Sandwiched in between Ukraine and Romania, the Republic of Moldova has struggled economically since its independence in 1991. Classified by the European Parliament in 2009 as the continent’s poorest country,1 Moldova has been working with the support of various aid partners to advance the nation’s human development, with the eventual aim of joining the European Union.2
The need for policy-makers in Moldova to have access to reliable data for decision-making was identified as a main concern in 2000.3 The issue gained greater prominence in 2003 with the launch of the second generation of structural reforms and the implementation of the country’s first Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (EGPRSP) 2004-2006. It then became clear that decision-makers would increasingly need data for measuring and objectively reporting on the socio-economic impact of the country’s poverty reduction policies. But how should the nation go about developing this kind of database?
Enter DevInfo. The UN-endorsed database system was officially offered to the Moldovan Government by the UN Country Team in July 2005. With UN support, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova quickly launched DevInfo Moldova in 2006 with a database containing indicators organized along the country’s two most important monitoring frameworks: the EGPRSP and the nationally-adjusted Millennium Development.
Goals (MDGs). In 2007 the Government launched a web-based version of DevInfo Moldova, giving all stakeholders public access to the 170 indicators used to monitor the EGPRSP and the 60 MDG indicators.
With the end of the EGPRSP in 2007, DevInfo Moldova ceased to be used to monitor the national development strategy. Even so, DevInfo Moldova continues to serve as a key national database for monitoring the country’s progress towards achieving the MDGs. With its underlying database updated with disaggregated data (urban/rural, male/female) to help identify disparities, DevInfo Moldova was used by the Government to produce the country’s Second Millennium Development Goals Report in 2010.
Since 2008, the Ministry of Economy has organized over 10 DevInfo Moldova training sessions to teach staff with Local Public Authorities and Central Public Authorities how to use the database to support evidence-based decision making. A follow-up survey of 129 Local Public Authority trainees revealed that a stunning 97 percent had subsequently used the database in their work - to elaborate local development plans, undertake economic analysis, justify project proposals, and/or contribute analysis to various reports.
With DevInfo Moldova as a tool to monitor MDGs, the country can look forward towards improving human development for all, as it seeks to join the ranks of the other European Union nations.
For more information, please contact Elena Laur, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, UNICEF Moldova, firstname.lastname@example.org Rodica Nicoara, Deputy Head of Division of Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, email@example.com.
1 “Europe’s poorest country Moldova holds election,” 6 July 2009, European Parliament website,http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?language=EN&type=IM-PRESS&reference=20090403STO53395
2 “International Development Partners support Moldova’s Vision for a Better Future,” 24 March 2010, EUROPA website,http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/361, accessed 1 July 2011.
3 Mohamed Azzedine Salah, “Using DevInfo as a Strategic Tool for Decision-Making: Achievements and Lessons Learned in Moldova,” in Bridging the gap: The role of monitoring and evaluation in evidence-based policy making (UNICEF, 2008), p. 195.