In 2001, registering or transporting land in Jamaica was an uphill battle. Four separate departments tackled different facets of land administration, resulting in weak coordination and delay. Also straightforward transactions dragged on for weeks, simply acquiring information to be a struggle, and fraud to be commonplace. In April of that year, Jamaica developed the national Land Agency, charged with merging the 4 departments, increasing services, and improving your quality. As the brand-new agency’s CEO, Elizabeth stair led a team of managers that had actually to oversee the consolidation, style systems to protect against fraud, enhance performance, and implement brand-new procedures and technologies to boost speed and also transparency. During its an initial decade and also a half of operation, the nationwide Land firm significantly diminished processing times and won acclaim because that its client service and innovative usage of technology. Despite these successes, there was still room to improve land tenure security. Stubborn documentation requirements, high costs, and restricted awareness the the procedure meant that registration and also related services remained out of with for plenty of Jamaicans.

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Lessons Learned

Advantages of useful consolidation. Merging four divisions into a single semi-autonomous firm allowed the government to streamline company delivery, standardize procedures, and reduce handling times.Overcoming resistance and also curbing graft. A strong, unified monitoring team and also a regular message assisted answer interior opposition and also external doubters of the transition. Staff retraining, individualized targets for performance tied to financial incentives, and brand-new procedures and also technologies helped establish a new operational culture.Additional obstacles remain. Despite the agency’s successes, Jamaica’s all at once experience additionally demonstrates the selection of added barriers come land registration, consisting of stiff documentation requirements, high prices in the kind of fees and also taxes, and minimal awareness the the requirements, that can prevent numerous property owner from formalizing their claims.


Maya Gainer drafted this situation study based on interviews conducted in Kingston, Jamaica, in June 2016. The Omidyar Network sponsor the development of this instance study. Situation published January 2017.

A 2017 workshop, control Change, Securing Tenure, profiled recent efforts to strengthen tenure security and reform soil registration equipment in seven countries: South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Australia and Tanzania.

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Watch the video clip of Elizabeth stair - CEO and Commissioner of Lands, Jamaican nationwide Land Agency.