Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) Report

The Moldova Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) report outlines the key aspects of Moldova’s digital ecosystem and provides 12 recommendations for creating a more inclusive, safe, and enabling environment.

Over the last decade, Moldova’s commitment to digital transformation has become increasingly clear and has accelerated both at the policy and implementation levels. In August 2021, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalization was established – a first in the country’s history. The government’s agenda, with support from the international donor community, emphasizes the digitalization of government services and systems, the growth of the ICT sector, and enabling the uptake of e-commerce. In the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, supporting and strengthening elements of Moldova’s digital ecosystem such as cybersecurity of critical infrastructure, citizen media literacy, and the enabling environment for IT businesses is vital.

The Moldova DECA took place between September 2021 and May 2022. It included desk research, consultations with USAID/Moldova, and 68 virtual key informant interviews with stakeholders from civil society, academia, the private and public sectors, international development organizations, and USAID/Moldova implementing partners. The USAID/Moldova 2020-2025 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) includes two Development Objectives and highlights the cross-cutting priorities of out-migration and the inclusion of youth and women:

1. Strengthened participatory democracy

2. Sustainable economic growth rooted in Euro-Atlantic integration

Pillar 1: Digital Infrastructure and Adoption

  • Ninety-nine percent of Moldovans have access to a 4G mobile network, 76 percent use the internet, and 85 percent are unique mobile subscribers. Small gaps exist in urban-rural connectivity divides and in connecting the last-mile.
  • Cybersecurity readiness is better in many private sector companies, namely ISPs and IT service providers, than among government institutions, CSOs, and the general public.
  • There is high political will for the adoption of emerging technologies and for 5G rollout, but negligible demand within the private sector and society.
  • Digital technology adoption by the general population is mostly for information seeking and voice telephony, less for content creation and use of services.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the general population’s internet use, but simultaneously exposed key digital literacy gaps including the absence of systematic assessments of digital skills in society, government, and among SMEs.

Pillar 2: Digital Society, Rights, and Governance

  • Moldova’s e-government architecture and digital service delivery is advanced and concentrated at the national level with more than 200 public services partially or fully digitized, but is limited at the local level.
  • The government has expanded its use of participatory technologies on the supply side with sub-optimal adoption by civil society and citizens.
  • Data protection awareness and implementation of policies within the government and civil society is limited.
  • The spread of misinformation increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but so have general levels of digital literacy and the ability of citizens to detect such misinformation.

Pillar 3: Digital Economy

  • The growing ICT sector and the digitalizing economy are creating demand for technically skilled talent, but a persistent skills gap could affect the pace and wide-scale impact of Moldova’s digitalization.
  • The startup ecosystem is too nascent to be self-sustaining.
  • The government is working to address barriers to e-commerce growth, but local sellers (MSMEs) are slow to move online and digital inclusion in rural areas is limited.
  • A lack of data and focus on financial inclusion in Moldova hinders the growth of e-commerce.

Digital Ecosystem Evidence Map

The information below is part of the Digital Ecosystem Evidence Map (DEEM) and displays up-to-date resources on digital development interventions and the digital ecosystem for Moldova. Click here to explore the full tool.

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