Teachers: Why is Burkina Faso setting up a Human Resources Management System?

28 April 2021


Barbara Tournier/IIPE-UNESCO
In January 2021, a team from the Ministry of Education of Burkina Faso is working on the specifications of the future HRMS.

Two-thirds of Burkina Faso's public officials report to the Ministry of National Education, Literacy and Promotion of National Languages (MENAPLN). The wage bill for this staff –most of whom are teachers –therefore has a direct impact on the state budget. With technical support from IIEP-UNESCO, the ministry is preparing to develop an integrated Human Resources Management System (HRMS). Hermann Kaboré, Director of Human Resources at MENAPLN, gives details about the challenges of the project. 

Why get equipped with an HRMS platform?

Hermann Kaboré: We want to rely on a robust computerized Human Resources Management System to control our workforce and manage staff mobility.

Within the MENAPLN, we have difficulties in following the movements of teachers when they are transferred, or within the framework of availability or secondment. Furthermore, we have serious problems evaluating payroll, which we submit every year to the Ministry of Finance. Since there is no suitable tool for retrieving updated data, the MENAPLN sometimes exceeds the salary expenditure forecasts before year-end. This is a real concern. 

What problems do you have with the current systems?

Hermann Kaboré: Burkina Faso currently uses an integrated solution for the administrative and salary management of state employees, known as SIGASPE, which was introduced 20 years ago. In particular, it makes it possible to ensure that all civil officials are paid once their career actions (integration, reclassification, promotion, etc.) have been processed. 

This information system has failures. First, we are dependent on computer scientists to produce the statistical data we need. In addition, administrative information is not always up to date, especially information related to the staff’s geographical location. Finally, not all MENAPLN's administrative structures have access to this solution for the follow-up of agents' careers, as they cannot connect to the administration's national computer network, which requires specific cabling. 

At the level of our Human Resources Department, the software we use to process assignment requests and draw up the staff budget does not interact with SIGASPE. Yet, thousands of civil servants change their administrative situation and are transferred every year. In 2020, about 9,000 agents applied for a transfer and more than 6,000 were expected to be reclassified upon return from training. 

What are you aiming for with this new platform?

Hermann Kaboré: Ensuring better follow-up and saving time. On the one hand, the new system will enable human resources (HR) managers to draw up some common career acts without having to re-enter them manually. This will enable us to minimize errors and have the data in the system systematically updated. On the other hand, the platform will be a web-based application, accessible not only by all our structures, both at central and decentralized levels, but also by the agents themselves. 

Thanks to this platform, we will be able to automatically retrieve essential data from SIGASPE to make an accurate assessment of staff costs. As for the agents, they will be able to apply directly for open positions from this system, regarding transfers for personal convenience. 

How to support this new working method?

Hermann Kaboré: Before setting up the new system, we developed two major tools with the support of IIEP. First, a manual of processes and procedures for the management of MENAPLN's human resources. Then a guide on the criteria and standards for assigning and transferring staff. This first step made it possible to harmonize the practices of all those responsible for human resources management within the Ministry and to establish synergies between our different structures. 

The future integrated human resources management system will make it possible to implement a new organization in the management of staff careers. It is eagerly awaited by the three ministries concerned with the administrative and salary management of staff (Civil Service, Finance and National Education). But also by HR managers, who face many difficulties in the operational management of human resources.

IIEP is now providing us with its technical expertise for the implementation of this HRMS. This allows us to move forward quickly and avoid certain mistakes in the implementation of the system.