National response to COVID-19
The digital transformation is already a reality in Moldova, as the country has begun to transfer legal, social and civil service delivery online. Accelerated digitalization can be expected to create new business models and opportunities for digital leapfrogging in traditional industries and governance.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for significant support and investments on digital transformation and effective digital governance, particularly to ensure the continuity and delivery of core government functions.
In the past months, business continuity was severely hampered, and many government officials and staff had to continue working in their physical offices not only due to infrastructure issues, but most importantly due to the presence and location of data and information in offline data files and paper-based systems.
But while there has been much emphasis on digital tools and technologies, we must also support the analogue component of digital transformation – policy, institutional coordination and trainings, and leadership – remains a significant challenge in many countries in the region, and thus may continue to constrain effective digital transformation if left unaddressed.
We are working to help the country deliver services remotely and establish digital platforms for social services and e-commerce.
UNDP Moldova is quickly adapting its delivery modes to this new reality & tapping into digital opportunities to respond to the crisis.
Here's what we're doing:
- UNDP will assist the acceleration of Government and private sector efforts towards digital transformation and transitioning to a “digital government” concept, with emphasis on: digital inclusion of most vulnerable groups and elaboration of citizen-driven digital solutions based on innovative engagement with the private sector.
- UNDP will partner with the Government, business community and development partners in testing and implementing the digitization of administrative and social services via a platform for a joint dialogue.
- Together with the European Space Agency (ESA) and private sector companies, UNDP Moldova established a Big Data for COVID-19 partnership that uses cross-sector datasets (e.g. mobility, electricity consumption, internet traffic) to better understand and tackle emergent problems related to pandemic.
- A distance learning system and digital platform for education process management, studii.md, was upgraded for pupils in Moldova (grades 1-12), a partnership between UNDP, private sector and the Association of ICT Companies. In July 2020, the platform had 77,000 users of 71 schools adopting the instrument. Studii.md offers solutions to several important distance learning education challenges: online lessons (videoconferences) with data privacy protected, lessons’ schedules and homework, teacher feedback and progress evaluation, attendance and regular automated reporting all in one place. The platform is a solution for digital governance in education, which can be extended to a smart platform in education.
- UNDP Moldova offered e-platforms to 35 municipalities, hometown associations and territorial employment offices for coordination, outreach, communication and information-sharing purposes.
- UNDP has partnered with the Association of ITC Companies for conceptualization and implementation of Startup Moldova Digital Impact Program – engagement with the private sector around the new business opportunities and new sector related solutions.
- Up to 250,000 households throughout Moldova participated in a social experiment aiming to reduce electricity consumption that has reached unprecedented heights during COVID-19 lockdown. This campaign scales up a similar exercise conducted in 2019 by Premier Energy and UNDP Moldova for 20,000 households from Chisinau. Those households with an annual energy consumption exceeding 140 kW/hour in 2019 received statistics comparing their data to that of energy efficient consumers in the community. The letters also offer advices and solutions for energy saving during the #Stayathome period and encourage people to pay their bills online, as a safety measure during COVID-19 pandemic.
- UNDP Moldova, in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Moldova and Business call to Action (BctA) is running the SDG Accelerator pilot program to support the Moldovan small and medium sized companies develop sustainable products and services. The programme covers introductory and acceleration workshops, and mentorship for six local businesses for a period of up to 12 months, providing support of international mentors and a toolkit designed to encourage business innovation. Some of the companies participants at the project are considering developing COVID-19 related products and services.