Researching the Dynamics of Birth Registration and Social Exclusion for Child Rights Advocacy: The Unique Role of Qualitative Research

Admire Chereni


In response to the persistent problem of deficient birth registration, NGO-led coalitions in Zimbabwe are seeking to build a strong case for prioritizing universal birth registration. Beside efforts to amplify children's right to birth registration as defined in international rights conventions, these coalitions seek to construct a causal relationship between birth registration and social exclusion outcomes. The idea that the absence of birth registration intensifies social exclusion for children has become something of a mantra in birth registration activism, but despite the surveys conducted in Zimbabwe and other developing countries, data to demonstrate the dynamic interplay of birth registration and social exclusion are lacking. In this article I illustrate that qualitative research can bridge this gap and strengthen birth registration activism.



birth registration; child advocacy; content analysis; key informant interviews; lived experience; motivational frame; narrative; qualitative research; social exclusion

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Copyright (c) 2017 Admire Chereni

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