Assessment of the performance of the national identification and registration exercise in Nakawa Division; Kampala, Uganda
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Uganda launched a massive national identification and registration exercise in 2014 aimed at issuing all citizens aged 16 years and above with National Identification Numbers, National Identity Cards and building a National Identification Register. Whereas the exercise was given much publicity in addition to other strategies to ensure 100% registration, the media prior to the study was awash with anecdotal statements that the national identification and registration exercise in Uganda fell short of its expectations. Using both qualitative and quantitative techniques based on a sample of 143 respondents, this study examined the extent to which the national identification and registration exercise in Uganda was successful. This was intended to provide a basis for the analysis of the facilitators and inhibitors as well as the benefits of the outcomes hitherto. This was also purposed to form the basis of providing policy and programmatic recommendations for improvement. Using Nakawa Division in Kampala Capital City Authority as a case study and while utilizing both primary and secondary data source, the study established that the national identification and registration exercise in Uganda fairly achieved its expectations. Study findings indicated that 82.5% of the study participants had registered for National Identity cards with the majority (64.4%) having registered during the mass registration exercise between 2014 and 2016. However, not all those who registered acquired National ID cards for various reasons that included amongst other; lack of time to pick them, low interest, and lack of awareness about where to pick them among others. Findings further indicate that the respondents’ perception on the overall registration exercise was affected by the challenges they encountered during the registration process with the majority (73.7%) rating the entire exercise as being poor. Slow machines, unreceptive and inexperienced staff being the worst experiences during the registration process. In light of the study findings and objectives, the overall study conclusion is that the national identification and registration exercise in Uganda was fairly successful since the majority of the study population participated in the exercise. However, despite the registered success, the study noted that the proportion of the study population that had lost their IDs was high (14.6%); and yet the process of obtaining replacement was stringent. This according to both qualitative and quantitative findings is a key challenge that may potentially undermine Government’s objective of ensuring that all citizens have an identification card. It is on the basis of these findings that the study recommends relaxing of some of the procedures for acquiring and/or replacing a national Identity card in addition to making the registration centers more accessible if the people that missed out on the mass registration exercise are to be encouraged to register.