Availability of demographics, especially about the population, have always helped planners ensure effective planning and proper allocation of resources. Countries like Pakistan are still struggling to achieve their set targets of civil registration. This includes birth, death, marriage, divorces and adoption. These five vital events are very important and need to be recorded to have clear picture about the country’s social demographics. Back in Ocotber 2017, I got the chance to represent Pakistan in the Third Regional Steering Group (RSG) meeting on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) held in Bangkok, Thailand. This meeting was attended by government officials from member countries, United Nations (UN) Agencies, international non-government organisations and development partners (including the World Bank). Among more than 16 countries from Asia and Pacific, Pakistan was the only country which was not represented by its government officials. The major recommendation made for the member countries included political commitment, coordination, public engagement, participation and generating demand. Policies, legislation and implementation of regulations, infrastructure and resources, operational procedures, practices and innovations, and production, dissemination and use of vital statistics. Considering various factors, those are the main contributing factors towards the low birth and death registration rates in Pakistan, an international NGO (Plan International) has commissioned a research study to know these reasons, which entails that there are a few main barriers — including citizens — which are unable or unwilling to travel to their local Union Council (UC) to register a birth. Citizens are unaware of the importance of birth registration and what benefits it provides. No birth registration service is offered at hospitals, so children born there often remain unregistered. Citizens are deterred from engaging in birth registration due to complex and time-consuming processes Additionally, citizens are deterred from engaging in birth registration due to complex and time-consuming processes. Citizens are deterred from registering births after 60 days (legal timeframe) as the process becomes complex and more expensive. Citizens who do register a birth often do not collect their certificate due to the unreliability of the birth registration service. Furthermore, birth registration data gathered at UC is not always transferred to the central CRVS database; when it is, it is done through manual processes. No vital statistics are derived from birth registration data and the available data is poor and Local Government By-Laws require a range of personal and potentially discriminatory fields for birth registration, deterring and endangering citizens. Punjab has the highest (approximately 70 percent according to a MICS survey) birth registration rate in most of the districts, while Sindh stands at less than 30 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at less than 20 percent and Balochistan at less than 35 percent. Overall, Pakistan as a country has less than 35 percent birth registration rates while death and other vital events registration rates are unknown. Registering a child birth is like giving him or her a legal identity which will help him or her out in many areas including to have birth certificate, school admission, and passport and also ensure the right to inheritance especially for the girl child. To address the issue of low birth registration, different actors are playing their role including WHO, UNICEF Pakistan and Plan International (in past) with the engagement of corporate sector partners like Telenor Pakistan with the initiation of Digital Birth Registration (DBR) pilot projects in some districts with very low birth registration rates which have shown a huge and positive impact. During the third RSG meeting of Bangkok, a representative from Bangladesh shared his experiences of increasing birth registration. The Bangladeshis only linked up all the UCs with internet and central data repository body in the country and now they have a birth registration rate over 80 percent. This helped Bangladesh reach this milestone just within a few year time. To address the issues at a ground level, there is a dire need of an integrated programme which ensures a 100 percent registration of newborns at the community level. Plan International is initiating an innovative Digital Birth Registration (DBR) project which will overcome the issues and barriers in birth registration in the country. Such initiatives need to be implemented in coordination and collaboration. They will bring onboard the key stakeholders and departments including local government, healthcare providers and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to ensure the sustainability of the project in the long run. Strong political commitment and will, support different stakeholders and also ensure the government ownerships of such initiatives that will lead towards sustainability. The writer is senior development practitioner and doing freelance based work in Islamabad Published in Daily Times, March 5th 2019.