We are determined and dont have the luxury of not succeeding

Stela Mocan
Executive Director, e-Government Center, Moldova

The e-Transformation agenda requires us to change the way we do business, specifically in the public sector. It’s not just another reform initiative

Stela Mocan currently bears the twin responsibilities of Advisor to the Prime Minister and Executive Director for the e-Government Centre in the Republic of Moldova, the East European country tugged between Romania and Ukraine. She is regarded an expert in the areas of democracy building and governance, women’s empowerment, and civil society and local economic development in Moldova. In an exclusive interview with Prachi Shirur of eGov, Mocan talks at length about the e-Transformation project and the challenges and opportunities it presents for the country that looks forward to joining the European Union. Excerpts:

Moldova is the first country to join the World Bank’s e-Transform initiative. What is the vision and strategy of the Governance e-Transformation Project of Moldova?

The USD 15 million project aims at increasing availability, efficiency and quality of public services to citizens and businesses in Moldova through improved governance and innovative use of ICT in the public sector. It is to be implemented during 2010-2014 and will contribute to the development of an enabling environment and the e-Government Centre, and establishment of the shared infrastructure and e-services in Moldova.

Government of Moldova created the e-Government Centre in August 2010 to drive the e-Transformation Agenda. The centre has started to develop the e-Transformation master plan, Moldova e-Government strategy and the roadmap.

The e-Government Centre’s priority is to drive the implementation of the Open Government Data initiative, aimed at making the government data open for citizens and improving governance and service delivery.

The project will support the Government of Moldova in the establishment of a shared cloud-based e-Government infrastructure, M-cloud, which will target government ministries, departments and agencies, small and medium enterprises engaged in the development and delivery of IT services and solutions, and universities. Development and delivery of high-impact e-Services for citizens is a key priority of the government.

Tell us about the progress made in e-Transformation project?

The e-Government Center, in partnership with the World Bank team, has launched a series of consultations with key stakeholders in the government, private sector, civil society and academia on issues related to the Governance e-Transformation project. It is paramount for us to involve key stakeholders in the project implementation from its early stage. Together with the World Bank e-Transform initiative, we run workshops and knowledge sharing activities on Open Government Data, cloud computing, and innovative Governments to develop the change agents, and to catalyse and implement the e-Transformation agenda in Moldova.

What is the response from various stakeholders —government
officials, private players and citizenstowards this e-Transformation initiative?

The response so far has been varied. The government has expressed   strong will in driving the e-Transformation agenda. High-level government officials have been supportive and along with the civil servants have actively participated in the e-Leadership and knowledge sharing programs. The e-Government Centre will have to ensure that government offi- cials both at the central and local  levels are fully involved in the process at each stage. Private players are also interested in being part of the e-Transformation journey, and we have just   launched the consultation process with representatives of the business community on better defining their role and contribution in this process. It is our priority to reach out to citizens, young people and academia and explain them the e-Transformation agenda. The success of this challenging endeavour depends on making Moldovan citizens co owners and partners of the ICT-enabled development process and governance e-Transformation.

We run Workshops and Knowledge sharing activities to develop the change agents, and to catalyse and implement the e-transformation agenda

What are the major challenges you envisage in implementing the e-Transformation project? What is the strategy to overcome that?

The major challenge is and going to be in reaching out to all the stakeholders and align them toward this innovative development goal. We have to explain how the e-Transformation agenda is going to benefit each of them so as to get their commitment and make them part of the change process.

We see e-Transformation as the most efficient and speedy tool to change, modernise, reengineer and innovate the governance process and government  in Moldova. The resistance is coming from the people working in the  government institutions and not willing to admit that change is actually going to happen and it is not just another reform initiative.

The e-Transformation agenda requires us to change the way we do business,    specifically in the public sector, and it could happen that we will ‘clash’ with  existing and well-embedded organisational cultures, stereotypes and vested I