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CIVIL REGISTRATION AND VITAL STATISTICS

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21 Oct 2021
How an agile response transformed Vanuatu's civil register system at a time of crisis
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In a recent article written for the United Nations Development Programme Pacific Office in Fiji, Emily Moli and Anne-Sofie Gerhard write about how Vanuatu, working with UN stakeholders and the Government of New Zealand, used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen their civil registration system. In particular, the authors tell the story of the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project (VEEP).

The VEEP Project focused on strengthening the electoral system to conform to international standards and resolving problems with a deeply defective electoral roll and strengthen political stability. Launched in 2017, VEEP was set up specifically with this mission and it became evident that other related issues were at stake, in particular the country’s civil registry. While its main focus was to support the Vanuatu Electoral Office and Commission, VEEP quickly scaled up its work to include a massive nation-wide joint civil and voter registration effort, including the issuing of national identity documents (ID), giving citizens a legal identity for the first time in the nation’s history.

To read the article in full, as well as learn more about this project and how Vanuatu turned a crisis into an opportunity, please visit www.pacific.undp.org.

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