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Moldova

Open Data in Education Sector (MD0064)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Moldova National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Education

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Education, Open Data, Public Service Delivery

IRM Review

IRM Report: Moldova End-of-Term Report 2016-2018, Moldova Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Major Major

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Ensuring transparency in the activity of public administration and access to public information
3.1. Assessing the needs of all open data beneficiaries in the education sector
3.2. Inventory of existing open data in the education sector in relation to identified needs, as well as their collection, publication and updating on the data.gov.md portal
3.3. Developing a web interface within the Open Government Portal with the possibility of interactive viewing of data in the education sector
3.4. Implementing activities to promote the availability of open data in the education sector, according to the internal communication plan
Responsible institution: Ministry of Education1
Supporting institution(s): None
Start date: 3rd quarter 2017. End date: 2nd quarter 2018

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3a. Open data in education sector

Commitment Text:

Title: Ensuring transparency in the activity of public administration and access to public information

3.1. Assessing the needs of all open data beneficiaries in the education sector

3.2. Inventory of existing open data in the education sector in relation to identified needs, as well as their collection, publication and updating on the data.gov.md portal

3.3. Developing a web interface within the Open Government Portal with the possibility of interactive viewing of data in the education sector

3.4. Implementing activities to promote the availability of open data in the education sector, according to the internal communication plan

Responsible institution: Ministry of Education[Note136: Open Budget Survey 2017, https://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/moldova-open-budget-survey-2017-summary.pdf]

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: 3rd quarter 2017. End date: 2nd quarter 2018

Editorial Note: For the purpose of the IRM report, commitment three was broken up into two separate commitments (see details in the General Overview of Commitments section). These four commitment activities focus on assuring public access to useful education information. Additionally, the 'Open Government Portal' mentioned in the action plan is actually referring to the Open Data Portal (date.gov.md).

Context and Objectives

In 2016, the government started the implementation of a World Bank-supported project[Note137: http://lex.justice.md/md/342699/], building the capacities of the previously developed Educational Management Information System (EMIS), to facilitate public access to data and statistics on the primary and secondary education system.

The commitment aims to 1) assess the needs of open data beneficiaries, 2) publish, update and establish an inventory of data on data.gov.md, 3) develop a web interface on data.gov.md, and 4) promote availability of open data according to the internal plan. These activities were duplicated from the third phase of the 'Building Capacity - EMIS Project' which focused on opening data in the education sector.[Note138: T.Savva, Expert Grup NGO, personal communication, 21 December 2017.] By updating education data on a publicly accessible portal, this commitment is relevant to the OGP values of access to information and technology and innovation.

Overall specificity of this commitment is medium: despite the clearly articulated activities, there is ambiguity surrounding how open data users’ needs will be assessed and what actions will be taken to promote open data. Also, while not made explicit in the commitment text, the education data will be accessible on the EMIS system, which will be also interlinked with the Open Data Portal (data.gov.md), an understanding among relevant stakeholders interviewed by the IRM researcher.[Note139: Open Budget Survey 2017, https://www.internationalbudget.org/wp-content/uploads/moldova-open-budget-survey-2017-summary.pdf]

If fully implemented this commitment could have a minor potential impact. An interviewed civil society stakeholder[Note140: The main NGOs and think tanks monitoring the process are IDIS Viitorul, Expert Grup, AGER, but also mass media organizations and outlets: Center for Independent Journalism, Independent Press Association, Ziarul de Garda newspaper, etc.] stated that the practice of updating education data on the platform is not yet mainstream. While publishing and updating data on data.gov.md represents a positive step toward improving access to information, it is not sufficiently clear if this commitment adds significant value to ongoing efforts.

Completion

At the end of the first year, the implementation of the commitment is limited, and commitment activity 3.3 is behind schedule. While not explicitly listed as a commitment activity, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MECC) launched the beta version of the EMIS system on 28 July 2017.

