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North Kivu: census and modernisation of the civil registration system, a project by Woluwe-Saint-Pierre

Serge de Patoul
08 February 2018
As part of the Belgian federal Programme on Municipal International Cooperation, the municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is actively involved in the difficult province of North Kivu, more particularly in the three major cities of Goma, Butembo and Beni.


The Brussels commune pursues the following objectives: enable these cities to better understand and register their populations (births, deaths and divorces), to stimulate civil marriages, to ensure the permanent updating of the population register and to develop a methodology likely to be deployed in other regions.

After two years of work, 900,000 people have been registered in Goma, by using mobile devices such as tablets to immediately computerize the data and enter them in a digital population register. This technique allows to geolocalise any registered household. The operation is now also starting in Butembo and Beni.

A birth registration system using the same underlying technologies has also been introduced in these three large cities, aiming to register all births and then update the population register. Furthermore, in Goma, the pilot city of the project, a similar system is being implemented.

The province of North Kivu ensures some sort of monitoring of the programme. The networking of projects and collaborations between town halls and provinces must ensure the collection of tax revenues with traceability of flows to each town hall in order to provide them the funding to ensure the sustainability of the system.

Finally, the partnership between Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Goma-Butembo-Beni also collaborates with private NGOs in order to provide the necessary technological resources and achieve a multiplier effect in the territories in North Kivu.

DR Congo