Birth Registration: BUNEC Launches Training Programme, Evaluates World Bank Project

The General Manager of the National Civil Status Registration Office, Alexandre Marie Yomo, was recently in Douala for two activities,

In order to have a better feel of the situation on the ground, Alexandre Marie Yomo, the General Manager of the National Civil Status Registration Office, BUNEC, was recently in Douala, Littoral Region on two occasions. The first trip from April 5, 2019 was to assess the implementation of a World Bank-funded project to tackle challenges with the country’s civil status system.

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The priority regions chosen for the project include Littoral (Douala 5 Sub-divisional Council). Alexandre Marie Yomo visited the Littoral regional BUNEC office as well as civil status registration centres in Douala 5 Sub-divisional Council. In effect, the tour was to find out the impact of the project on birth registration and encourage staff to put funds to proper use. In the Mbanya Pays-Bas (at “Sable” near Bonamoussadi), the civil status officer, Joseph Wamba Ngapou, said all was going well. Alexandre Marie Yomo encouraged him to continue to sensitise the public on the need to respect civil status laws. “The project has greatly helped in improving our work,” Joseph Wamba admitted.

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The challenges raised by field staff included outstanding office rents, unpaid water and electricity bills, unavailability of registers on time and lack of financial motivation for civil status officers. “I noticed improvements in service delivery, met people who spontaneously request birth, marriage and death certificates. The project has helped in improving our work. It is going on well and we intend to expand it to other councils,” the BUNEC General Manager noted. Alexandre Marie Yomo was also in Douala from May 7-8, 2019 to launch a training programme with support from the German Cooperation, GiZ. The workshops are for staff in some regions in the country selected for the pilot phase of reform of the civil status system.

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They are aimed at identifying training needs for civil status stakeholders in order to come up with an appropriate training programme. After Douala, more workshops are to be held in Limbe and Buea in the South West Region, Garoua in the North Region and Ebolowa in the South Region. The goal is to build capacity for the head office and increase demand for civil status services. “The difference this time is that we involve civil status stakeholders in identifying their training needs,” Yomo explained.

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The workshops are sequel to evaluations of the national civil status system carried out in 2006 and 2016, which uncovered operational challenges and the absence of training for staff. This was the basis for the implementation in 2010 of the Programme for the Reform of Cameroon Civil Status, Pre2c, and the adoption in June 2017 of a strategic plan to improve birth registration and the production of civil status statistics. So far, the reforms carried out have resulted in the training of 4,100 civil status officers and secretaries, staff of the Department of Political Affairs of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, and others.

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