According to MECC, the needs of the education data users, such as parents, were assessed by a local sociological company, CBS Axa (3.1). The IRM researcher was unable to verify the completion of this research, however, since the report is not available to the public. According to MECC, the research was conducted in January 2017. The government self-assessment states that a study was conducted, with the support of the World Bank’s International Development Association, on open educational data. Based on the results, the EMIS system was reconfigured to collect and open data without violating the data requirements imposed by the law on the protection of personal data. However, this study is not publicly available and the IRM researcher was unable to verify its results.

The inventory of the available open data was conducted by MECC, with a contracted IT company, in an attempt to explore the technical capacities of the old system (3.2). A working group was created within MECC which identified, based on the data users’ needs assessment, the set of data which should be opened, according to the legislation on the protection of personal data. Additionally, an evaluation[Note141: T.Savva, Expert-Grup NGO, personal communication, 21 December 2017.] of the MECC’s statistical capability, e.g. data collection process, indicators, and open data catalog, was posted on the MECC website.[Note142: According to Law No. 181 on public finance and budgetary - fiscal responsibilities, the national public budget includes the consolidated central budget and the local budgets.] The open data catalogue includes an extensive list of categories and types of open data which shall be constantly collected and updated on the EMIS platform. The location of the evaluation report on the ministry website is not straightforward. Also, it is not yet clear if the sets of data from the catalog will be available via the EMIS platform and also via the data.gov.md platform, or which data will be transferred from the EMIS platform to data.gov.md.

The development of a web interface on the Open Data Portal (data.gov.md) has been delayed due to technical issues related to the testing of the EMIS platform (3.3). Although the two platforms are separate, the Open Data Portal interface relies on data from EMIS. According to the self-assessment, EMIS now allows for interactive viewing of education data and the extraction of data in both textual and graphic forms.[Note143: Ministry of Finance, http://mf.gov.md/ro]

In 2017, in order to promote the availability of open data (3.4), MECC has organized TV interviews discussing the new system.[Note144: Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment] Due to the ambiguity surrounding the 'internal communication plan,' as written in the action plan, the assessment of this activity’s completion cannot be higher than limited.

While not explicitly mentioned in the action plan text, more than 10,000 government stakeholders in the secondary education system were trained on how to use the EMIS platform and update data.[Note145: V. Morari, Department of Penitentiary Institutions, personal communication, 12 January 2018.] However, there are no publicly available monitoring reports on their performance.

Next Steps

The IRM researcher recommends this commitment be continued into the second year of implementation. Specifically, the government should consider the following:

· Establish a system to monitor the quality of data published on the platform considering the amount of data which is planned to be collected in real time.

· Clearly differentiate data to be published on the EMIS platform and open data published on data.gov.md. This clarification will avoid the publication of duplicate information, and avoid misleading the public.

· Promote the public comments tool on the Open Data Portal establish a feedback mechanism to allow direct beneficiaries (parents, students, teachers) on the EMIS system.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

3.a Open data in education sector

Commitment Text:

Title: Ensuring transparency in the activity of public administration and access to public information

3.1. Assessing the needs of all open data beneficiaries in the education sector

3.2. Inventory of existing open data in the education sector in relation to identified needs, as well as their collection, publication and updating on the data.gov.md portal

3.3. Developing a web interface within the Open Government Portal with the possibility of interactive viewing of data in the education sector

3.4. Implementing activities to promote the availability of open data in the education sector, according to the internal communication plan

Responsible Institution: Ministry of Education [84]

Supporting Institution: N/A

Start Date: 3rd quarter 2017

End Date: 2nd quarter 2018

Editorial Note: For the purpose of the IRM report, commitment three was broken up into two separate commitments (see details in the General Overview of Commitments section). These four commitment activities focus on assuring public access to useful education information. Additionally, the “Open Government Portal” mentioned in the action plan is actually referring to the Open Data Portal (date.gov.md).

