If our civic apps matched the same needs in Moldova as in Romania, we could expect a smooth transition: there are no language barriers, so our apps would need only light adaptations.
Our expectations were exceeded: we made new friends, met organisations that do amazing work and greatly enjoyed the tech scene of Chisinau. Not to mention we found many incredibly enthusiastic volunteers who already started working on Code4 projects!
First, we met Promolex, an NGO that has been working for years on monitoring the electoral processes in Moldova. Although their work is difficult and they face a challenging institutional environment, Promolex managed to grow organically into a powerful and sustainable structure that is a positive example to other organisations in the region. The future sounds great and we will start working together on two projects that we already launched in Romania: our vote-monitoring app (Monitorizare Vot) and our civic apps aggregator (Centru Civic).
In order to adapt Monitorizare Vot (MV) to the Moldovan context, we need to figure out how to integrate their SMS system of reporting on electoral issues with our monitoring app. This will offer a smooth transition from their previous system to the enhanced version of MV. (which is currently work in progress). The integration will allow people who do not own smartphones to report their observations and be counted in the same reports, thus increasing the area covered by observers.
By extending Centru Civic to include the Republic of Moldova, we intend to organize the information about civic apps and NGO’s involved in designing them into one place. This will give an overview of active apps and organisations and make it easier to contact them. We expect this transition to be very smooth: we only need to add the Moldovan NGO’s to our existing database!
We will also start working as soon as possible on bringing the platform “Nu vă supărați” (created by the awesome Funky Citizens) to the Republic of Moldova. The Moldovan organisation that will make this possible is Asociația Obșteasca “Juriști pentru Drepturile Omului” (Jurists for Human Rights), so we are looking forward to collaborating with them!
On the second day, our friends from Generator Hub helped us organize an event where we met with representatives from 7 local NGOs and many other people interested in giving a helping hand and becoming contributors for #opendata. Generator Hub is wonderful place that takes care of all programmers, start-uppers and people with great ideas and initiatives (you can read more about them here).
We began with a short presentation that soon turned into a relaxed conversation about how we can change the world for the better. Four hours later, a couple of great developers had already joined our community of volunteers and had started coding on projects! Also, we made many new friends and met organizations with which we will start working together very soon.
We would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the Open Knowledge International, which helped us organize those events and develop our ties with the civil society in the Republic of Moldova. All of this was possible due to the kind donation of the UK Foreign Commonwealth office.
We can’t wait to go back.