Strengthening the Demand-Side of Governance Through Citizen Feedback on Public Services and Budgets

Moldova Assessment_final November 21Cover

While the Government of Moldova and public sector is making a continuous effort and invests in open and collaborative governance and have more or less sufficient mechanisms for public participation, citizen engagement in general and ICT-enabled participation to governance in particular is quite limited and not very popular at the moment. This assessment report studies the existing efforts in Moldova to implement ICT-enabled solutions in order to increase and improve citizen engagement in governance processes and participatory problems solving. The document provides a description of the Moldova’s context including the legal framework and existing public sector and civil society driven initiatives for citizen engagement. The assessment also provides a description of challenges and problems related to citizen engagement in general and ICT-enabled citizen engagement particularly in Moldova.

To overcome existing challenges, a set of recommendations based on international good practices on fostering technology-enabled citizen participation and leveraging existing mechanisms and tools is provided. The recommendations address both the demand and supply sides of citizen engagement.

The key conclusion made in the report is that a more systemic and consistent effort is needed to foster ICT-enabled citizen engagement in Moldova, as a complementary tool to existing mechanisms and in order to capitalize on the growing penetration rate of internet access and in particular mobile technology in Moldova. Key players should coordinate and focus their efforts in two main directions: a) creation of a culture of ICT-enabled openness and responsiveness embedded within the governance system, and b) improvement of the citizen’s engagement “readiness” that takes into account factors such as public awareness and knowledge including on how to engage and on existing tools, citizen preferences with regard to that engagement; as well as ICT related factors on the ground such as technology penetration, capabilities and access of government agencies, and social and technology readiness of the public. In parallel, a constant improvement of existing and development of adapted innovative tools and applications for ICT-enabled citizen engagement is needed.