Commitment Aim:

In 2016–2017, the government implemented a World Bank-supported project, [85] aiming to modernize the capacities of the previously developed Educational Management Information System (EMIS) and thus facilitate public access to data, statistics, and reports on primary and secondary education. This commitment focused on the assessment of the needs of open data beneficiaries; the publication, update and establishment of an inventory of data on date.gov.md; the development of a web interface on date.gov.md; and the promotion of the availability of open data according to the internal activity plan of the implementing institutions. These activities were duplicated in the OGP action plan from the third phase of the “Building Capacity - EMIS” Project. [86]

Status

Midterm: Limited

The implementation of commitment activities, as written in the action plan, was limited. While the launch of the modernized EMIS system was not one of the activities included in the plan, the other activities were linked to development and implementation of this system, as explained by the current, externally contracted EMIS coordinator. [87] The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MECC) launched the beta version of the modernized EMIS system on 28 July 2017. [88]

Under activity 3.1, both the government and the EMIS coordinator confirmed that in January 2017 the Center for Sociological and Marketing Investigations, CBS Axa, was contracted to conduct a needs assessment of education open data users. The IRM researcher was unable to verify the completion of this research since the report is not available to the public. The results of the study informed the reconfiguration/modernization of the EMIS system, a project focusing on strengthening the capacities of the EMIS system, supported by the World Bank. Also, the MECC conducted an inventory of the available open data and of the data still to be opened in 2017 (3.2). The development of an interactive web interface on the Open Data Portal (date.gov.md), however, was not achieved due to technical issues linked to the testing of the EMIS platform (3.3). Under the 3.4 activity, MECC organized media and promotional events, such as television interviews, to inform society about the new system and promote the availability of open data. [89] More details are provided in the IRM midterm report.

End of term: Substantial

The modernization of the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) took place between 2016–2017 as part of a wider World Bank project called the “Education Reform in Moldova” Project, which includes an investment loan to be implemented between 2013–2020. [90] The activities introduced in the action plan, though not explicitly linked to EMIS, were elements of the “Strengthening the capacities of the EMIS system” project. [91] Most activities were thus conducted in the first year of implementation, and the government confirmed their implementation in the self-assessment. The IRM researcher was unable to verify the completion of the assessment of the education sector open data needs as the report produced by CBS Axa was not available to the public. Development of a web interface within the Open Government Portal (3.3), which would allow interactive visualization of education sector data, as written in the action plan, might have been referring to the actual modernization of the EMIS system, which includes this interactive visualization of primary and secondary education data, rather than a functionality on the portal itself. Additionally, in the government Self-Assessment Report, [92] the description of the completion of this milestone is described in terms of the EMIS system and not of an interface developed on date.gov.md. The intention of the Ministry of Education is to make this the sole system for education sector data. [93] As there is no interactive interface on the Open Government Portal, however, this milestone is not considered completed.

Under activity 3.4, the Ministry of Education planned to implement promotion activities focused on the availability of education sector open data. These activities were organized after the launching of the modernized EMIS system at the end of July 2017. Smartlink, a public relations firm, was contracted within the World Bank project [94] to conduct the promotion campaign focused on EMIS and education sector open data, which included interviews with beneficiaries, TV interviews, [95] and booklets published and shared among direct beneficiaries (education sector stakeholders). The campaign represented one of the World Bank activities and was financially supported by them.

The EMIS consultant [96] considers that the promotion of the system should be actively continued by the ministry, which should organize promotion activities at least once per month. When the new modules have been implemented, another promotion campaign, from national sources, will be conducted.

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Major

Prior to the action plan, information on schools in Moldova was accessible through the Ministry of Education, which relied on paper-based systems (though in recent years computers were extensively used), and there was no dedicated system in place. The commitment sought to improve the quality and types of data opened from the education sector. In modernizing the EMIS system, an interactive interface was developed allowing the handling of data and generation of reports, application of data filters, etc. Moreover, citizens and all interested actors, including stakeholders from the education sector (teachers, parents, school managers), have access to accurate and up-to-date information about each school in the country.

