Friday, February 7, 2014

Successful implementation and adoption of information technology – Kenya’s Ministry of Lands Department

In the first lecture, we learnt that “The supply chain comprises the sequence of organizations that contribute to the creation and delivery of a good or service to end customers”. I would like to emphasize here that a simple adoption of information technology by a government department can revolutionise a once under-performing public sector dogged with inefficiency and unproductivity thus contributing to the creation and delivery of improved and citizen focused service.

The Kenya’s Lands Department has been relying on Paper-based system to discharge its mandate creating voluminous numbers of paper records. To access these records could take weeks or months or even fail to get the required document due to poor record keeping.  

Core functions of Lands Department Technical units

Conceived in the year 2008, the National Land information system (NLIMS), was adopted aimed at:
  • Converting all land records at the headquarters and district levels, dating back to year 1900 (Nyongesa, L. 2012), into digital records, while the paper records are stored into archives.
  • Link the four technical departments of the ministry thereby minimising time wastage and duplication of work
  • Create an interface for customers to access land information and services easily through internet
  • Provide online and easy access of lands information by lands staff and citizens.

In the process of ensuring this happens, the Lands Ministry, according to Nyongesa L. (2012), implemented the NLIMS in five phases as shown in the figure below:

Prior to implementation of NLIMS, the ministry used out-dated land management and administration systems. Access to lands information by citizens was a nightmare. Documents could go missing or not traced even after a lengthy search that lasted for weeks. At the same time, the planning, surveying and adjudication process was long and cumbersome. With a weak system in place, land grabbing was rampant with numerous boundary disputes. The manual records were prone to forgeries because there was no back-up. Staffs were overwhelmed with voluminous number of paper records they were handling per day. In short, the new system has:
  • Reduced the time taken to deliver
  •  Facilitated the validation of all land records in order to reduce fraud 
  • Enabled the automation of all land transaction processes making it possible to trace all activities
  • Facilitated linking the automated processes to a cadastral information system
NLIMS has revolutionised the Ministry Business Processes that have been in operation for over 100 years, and thus have achieved simplified, harmonized, effective and efficient processes. Lands information is now easily accessed both by ministry staff and citizens. Electronic records are now used in day to day transactions, while the archive records are preserved and will only be used as reference records.

When it comes to the Design For Environment the NLIMS approach succeeded in  reducing the overall human health associated with digging into piles of dusty papers, reduced the environmental impact by reducing paper work, improved the process and service delivery.

Nyongesa, L. (2012). GIS based National Land Information Management System (NLIMS). [Presentation]. Paper presented at a Rome Meeting, May 6th-10th 2012. Available from

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