What Can You Learn from Moldova’s NAP Launch?

This week is Innovation Week in the country of Moldova. In collaboration with the World Bank, the government—in partnership with civil society—has set up a series of events to help launch the implementation of their OGP National Action Plan (NAP). Much of what Moldova is doing is broadly applicable for all OGP participating countries, and it’s my goal to share the knowledge gained from their experience with you, while learning a little about what’s going on in your country. Even if you can’t read through the whole post, please DO skip to the end and send me your answer to the question -- we all stand to benefit!

The Goals Every country has unique challenges in developing and launching an OGP National Action Plan, but all can recognize the universal importance of accomplishing the following goals to ensure successful implementation of your NAP. This list, while informal, is a compilation of the goals established by the Moldovan e-Government Center (who heads up the OGP efforts for the government) and by Moldovan civil society.

  • Raise public awareness of the e-governance efforts in country.
  • Get buy-in and involvement from non-government actors for the NAP.
  • Create connections between government, civil society, and the private sector that can support the implementation of the NAP.
  • Build competency and skills in key stakeholders (including the Moldovan developer community).
  • Jump start the creation of software and apps that utilize Moldovan open data.

The How Moldovan civil society, government, and the private sector are working together to put on the Innovation Week events. These events are focused on meeting the above goals while launching the Moldovan OGP National Action Plan. Civil society is doing the majority of the planning. The government is providing high level speakers, prizes for the hackathon, logistical support, and guidance to ensure the events stay focused on the NAP. And the private sector is providing in-kind contributions and additional prizes for the hackathon. All are responsible for outreach to their individual communities.

The Events Here are some additional details on the four NAP related events that make up Innovation Week in Moldova:

  • Data-Driven Journalism Bootcamp for Moldovan Media One of the central focal points of Moldova's NAP is open data.  As with all new data release programs, there is a wide variety of formats in which it is currently being released on the Moldovan Data Portal. To help the broader community make sense of this data proliferation, this two day hands-on training will teach journalists, members of civil society, software developers, and government representatives how to find and collect data, clean it, create visualizations, and ultimately: understand the patterns and meanings that hide within it. Trainers from The World Bank, Google, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and The Guardian DataBlog will create experiential learning opportunities for the participants.
  • Multi-Stakeholder PFM Training and Data Analysis Workshop This three day training, designed to support Moldova's release of budget data under the NAP, will build local capacity on how to analyze the data in the context of public financial management (PFM). Moldova is the first country in the world to use the World Bank’s software tool, BOOST, to release detailed data on public expenditures through the Moldovan Data Portal. This workshop will enable attendees to better understand and engage on budget processes by providing training on BOOST as well as on the basics of public expenditure analysis and key PFM principles.
  • Smart Government Day Taking over one track of the first day of the annual Moldova ICT Summit, Smart Government Day is a collection of informative speeches, lightning talks, and panel discussions by local government and civil society, as well as international experts -- all brought together to raise awareness in the broader Moldovan ICT community about open government, open innovation, open data, and of course - how these groups can get involved with the NAP.
  • Open Innovation Challenge “Apps for Moldova” This three day innovative mashup of multiple event types comprises a TechCamp on Friday, a 2 day Hackathon over the weekend, and a series of prize challenges put forward by Moldova’s E-Governance Center, MoldCell (Moldova’s mobile phone provider), Endava (IT company), and the World Bank. In addition, Moldova is offering assistance to teams that pre-register to support successful app creation. Friday’s format is largely based on the TechCamp held in Moldova last July. It will combine international experts with Moldovan developers to educate and inform them about what is possible, brainstorm apps that can be developed utilizing data from the Moldovan Data Portal, and form teams to work together over the weekend. Days two and three will see the teams with their heads down building apps with the hopes of winning one of the prizes at the end of the event. International experts will be available to encourage, solve problems, and provide inspiration. Naturally, the point of this challenge is to get developers to use actual data from the Moldovan Data Portal, in order to benefit the public as well as show the value of having released the data.  It is also a means to  actively engage both NGOs and the private sector in implementation of the NAP. 

What’s Next? In the weeks following Innovation Week, you can look forward to hearing how these things worked out -- including what was a success, what didn’t go as planned, and what lessons were learned along the way.

Details For more information, visit http://codd.md (or the less informative English version). My personal association with Moldova is based solely on being flown there by USAID for the TechCamp last July and then again by the World Bank for innovation week next week. I am presenting at Smart Government Day, providing technical training and sitting on a jury during the Open Innovation Challenge, and generally applying my open government, event design, and technical expertise to ensure that the week is a success. You can read all about my organization and our work at http://open4m.org/.

What about you? So I’m curious what’s going on in your country to launch NAP implementation? Use the comments below to give a quick overview. Feel free to brag OR complain! What is really good and what could use some work? Remember, there are 54 other countries that stand to learn from your experience.  

This blog entry was written by Wayne Moses Burke, Executive Director of the Open Forum Foundation, a DC based non-profit that he founded to improve citizen involvement in government. Growing up with the US Open Government movement as a backdrop, the organization works at the intersection of technology and government culture, with the goal of building trusting relationships between government entities and civil society. You can reach Wayne on Twitter or Linked in as wmburke.

Authors: Blog Editor
Filed Under: OGP News
Tags: Hackathon