Launch of the Assessment of State of Local Democracy in Moldova
At a time of multiple challenges facing representative democracies across the globe, closing gaps between governments and citizens has become top priority. Central to this objective is the following question: what methods and tools are best suited to engage citizens in a critical reflection on the quality of their democracies? How can such democracy health-checks be made more meaningful and impactful?
In an effort to promote citizen-led democracy assessments in the Wider Europe region, International IDEA has helped launch an assessment of the state of democracy at the local level in Moldova. The assessment is led by the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives in Moldova, a leading think-tank in the country. The project is guided by a consultative group of experts from across state and non-state institutions and has been made possible through funding from the Swiss Development Cooperation Office in Moldova.
The assessment will utilize International IDEA’s State of Local Democracy Assessment Framework and will engage three main assessment pillars. These include; i) implementation of fundamental rights and freedoms, ii) rule of law and access to justice, and iii) local representative institutions and processes and the state of civic participation in sub-national institutions. The assessment will also inquire into the functioning of political accountability in service delivery by local governments. Data on citizen sentiments, expert opinions and input from local government institutions will be collected through a nation-wide representative survey of about 1300 respondents, a series of focus groups in roughly half of Moldova’s regions and individual in-depth interviews. The assessment is expected to be completed by June, with early results shared and discussed in public roundtables in May and June 2017.