drafting notice.