By Veronica Cretu and Irina Tisacova
“Too often, development efforts have been hampered by a lack of the most basic data about the social and economic circumstances in which people live… Stronger monitoring and evaluation at all levels, and in all processes of development (from planning to implementation) will help guide decision making, update priorities and ensure accountability. This will require substantial investments in building capacity in advance of 2015. A regularly updated registry of commitments is one idea to ensure accountability and monitor delivery gaps. We must also take advantage of new technologies and access to open data for all people.”
Bali Communiqué of the High-Level Panel, March 28, 2013
All public organizations (local, regional or national level) collect, on a regular basis, an enormous amount of different types of data. These data have a significant value because they are resource which can help citizens understand much easier, faster and better what the government does and how well it delivers its services. In addition to this, open data helps citizens to hold government accountable for the commitments it makes and how well it delivers on those commitments. Open data is particularly significant when it comes to increasing government transparency and public awareness of government programs and initiatives, while opening up data can also help generate insights into ways to improve government performance. At the same time, increased data transparency provides platforms for extended public participation and collaboration, with more open data in place there are more opportunities to improve the decision making processes and get more citizens engaged. Additionally, open data holds a great economic value by contributing to development of applications or launch of new businesses. It also can significantly contribute to driving innovation and research as well as could be used in academia and journalism. All the efforts around open data release require public administration reforms, which have to, increasingly, be concerned with placing the citizen at the core of the policy making.
The revolution in information technology and the evolution of the Internet over the last decade provides a great opportunity for strengthening data for accountability, decision-making purposes and economic growth. There have been several innovative initiatives around the globe to use mobile technology and other means in order to enable real-time monitoring of development results. However, this movement remains still largely disconnected from the traditional statistics community.
Efforts around promoting and creating an open data movement have started in Moldova three years ago and have amplified as Moldova joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Global Partnership on Social Accountability (GPSA), approved ambitious an E-Governance transformation agenda, approved new legal provisions related to Open Data. The recent study on “Citizens’ perception, uptake and support for the e-Transformation of Governance in the Republic of Moldova” shows a positive trend of the basic indicators regarding the implementation of e-Transformation of Governance activities in Moldova. The same report indicates that there is an increase in the number of citizens accessing Governmental web pages, as compared with studies from previous years. This is indeed a positive trend and may lead towards higher citizens’ demand for open data and electronic services.
This paper looks at the evolution of open data initiative in Moldova during the past years. It also addresses some of the core challenges and looks examines ways in which open data could become a drive for more transparency and accountability. Additionally, this paper comes as a continuation of the topic report No. 2013/10 on “The influence of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on the Open Data discussions”.
 Study available at: http://egov.md/images/sondaje/Re2_Final_REPORT_EGov_ENGL-Febr%202014.pdf