One of the aspects noted by the IRM researcher in the midterm report was the name of the EMIS webpage (https://www.sime.md:8443/), which was difficult to search for without the exact URL. The EMIS consultant stated that the Ministry and the coordination team were aware of the obstacle a complicated URL might represent. However, this is a compliance aspect, as EMIS was transferred to MCloud in May 2017 [97] at the request of the World Bank. [98] Moreover, according to the new amendments to the law on MCloud from May 2018, [99] public authorities have to migrate their local informational systems to MCloud and not hold physical servers. MCloud is a governmental cloud technology platform. [100] Additionally, each Ministry is assigned a single IP address which restricts the use/creation of separate webpages for certain functionalities. Therefore, the difficult URL represents an outcome of the governmental requirements. Nonetheless, the intention was to update its name to facilitate public access to the platform [101], which can now be accessed under https://sime.md.

Carried Forward?

This commitment is carried forward in the new action plan under the ensuring access to information commitment (commitment 1), and the plan foresees the development and implementation of two additional modules focusing on vocational and preschool education. The modernization of the EMIS project will continue in 2019 with the support of the World Bank. [102]

In the modernized EMIS system data are updated three times per year. [103] Moreover, an interconnection with the personal identification number in the system was implemented to ensure efficient tracking of enrolled students.

[84] After the government reorganization in 2017 it was renamed the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.
[85] General presentation of the World Bank project on the website of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, including the EMIS component, https://mecc.gov.md/ro/content/proiectul-bancii-mondiale-reforma-invatamantului-moldova-prim
[87] Telephone interview conducted with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.
[89] Prime TV, TV Moldova 1 (national TV station), and TVR1.
[92] Self-Assessment Report of the National Open Government Action Plan Implementation 2016-2018, page 13, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/documents/moldova-end-of-term-self-assessment-report-2016-2018
[93] Telephone interview with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.
[96] Telephone interview with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.
[98] Telephone interview with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.
[101] Telephone interview with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.
[102] Telephone interview with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.
[103] Telephone interview with Valentina Ichim, externally contracted EMIS coordinator at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, 16 November 2018.

Commitments

  1. Access to Information and Open Data

    MD0069, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Budget Transparency and Public Procurement

    MD0070, 2018, E-Government

  3. Civil Society Collaboration

    MD0071, 2018, E-Government

  4. Diaspora Participation

    MD0072, 2018, E-Government

  5. Accountability Mechanism

    MD0073, 2018, Audits and Controls

  6. Public Service Delivery

    MD0074, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Increase Public Procurement Transparency

    MD0061, 2016, E-Government

  8. Increase Knowledge of Public Procurement Process

    MD0062, 2016, Capacity Building

  9. Ensure Budgetary Transparency

    MD0063, 2016, E-Government

  10. Open Data in Education Sector

    MD0064, 2016, E-Government

  11. Publish Government-Held Open Data

    MD0065, 2016, E-Government

  12. Participative Policy-Making Process

    MD0066, 2016, E-Government

  13. Public Sector Evaluation

    MD0067, 2016, Public Participation

  14. Ensure Quality of Service Delivery

    MD0068, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Improving the Government Open Data Portal

    MD0048, 2014, E-Government

  16. Setting up an Action Plan for Open Data

    MD0049, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  17. Setting up Guidelines for Publishing Open Data.

    MD0050, 2014, Open Data

  18. Raising Awareness Among Civil Servants.

    MD0051, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  19. Civil Servant Training

    MD0052, 2014, Capacity Building

  20. Government Email System

    MD0053, 2014, E-Government

  21. Auditing Public Websites

    MD0054, 2014, Audits and Controls

  22. Evaluating e-Petition Requirements.

    MD0055, 2014, E-Government

  23. Fostering Transparency at the Local Level.

    MD0056, 2014, E-Government

  24. Improving Communication at the Local Level.

    MD0057, 2014, E-Government

  25. Adopting New Public Consultations Principles.

    MD0058, 2014, Legislation & Regulation

  26. Training Civil Servants for Improved Communication

    MD0059, 2014, Capacity Building

  27. Improving Online Participation Platform

    MD0060, 2014, E-Government

  28. Strengthening the Enforcement of the Regulation on Transparency

    MD0001, 2012, E-Government

  29. Semestrial Progress Reports on Transparency in Decision Making

    MD0002, 2012, E-Government

  30. Update the Module "Decision Making Transparency" on the Websites of the Central Public Authorities

    MD0003, 2012, E-Government

  31. Publish Environmental Open Data on Central Public Authorities Websites

    MD0004, 2012, Environment and Climate

  32. Develop Methodological Guide

    MD0005, 2012, Environment and Climate

  33. Amendment Regulation

    MD0006, 2012, E-Government

  34. Mandatory Use of Government e-Mail Account Electronic (Gov.Md)

    MD0007, 2012, E-Government

  35. Annual Report on Public Sector Information

    MD0008, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  36. Post Information on Draft Policies and Legislations on Www.Particip.Gov.Md

