UNHCR upgrades its data management system to improve efficiency
Population Registration and Identity Management EcoSystem (PRIMES) has been rolled out in the Government registration centres in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa and Dadaab camp
Yawa Ahawo, UNHCR Operations Data Management Officer (standing) assists Mercy Sato, Government's Registration Officer to navigate through data in the new version 4 of proGres. ©UNHCR/Caroline Opile
41 year old Josephene Niramajana, a refugee from Congo waits patiently at the Government of Kenya’s Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) registration office for her turn to present her concern. She arrived in Kenya in 2016 and was registered and recognized as an urban refugee in Nairobi.
On this Wednesday morning, Josephene is excited to be reunited with her son and daughter. However, she remains troubled and wants her case and that of her children to be combined in one registration group, in what UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR calls ‘family reunification’.
“My children were registered and given movement pass to go to Kakuma, while I am registered in Nairobi, I pray that we will be helped to reunite as a family,” the soft spoken Josephene says.
Kenya currently hosts 470,000 refugees and asylums seekers, 89% live in camps while 11% live in urban areas.
Mercy Sato is the Registration Officer at the RAS office located in Shauri Moyo, one of the suburbs in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She has been working with refugees for two years since 2016 when the Government took over registration of asylum seekers from UNHCR. Mercy is familiar with both the old system known as proGres version 3 and new system proGres version 4: part of Population Registration and Identity Management EcoSystem (PRIMES).
“Initially, I struggled with understanding and using version 3, but the new version, version 4 is simpler and faster as long as internet connectivity is good. Version 4 also has flexibility and data on all refugees can be accessed from anywhere in the world.”
Version 4 is simpler and faster as long as internet connectivity is good
Mercy notes that version 4 is user friendly, fast and she is able to assist more refugees that have litigation cases such as family reunification, loss of identification documents, movement passes, and application for refugee identity card among others. On average, she is currently attending to more than 20 persons per day, compared to 10 people when using version 3.
Mercy points out that all files for any individual case are in one page, therefore not cumbersome, unlike in the past when she had to click several windows of the data for comprehensive information on a person.
“ProGres is part of PRIMES. It is now possible to collect refugee data while offline when working from remote locations, capture biometrics through Biometric Identity Management System (BIMS) and more importantly, the system will facilitate recording of both cash and in-kind assistance; for food and non-food items,” Yawa Ahawo, UNHCR Operations Data Management Officer explains.
Yawa explains, “The implementation of the Live Capture Unit (LCU), used at Huduma Centres in Kenya facilitates inter-connectivity between proGres v4 and the national registration system. This is in line with one of the objectives of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and Global Refugee Compact.”
The implementation of the Live Capture Unit (LCU), used at Huduma Centres in Kenya facilitates inter-connectivity between proGres v4 and the national registration system
Major (Rtd) Kotolo, the Deputy Officer in Charge of Shauri Moyo, describes version 4 as a system that embodies functionality, accountability and monitoring systems. He reiterates that it is easy to track Refugee Status Determinations (RSD) cases and the referral system has also been simplified. While proGres v3 stores data locally, progress version 4 will consolidate all data in a single database that can be accessed via the web.
Major Kotolo, the Deputy Officer in charge of Shauri Moyo talks with refugees that have visited the registration centre for baby additions. ©UNHCR/Caroline Opile
Refugees and asylum seekers at the waiting area at the Government of Kenya's registration centre in Nairobi. ©UNHCR/Caroline Opile
Christopher Losute, the legal officer at Refugee Affairs Secretariat attends to a refugee at Government's registration facility in Shauri Moyo, Nairobi. ©UNHCR/Caroline Opile
Mercy Sato (R), the registration officer in Shauri Moyo confers with Yawa Ahawo, UNHCR Operations Data Management Officer on some aspects of version 4 of proGres. ©UNHCR/Caroline Opile
“With the current registration system, we have permanently dealt with cases of multiple registration and fraud because globally we now have one system,” Kotolo says. “The Government is the sole manager of data on refugees and asylum seekers, which makes it easier to find information on refugees when they are arrested and presented in a court of law.
PRIMES has been rolled out in the Government registration centres such as Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Mombasa and Dadaab camp. Plans are underway to roll out the same in Kakuma camp in February 2019.