The Government of Malawi resolved to introduce the National Registration and Identification System (NRIS) to address problems associated with lack of universal and compulsory registration. NRIS will be achieved through:
Registration: The registration of births, adults, marriages, resident foreigners and deaths. This has been devolved to all the district councils in the country. The District Registration Offices in the office of the District Commissioner perform this function through the decentralized structures at district level.
Image Capturing (IC): This function will involve capturing of photographs of individuals above 16 years of age to be one of the components for positive identification.
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS): Taking of fingerprints using Biometric Technology will be the main feature in order to positively identifying an individual.
National Database Program: This involves the assigning of unique number to an individual that will lead to the production of identity cards and certificates for all eligible persons. For economic and security reasons, production has been centralized so far. The Database will be interfaced with other relevant systems to enhance data sharing.
Capacity Building: The successful implementation of NRIS requires a well-structured organization, adequately trained staff with sufficient and relevant skills. Registration offices should be well equipped and mobility enhanced at all levels for effective implementation of the system. As such, NRB embarks on a number of capacity building initiatives in order to promote and develop responsive, transparent and accountable leadership and management practices.
Public Awareness and Civic Education Program: The effective NRIS implementation requires intensive public awareness and civic education on population, birth, marriage and death registration.