Mali Joins Nearby Countries in Adopting CapacityPlus’s iHRIS Software

Mali is the newest country in West Africa to adopt CapacityPlus’s iHRIS software, a suite of Open Source tools for tracking, managing, and planning the health workforce. CapacityPlus supports the West African Health Organization (WAHO) in strengthening health workforce information in the region and implementing the iHRIS software in interested countries.

Nursing student in MaliLike other countries in the region, Mali has a critical shortage and maldistribution of employed health workers. While the country needs an estimated 32,500 health workers, only 13,664 are currently working in the country. Rural areas are affected the most and, in terms of overall skill mix, the deficit is more severe for midwives and obstetric nurses.

Although Mali produces an ample number of qualified health workers, financial constraints limit recruitment efforts. To better manage its available health workforce, the Ministry of Health decided to implement iHRIS Manage, a human resources management system.

Moving ahead with the system
In April, staff from the Ministry’s Human Resources Department met with Dr. Kayode Odusote, CapacityPlus consultant and former director of human resources development for WAHO, to view a demonstration of the software and compare it to their existing system. Together they identified necessary customizations, revised the department’s data collection tools, and developed a plan for deployment. Dr. Odusote trained departmental staff on key software functions, including how to enter data, maintain the application, and produce standard reports.

Building on other countries’ work
Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo are also currently implementing iHRIS and have customized it for their needs. Mali plans to build on Togo’s regionally translated French version of iHRIS Manage and further adapt the system for the HR Department’s administrative processes. The Ministry will then pilot-test the software by having specific units complete the revised data collection tool and enter data into the system. The HR Department will agree on job and position codes. The fully customized Mali site should be launched in June. CapacityPlus continues to provide assistance to achieve this goal.

On May 12, the Human Resources Department gave a presentation to a meeting of the enlarged Cabinet of the Ministry—which was presided over by the minister of health and included heads of central and regional directorates/departments and heads of hospitals—on the current health workforce situation and how iHRIS can help address HR management issues. A news article about this meeting appears on the Ministry’s website.

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Photo by Trevor Snapp. (Nursing student in Mali)

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