A population-based estimation and assessment of persons lacking official proof of legal identity

Monday, 4 September, 2023 - 16:00

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This is a hybrid seminarPlease join us in the WISER seminar room or register for the session in advance of the meeting at :  https://wits-za.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckd-ytrzwiEtHogJsRMtAP8ZsyGZpprMs4

Abstract:  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in response to the challenge of multi-faceted inequalities between and within countries, calls for renewed commitment and action to “leave no one behind.” Target 16.9 specifically calls for “providing legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030.” However, formal quantification and socio-demographic description of the population lacking legal identity is difficult often due to data limitations. Such difficulties impede systematic monitoring of progress towards SDG target 16.9 and complicate efforts to identify how best to address subnational gaps and weaknesses in legal identity systems. To advance evidence-based policy and programming, we review census data and present estimates of the population with proof of legal identity in Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Malawi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Uganda, Zambia between 1998 and 2021. We assess the consistency of census-based estimates of the total population with proof of legal identity with alternative estimates derived using different data sources and methods. In line with the 2030 agenda’s focus on reducing inequalities, we also examine how the population lacking legal identity varies by key demographic and socioeconomic factors using both descriptive analysis as well as classification and regression tree analysis. The paper concludes with a discussion about the plausibility of these estimates, their implications both for efforts to advance universal legal identity, and technical guidance on improving data and estimates on legal identity in the coming years. 

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