Norway Registers Development AS in cooperation with the General Department for Identification (GDI) / Ministry of Interior, presented the National Strategic Plan for Identification (NSPI) for 2015 - 2024 that will guide acceleration of national efforts to increase the birth registration rate and identification in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The Draft Strategic Plan was presented at the National Workshop, held on the 22-23rd September in Phnom Penh. The event was attended by almost 200 national and sub-national government officials, development partners, donors, NGOs/CSOs, private sector representatives. Opening remarks were given by the Secretary of the State of the Ministry of Interior, UNICEF Resident Representative, and Director General of the GDI.

"The National Strategic Plan for Identification aims at achieving a long-term vision for Cambodia - every person to have an identity. It is a historic shift to a new era as the country does not have proven history of knowing who its population is. With the new system we will be able to understand better who are people living in the country and to help to address their needs better. The developed 10 Years National Strategic Plan is aligned with The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific requirements on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and will allow Cambodia to build the modern CRVS and population identification system" - commented Deputy Director General GDI, Mr Yin Malyna. "We are very happy with the prepared NSPI and our collaboration with NRD. It is complex and ambitious but also very realistic and practical plan. It covers a period of ten years, establishing new functions, improving number of others, developing enabling legal environment and using ICT driven solutions for identification and getting everyone in the picture".

The NSPI addresses all specific Action areas adopted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, including political commitment, public engagement, participation and demand stimulation, infrastructure and resources, among others. The Strategic Plan foresees building of a modern, permanent, universal civil registration system (CRVS) that will generate reliable vital statistics and integrated population identification system (IPIS) that will ensure that the country has a single reliable source of information about individuals and population. Each individual will get assigned a personal Khmer Identification Code (KIdC) at the moment of registering birth. The person will carry this code throughout life, and he will be uniquely identifiable by this code when receiving services by the public or private sector.

"NSPI is designed in a way that it will produce tangible improvements early on, rather than at the end of the whole period. This design helps to sustain dynamism necessary for long term implementations, consolidate support of stakeholders and demonstrate value of the project in early stages. The implementation of this ambitious plan opens a possibility for Cambodia to establish itself strongly - as an example among developing countries with reliable and well-functioning civil registration and identification systems by using ICT and innovative solutions", commented the Managing Director of Norway Registers Development AS Rimantas Zylius.

Development and use of well-functioning, integral and efficient system to accelerate identification in the country is expected to contribute to accessibility of civil, legal, social and political rights. At the societal level, it is expected to provide essential information about the demographics and health of the population, which strengthens the evidence base for decisions in the areas of social, economic and health policies and makes them more effective and responsive to people's needs.

The National Strategic Plan for Identification is to be further discussed and approved by the Government.