The newest formula by which the technical/digital field comes to solve problems in the civic/social field was also launched in the Republic of Moldova. In March 2020, Mihaela Țaranu and Ion Moșnoi laid the foundations of “Code for Moldova” - the first civic-tech association in the Republic of Moldova that offers IT solutions on a voluntary basis. In other words, Code for Moldova creates digital software and platforms that solve social problems and can be used for free by the community.
To find out what Code for Moldova represents and what it does and why our country needs such an association, we discussed with Nicolae Leontiev, Manager of Public Relations and Communication within Code for Moldova.
„The IT sector is quite strong even in the Republic of Moldova. Thus, if an IT solution solves a problem, for example in a hospital or school, it can be easily scaled nationally. In addition, Moldova certainly needs digitization.
The digitization of Moldova involves adapting to the current global situation, when everything becomes digital, and collaborating with the IT sector to solve existing problems. This process is a long one and can be achieved through the joint effort of organizations/institutions, public and private, and all actors who have decision-making power.
Our goal is to create pro-bono digital solutions to support the Moldovan community and state institutions in various fields: medicine, education, government transparency, e-services, mobility and others.
The Code for Moldova activity is structured in three stages:
- Selecting the problem- it is the stage where we analyze social problems and find solutions. In the beginning, we choose one or more research areas, such as education. Then, we research the field to better understand what it represents and who the stakeholders are. In this case, we divide the field of Education into smaller parts: preschool education, high school education, higher education. We identify organizations, institutions and groups of people who are directly involved in these processes: teachers, NGOs, administration of state institutions, parents, entrepreneurs, graduates.
- Research the problem - is carried out both by quantitative methods: questionnaires, statistical data, surveys, and qualitative methods: interviews, focus groups, documentary analysis and reports on the researched topic. At this stage, the research of the user experience (UX) and of the existing tech solutions in other countries is also carried out. Thus, we realize how we could solve the problem through technical solutions. In the end, we have a complete sheet for each problem identified and a clear idea of how we could solve that problem through digital solutions. We incubate and prototype the solutions and test them with real users to make sure that they solve the problem and that they will have the real expected impact.
- Implementations - we present all these solutions on a single platform, where the general public can see and analyze them. From here there are three possibilities: we develop the solution; a company decides to develop one of the pro-bono solutions; a foundation or grant provider offers to logistically and financially support the development of an identified solution for another NGO.
If we develop the solution, Code for Moldova volunteer community builds and maintains the necessary infrastructure for the development of these applications and at the same time works to transform the prototypes into real applications. Developers who join the Code for Moldova volunteer team can work online, using Slack and GitHub repositories, solving the tasks listed in our public repositories. Developers who join the Code for Moldova volunteer team can work online, using Slack and GitHub repositories, solving the tasks listed in our public repositories. Those who prefer to work with our tech teams in real-time, in a physical location, can join the Hack Days - events organized by Code for Moldova in Chisinau in which IT specialists know and work together.
We are currently focused on the field of Education, namely Career Guidance, until May 31. In the next half year, we will focus on the environment. "
The solutions already implemented by the Code for Moldova association are: ajut.md, voluntar.md, info.c19.md, votdiaspora.md.
Young IT specialists who want to be part of the Code for Moldova team can fill in the registration form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnz0Mu9Z4oWbWRDqZqSXFNzr9KPREf-2VvHvUTQfg6PopNwQ/viewform.
More details about the activity of the association can be seen on the website: https://code4.md/get-involved. Also here you will find useful information, which could determine you to participate in the digitization of Moldova.