Huda Tauseef l Palladium - Jun 10 2024
From Apps to EU Membership: The Vast Potential of Moldova's Digital Transformation

It’s errands day. You’ve just moved, so you need to update your home address on your driver's license, pay for a speeding ticket that has been sitting and accruing fines for months, and look at some blood work results from your doctor for an upcoming appointment. Now, imagine you could do all these tasks on a single app, without waiting in lines, rescheduling, or finding obscure documents.

This is what Republic of Moldova’s soon-to-be-released EVO app will accomplish.

EVO will consolidate individual and company data ranging from document verification (IDs, driver's license, registration certificate) and payments, public services, and personal health data. This app is just one example of Moldova’s dedication to digital transformation. Digitalisation has become a policy priority across the small, formerly Soviet country, with the hope of recognition as the torch bearer for digital development in the region.

Ultimately, guided by a Digital Transformation strategy that was approved in 2023, Moldova intends to create a digital economy and inclusive digital society within the next decade.

Digital Perks

This has far reaching implications, from minimising urban and rural disparities in internet access, to updating laws that keep citizens, especially children and youth, safe from misinformation and other digital harms. "Digital Transformation involves not only support for the IT sector, but also digital government services that citizens use,” says Stuardo Herrera, Senior Technical Advisor of Digital Solutions at Palladium.

“To make this happen, collaboration from all sectors is also required.”
All stakeholders, including government institutions, the private sector, civil society and development partners have a role to play in fostering an inclusive whole-of-society digital transformation approach.

This approach also aims to combat widespread corruption in Moldova. The government hopes that increased access to information will lead citizens to trust the government and its institutions more. And as Herrera adds, “more transparency and less intermediaries mean corruption is reduced.”

Ambitious Goals

Digital transformation at this scale also serves more ambitious goals. The coordination between Moldova's goals and European Union (EU) standards shows the country's determination to continue its path towards EU membership, a process that began in December of 2023. Before being accepted into the group of 27 existing member states, a long list of requirements needs to be met, but the government believes the benefits will be worth the work.

Joining the EU will mean access to a larger market, which may increase trade and development. It would also increase political stability and security, and give Moldovans access to work and travel opportunities in other European countries.

Crucially, some of the necessary changes revolve around digitalisation. The EU has supported and funded several initiatives that strongly align with its existing digital regulations and processes. “Digital transformation should be aligned with human rights commitments of the country,” Herrera adds. “The EU has regulatory frameworks and standards where they are trying to do much better around data protection, privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation, and artificial intelligence.”

Ensuring human rights are protected remains one of the core tenants of Moldova’s digital transformation.

The Road Ahead

While the country has come a long way in achieving its goals, much is still being discussed and decided, such as how exactly to convene stakeholders across all sectors in an effective way, so everyone reaps the benefits.

Other practical questions include how to frame this transformation into other EU regulatory frameworks.

The Global Digital Development Forum (GDFF), an annual global conference bringing together the digital development community, provides a good avenue to discuss these important issues.

“As part of the forum, Palladium hopes to answer some of these questions by hosting a local event in Chisinau, the capitol of Moldova and the epicenter for its digital transformation, adds Herrara, who says that the event will bring together stakeholders from civil society, government, and more to facilitate discussions and hear from experts on how to ensure this important work is done efficiently and responsibly.

Learn more about the GDDF Local Events or contact