Moldova Design Report 2019-2020
Moldova’s fourth action plan continues initiatives on access to information and public services and also includes new commitments on the diaspora engagement and extending the network of paralegals. However, many milestones represent routine activities and fall short of transformative potential. To achieve more meaningful changes in opening government, the next action plan needs to consider measures to further improve public procurement practices, protect civic space, and increase transparency and integrity of the justice system.
|Table 1. At a glance
Participating since: 2012
Action plan development
Action plan design
Action plan implementation
*DIOG: Did it Open Government?
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Moldova joined OGP in 2012. Since, Moldova has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the design of Moldova’s fourth action plan.
General overview of action plan
Moldova has experienced political volatility and struggled to sustain its democratic achievements throughout 2017-2018. With the local election results in the capital city annulled, the country entered a period of protests, leading in 2019 to a political crisis affecting its reform agenda and long standing international commitments.
Since joining OGP, Moldova has made notable improvements in areas such as public procurement transparency, open data, and access to information. However, the implementation of anti-corruption legislation and improving the transparency and independence of the judiciary has remained challenging. The country’s fourth OGP action plan, developed in 2018, addresses some priority areas, such as improvement of services, open data, and civil society participation in decision making. However, most commitment activities are derived from pre-existing programs and fall short of potentially transformative commitments.
During the development of the fourth action plan, the State Chancellery established the Coordination Committee to act as the country’s multi-stakeholder forum. The co-creation process provided numerous opportunities for civil society to give input. However, according to civil society views, the government has not sufficiently prioritized the open government initiatives.
The commitments in Moldova’s fourth action plan focus mainly on access to information, open data, budget transparency, collaboration with civil society, and developing citizen-centered public services. All the commitments are linked to other national strategies and policy documents. While many of the activities are continued from the previous action plan, a new commitment in this plan envisions improving the involvement of Moldova’s diaspora in decision-making processes in the country.
Notable commitments include continuing to improve open data and access to information (Commitment 1) and extending Moldova’s network of paralegals in rural parts of the country (an activity under Commitment 6).
Table 2. Noteworthy commitments
|Commitment description||Moving forward||Status at the end of implementation cycle.|
|1. Access to information and use of open data
Address issues related to publication of information and open data and publish information on government progress across sectors.
|This commitment includes activities on both access to information and open data. On access to information, the IRM recommends improving enforcement of access to information legislation. On open data, it is recommended to conduct a technical assessment of data.gov.md and carry out a users’ needs assessment in order to standardize the publication of data.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.|
|6. Citizen-centered public services
Developing citizen-centered public services by optimizing and streamlining public service delivery processes.
|In the area of access to justice, the IRM recommends further expanding the network of paralegals and integrating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms into the judicial system. To improve the transparency and independence of the country’s judicial system, IRM recommends transparency of the selection, promotion, and dismissal process for judges, and ensuring that all court cases are assigned randomly.||Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.|
The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan.
Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations
|Conduct a more proactive OGP co-creation process and ensure ongoing monitoring of action plan implementation|
|Ensure commitments have targeted and specific activities with measurable indicators|
|Consider developing a component in MTender for the e-procurement of medicines or a new e-system for the sector|
|Commit to protecting civic space, particularly for journalists and civil society|
|Consider including commitments aimed at increasing the transparency and independence of the justice system|