The Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA), a flagship initiative of the Digital Strategy, identifies opportunities and risks in a country’s digital ecosystem to help the development, design, and implementation of USAID’s strategies, projects, and activities. It informs USAID Missions and other key decision-makers about how to better understand, work with, and support a country’s digital ecosystem.
The Moldova Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) report presents the findings and recommendations of the Moldova DECA. It outlines the key aspects of Moldova’s digital ecosystem and provides 12 recommendations for creating a more inclusive, safe, and enabling environment. Guided by two USAID/Moldova priorities, which include, i) strengthened participatory democracy and ii) sustainable economic growth rooted in Euro-Atlantic integration, the DECA process consisted of desk research, consultations with USAID/Moldova technical offices, and 68 key informant interviews with stakeholders from civil society, academia, and the private and public sectors.
Key findings include:
- Moldova is home to a competitive telecommunications market, affordable internet, and well developed internet infrastructure, much of which has been achieved over the last 10 years.
- Cybersecurity implementation and capacity have not kept pace with policy development. The government introduced regulatory and policy measures on cybersecurity in an effort to harmonize with EU protocols. However, implementation requires support due in part to a fragmented cybersecurity ecosystem, a shallow cybersecurity talent pool, and gaps in government technical capacity.
- Digital literacy is a clear policy priority and Moldova is on par with its regional counterparts when it comes to the public’s general digital skill levels.
- Moldova’s digital government systems and services are advanced with more than 200 public services partially or fully digitalized.
- Moldova has a relatively open environment in terms of internet freedom but gaps persist with regard to key legislation on data protection, access to information, and the protection of children and youth from digital harms.
- The ICT sector is experiencing exponential growth, but it is afflicted by an undersupply of technically skilled talent and a shortage of promising technology startups.
- While the National Bank of Moldova does not have a dedicated financial inclusion unit or a strategy to improve outcomes, e-commerce is at the forefront of the government’s agenda.
USAID’s Digital Strategy charts an Agency-wide approach to development in a rapidly evolving digital age. Building on decades of USAID leadership in digital development, the Strategy outlines USAID’s deliberate and holistic commitment to improve development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the use of digital technology and to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems.