The Journey of Open Government and Open Data Moldova
|Title||The Journey of Open Government and Open Data Moldova|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Rahemtulla H, Custer S, Tisacova I, Jhalla K, Gigler B-S, Brigham C|
|Corporate Authors||Open Development Technology Alliance|
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are considered enablers in Moldova’s efforts to modernize public services, improve competitiveness toward sustainable economic growth, build human capital and promote social inclusion. ICTs also underpin a larger vision of Moldova’s desired integration with the European Union (EU). Moldova’s Governance e-Transformation (GeT) project was formulated to build upon, facilitate and further the Moldovan government’s achievements in modernizing public sector governance. The GeT is a case study of government leadership and World Bank-facilitated knowledge networks, which have proven to be instrumental to Moldova’s ability to translate nascent interest in ICTs for modernization into an expanded vision of Open Government and Open Data. In April 2011, Moldova became one of the first countries in the region, and among the first 16 countries in the world, to launch an Open Data portal. The government has subsequently released 324 datasets, including public expenditure information for the past five years under the World Bank’s BOOST initiative, and has published online income declarations for civil servants and public officials. This has been complemented by the cultivation of an “enabling environment” for Open Data and Open Government such as the prioritized electronic access to datasets and services of significant public interest, as well as delivery of the four most demanded public e-services, all planned for the end of 2012. More recently, the Government of Moldova reaffirmed its commitment promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance by approving a National Action Plan on Open Government, which granted Moldova membership to the multilateral Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative launched in September 20, 2011. Adopting a mixed-mode research design, the study draws upon surveys, observational data and interviews conducted with key actors to document the underlying drivers, principal objectives and the evolution of Moldova Open Government and Open Data initiatives. A comparative study of Moldova's Open Data in relation to other global Open Data initiatives is included, focusing on the conceptual models of Open Data in developing and developed countries. This paper also provides a unique insight into Moldova’s Open Data platform’s access and usage patterns since its launch in April 2011, as well as an evaluation of the ongoing cultivation of an “enabling environment” to support Moldova Open Government and Open Data. Finally, the paper proposes a roadmap for moving forward, describing principal barriers and supportive factors that must be addressed for such initiatives to be sustained and institutionalized in the long-term.