    MD0009, 2012, E-Government

  37. Development of an Online Petition Portal

    MD0010, 2012,

  38. Starred commitment Draft the Law on Public Sector Information Reuse

    MD0011, 2012, Right to Information

  39. Develop Institutional Regulations for Collecting, Archiving and Publication of Data in Digital Format in Line with National Standards

    MD0012, 2012,

  40. Developing the Public Procurement Application

    MD0013, 2012,

  41. Starred commitment Drafting the Government Decision on Implementation of Law on Public Sector Information Reuse

    MD0014, 2012,

  42. Opening Priority Data

    MD0015, 2012,

  43. Publishing the Open Government Data Catalogue

    MD0016, 2012,

  44. Expanding Government Data Portal (Www.Date.Gov.Md)

    MD0017, 2012, E-Government

  45. Mapping the Location of Public Institutions

    MD0018, 2012, E-Government

  46. Develop Applications to Launch of the Innovative Applications Development Contest

    MD0019, 2012,

  47. Implementation of Selected Apps

    MD0020, 2012,

  48. Develop National Standards for Collecting, Archiving and Publication of Data in Digital Format

    MD0021, 2012,

  49. Amend Law No. 1264- XV to Make Income and Property Declarations of Senior Officials, Judges, Prosecutors, and Civil Servants, Public

    MD0022, 2012,

  50. Develop an Online Automated Information System for Public Officials to File Income Statement

    MD0023, 2012,

  51. Develop Guidelines for Using Social Media in the Public Sector

    MD0024, 2012,

  52. Harmonize Public Relations and Communication Strategy with the Guidelines on Using Social Media

    MD0025, 2012, Capacity Building

  53. Government Presence in Social Media

    MD0026, 2012, Capacity Building

  54. Social Media in Government Training

    MD0027, 2012, Capacity Building

  55. Develop Regulation

    MD0028, 2012,

  56. Publish Documents

    MD0029, 2012, E-Government

  57. Publish Projects, Plans and Budget Proposals on Websites of Authorities

    MD0030, 2012,

  58. Starred commitment Publish Real-Time Information on State Budget Execution

    MD0031, 2012,

  59. Update Annual Database on Public Spending (BOOST) and Publish Data for 2011

    MD0032, 2012,

  60. Publish Online Realtime Income and Expenditures of Central Public Authorities

    MD0033, 2012,

  61. Opening up Data and Providing Quarterly Updates on External Assistance

    MD0034, 2012,

  62. Create an Internal Integrated Information System for Collecting Information on External Assistance

    MD0035, 2012,

  63. Develop and Launch an External Web Application to Monitor Flow of External Assistance

    MD0036, 2012,

  64. Transparent Information on Public Procurement

    MD0037, 2012,

  65. Starred commitment Develop and Launch the Electronic Information System

    MD0038, 2012,

  66. Establish a Procurement Agency Assistance Center

    MD0039, 2012,

  67. Train Public Offcials

    MD0040, 2012, Capacity Building

  68. Develop Indicators and Statistical Methodology for Transparency in e-Procurement Systems

    MD0041, 2012,

  69. Starred commitment Amend Electronic Procurement Law

    MD0042, 2012,

  70. Draft and Approve List of Public Services

    MD0043, 2012,

  71. Develop and Implement Quality Standards

    MD0044, 2012,

  72. Digitize Public Service Gradually

    MD0045, 2012,

  73. Starred commitment Human Resources Management System

    MD0046, 2012,

  74. Innovative IT Tools for Primary and Secondary Education System

    MD0047, 2012,