Policy paper from CGD: Birth Registration, Legal Identity, and the Post-2015 Agenda

The Center for Global Development released a compelling policy paper last fall on legal identity in the post-2015 process - cautioning that “birth registration” and “legal identity for all” are separate ideas that are too often conflated.

Their main argument is that even if “universal birth registration for new births” could be a meaningful goal in the long-term, it may not be feasible for all countries right now and would leave out older children and adults who currently lack legal identity documents. Those left out of the current/future system may continue to have trouble accessing other rights and services if governments make legal identity documents a prerequisite. To ensure legal identity for all would require a different kind of implementation strategy beyond just improvements in birth registration. Alternative strategies would also be needed to ensure people aren’t denied essential services due to lack of legal identity documentation - something Namati and other Global Legal Empowerment Network members have pushed for in our global advocacy.

CGD suggests two separate targets - one on birth registration, one for legal identity. What do you think about their recommendations? How have you framed targets on legal identity in your own post-2015 advocacy?

Download the paper or read a related CGD blog post here.

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