Shadi Baki describes his role in the process of guiding the Liberian Civil Service Agency (CSA) through a period of intense reform in the country’s post-war period. He explains how the CSA, with the help of fellow experts from the World Bank, completely redesigned employee records to ensure the availability of accurate information. He also explains how a vetting system, along with facial recognition and fingerprinting technologies, were used to prevent fraud. He describes the steps taken to reach civil servants in the counties outside of the capital city of Monrovia, as part of efforts to compile complete records. He discusses how this information was integrated with old records and made accessible through the use of new management information systems, and then used to issue employee ID cards. He explains how CSA efforts to create a single national data network relying on wireless technology grew into a broader movement encompassing the central bank, customs, and telecommunications corporations. Finally, he touches on the importance of political support and stability in achieving lasting reform.
At the time of this interview, Shadi Baki was the director of the Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS), a directory within the Civil Service Agency of the Republic of Liberia. He has extensive experience in IT (information technology) management. One of his first appointments was as system administrator and head of the IT lab at his alma mater, American Episcopal Zion Community College in Liberia. He was later hired as a junior analyst for the Ministry of Finance in the Liberian government. Before joining the Liberian Civil Service Agency, he served as information technology manager for a group of manufacturing companies in Ghana. In 2008, as part of the Senior Executive program, he joined the CSA as a records management specialist, followed by his appointment as director of HRMIS.