Our History

Background to the Community Renewal Programme

Background to the Community Renewal Programme

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean with an area of just over 10,000 square km and a population of just over 2.7 million people (approximately 51.2% female and 48.8% male [1]). The country is recognized as a stable democracy but has for decades struggled with a weak economy that has operated with a high debt ratio and consistently low GDP [2]. However, in recent years, the country embarked on a programme of economic reform that has moved the economy into a period of relative stability and towards meaningful debt reduction.

  • The inflation rate, which has in the past been consistently recorded in double digits, has fallen significantly and now consistently measures in single digits. It fell from 3.7% in 2015 to 1.7% in 2016. 
  • Additionally, the country made significant social progress in areas such as education, health, social protection and inclusion, and in the overall standard of living. 
  • In spite of deficits in other areas, for example, gender equality, youth employment and maintaining environmental resources, Jamaica’s overall progress placed it in the high human development category [3]. Jamaica’s Human Development Index value increased over the 25-year period from 1990 to 2015 by 12.1% to 0.730.

Notwithstanding the socio-economic performance of the country, an underlying problem that has for decades hindered development has been a high rate of violent crime, particularly murder which has gone as high as 63/100,000 (2009). 

  • In 2011, the murder rate began to trend downward, falling as low as 37/100,000 in 2014. Since 2015, however, the rate has begun to climb and, at the end of that year, it stood at 44/100,000. It has climbed further to 49/100,000 in 2016 [4]. 
  • It is recognized that the improvements in the rate of murders between 2010 and 2014 came on the back of social and economic reforms that were put in place in the aftermath of the operations in West Kingston in 2010. 

Crime has had deleterious effects in many vulnerable and volatile communities across Jamaica. 

The Community Renewal Programme

The Government of Jamaica, through the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PlOJ), spearheaded the establishment of the Community Renewal Programme (CRP) in 2011. The CRP was derived from a collaborative process involving consultations with Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, communities, civil society and International Development Partners. The CRP serves as a holistic programme intervention for long-term stability, well-being and inclusiveness, consistent with the goals of Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan. 


Community Selection

The CRP targets the 100 most volatile and vulnerable communities in five parishes (Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. James that have experienced the highest murder rates over the last ten (10) years.

These communities were ranked as the most volatile and vulnerable communities in Jamaica through the application of an index of vulnerability and volatility developed by a technical team.

To learn more about how CRP conducts its community selection, browse our presentation here.


Programme Coordination – The CRP Secretariat

The CRP is coordinated by the PIOJ through the CRP Secretariat, which was established in 2011. The Secretariat seeks to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the CRP by the various implementing agencies through the following six strategic objectives


  • Strengthen partnerships amongst state and non-state entities in support of the community renewal process
  • Coordinate and harmonise development efforts amongst international development partners, state and non-state entities and institutions 
  • Mobilise resources to support key initiatives
  • Designing and supporting catalytic interventions and policies to address critical needs and gaps in CRP target communities
  • Strengthen monitoring, evaluation and reporting for holistic community development and renewal in Jamaica
  • Undertake research and analysis for evidenced-based community development and transformation