Armenia’s experience shows that CRVS and identity management systems do not need to operate under one agency to be done successfully.
The country study is part of a publication titled, ‘Compendium of Good Practices in Linking Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and Identity Management Systems,' aimed at advancing SDG target 16.9, published by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the Centre of Excellence.
The publication also features five other country case studies: Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Netherlands and Peru.
A case study on Armenia highlights its identity system as an example of building on cooperation among institutions responsible for civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and identity management using a holistic approach to civil registration, vital statistics and identity management. The country study is part of a compendium of good practices for advancing SDG target 16.9 (provide legal identity for all, including birth registration) published by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data and the Centre of Excellence.
According to the publication, Armenia’s experience shows that the two building blocks of identity – CVRS and identity management – do not need to operate under one agency to be done successfully, but can work well even if different agencies are responsible, as long as the respective systems are interoperable so they can share information.
The case study highlights how the country’s Ministry of Justice, which is responsible for civil registration, and the Police have developed “a solid framework” for working together. The publication notes that Armenia’s modern CRVS is fully digitized, with all registered information being entered directly into the electronic civil register. This system enables the digital vital events records that belong to a specific person to be linked, so their up-to-date identity information is available any time. The identity management system is managed by the police, its population register being an electronic database that serves as the main tool to manage identity data and issue national ID cards and travel documents.
The country study also reports that each time a new birth is added to the civil register, the information that includes identity attributes of the newborn is automatically sent to the population register, where a new personal record is created. Also, every time a new vital event is registered and the names of informants are added to the civil register, this digitized platform automatically pulls identity information for the informants from the population register. This way, the publication explains, the two interoperable systems can provide up-to-date information to other users of identity data from these registers.
Some of the good practices identified in the Armenia case study include:
- Digitizing civil registration processes to enable easier data sharing and registration of vital events;
- Including an e-health platform that can be accessed at hospitals, where digital and paper-based medical certificates are produced;
- Linking the civil and population registers electronically to the civil register to copy identity data of informants or applicants from the population register, instead of copying that data from an identification credential that a person presents; and
- Using an innovative platform to verify if civil registration certificates and documents are authentic.
The publication highlights data interoperability among government-operated information and communications technology systems as essential to the effectiveness of the holistic approach taken with regards to the CRVS and identity management systems, as it allows the government to decide which types of data each service can access. The text explains that when a nation-wide layer of data interoperability was added, specific procedures were instituted to regulate cooperation between the two agencies.
Overall, Armenia’s framework to fully digitize government services by 2030 focuses on cybersecurity, digital infrastructure, government efficiency, tech-oriented private sector, and tech-savvy workforce. According to the framework, once the proposed E-Gov is fully in place, it will reduce the cost of government services by 50%, significantly reduce corruption and increase competitiveness, and add up to 3% to the growth rate of Armenia’s gross domestic product.
According to the case study, like most countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union, Armenia inherited a well-developed system for registering vital events, thus investment was needed for the system’s digitization, which was done with support from the EU. The total amount invested in digitizing so far is estimated at around USD 2 million, with the digitizing of historical records being estimated at USD 1 for each vital event record.
The publication titled, ‘Compendium of Good Practices in Linking Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and Identity Management Systems,’ also features five other country case studies: Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia, Netherlands and Peru. The authors note that the benefits of a holistic approach to CRVS and identity management span several aspects of governance, including ensuring people’s rights, improving service delivery, reducing corruption, and leaving no one behind. [Publication: Compendium of Good Practices in Linking Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and Identity Management Systems – Armenia]