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Moldova; Builds E-Government - Open Data
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia/articles/2013/jul/26/moldova-builds-e-government-open-data/
Source Date: Friday, July 26, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Country: Moldova
Created: Jul 29, 2013

In Eastern Europe, the tiny, land-locked Republic of Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe with a population of 3.5 million, is emerging as a great example of public sector modernisation. The e-Government Centre (eGC), formed in August 2010, is responsible for the implementation of the e-government agenda of Moldova.

FutureGov spoke to Irina Tisacova, Open Government Coordinator at the eGC, about the open government policies of the Moldovan government.

“Moldova joined the Open Government Partnership in April last year”, says Tisacova. “We released an open government action plan in January last year, consulting with citizens and the civil society through meetings and online platforms”.

The open data portal of Moldova – data.gov.md – was launched in April 2011, the first open government data platform in Eastern Europe. Every ministry has officials responsible for publishing the ministry’s data on the portal. The eGC is trying to coordinate the open data effort to bring smaller agencies on board too. The portal currently offers more than 660 datasets from nearly 40 organisations.

“The open government action plan defined a list of datasets to be released by the end of 2013”, explains Tisacova. “More than 80 per cent of that data has been released. We are continuing our collaboration with civil society to identify further areas of interest for data releases”.

Surprisingly, Moldova is facing the unique problem of lack of demand for open data from civil society or citizens, unlike most governments which release data due to public pressure. “We are holding events to generate interest and awareness around open data”, Tisacova informs us. “We worked with the World Bank for an ‘Open Innovation Week’, informing people about the use of open data. We have also held trainings to increase popularity of data journalism and app development based on open data”.

Awareness and interest in open data is rising. “For example, an NGO is Moldova is working on a project called Budget Stories”, says Tisacova. “The project will essentially release budget information in the form of infographics to create stories behind the facts. In another instance, some students are combining different maps with geographic data, creating maps which will even help the government visualise some national problems”.

The Moldovan government is currently assessing the progress of its open government initiative. “We are also collaborating with civil society to determine the monitoring mechanisms of the implementation of the action plan”, says Tisacova. “The development of an action plan for 2014 will start soon”.

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