DOT-COM Activity: Romania Information Technology Initiative - Access
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Short Description: The RITI-Access activity has the overarching goal of implementing effective applications in e-governance and e-commerce to increase transparency, efficiency, and constituency responsiveness, and to expand equitable public access to ICT resources.
Phase/Type of Activity: Signed Award Status: Active
Start date: August 01, 2002 End Date: January 31, 2006
Partners: Cisco Systems , Internews Network , Sibiu City Council
Person(s) to contact
Steven Rynecki , Senior Program Officer
Academy for Educational Development
Full Description: The RITI-Access component of the Romanian Information Technology Initiative has the overarching goal of implementing effective applications in e-government and e-commerce to increase transparency, efficiency, and constituency responsiveness, and to expand equitable public access to ICT resources, especially for underserved communities. The project provides support to entrepreneurs to develop economically viable telecenters; partnering with local NGOs to expand their usage of ICT; providing technical assistance to local governments to develop appropriate online service delivery; creating e-commerce applications for small and medium enterprises; and integrating relevant ICT into currently existing development programs.
Update 1(July-Sept. 2004):
A second round of e-business and e-government activities were launched and agreements signed with Romanian partners. These activities are:
- e-Hospital Management System: In this activity, the Targoviste County Hospital implemented a state-of-the-art patient management network that improves patient recordkeeping and increases the productivity of hospital staff. The project has cut the costs in running the hospital, which resulted in the opportunity for the hospital to invest in doctor trainings and staff development. The hospital is also linking itself electronically to local physician offices to share patient information and referrals.
- Digital National Library Catalog: A national library catalog was created with the support of two county libraries and the national Library of Romania. The project created a national catalog of all holdings in Romania to ease sharing of resources and make information easily available to local students and entrepreneurs.
- Agribusiness Portal (Agrilinks): In the eastern region of Romania, an agribusiness portal is currently being developed to promote local investment, share farming techniques and help marketing and pricing systems for the region. This project is in conjunction with local partners at the Galati Chamber of Commerce.
- E-Learning for Business and Public Officials: In Calafat, a border town between Bulgaria and Romania, an online learning program is being developed targeting local businesses and public officials to improve their capacity in permitting, licensing, customs and language, and general ICT skills.
- eToursim for rural communities: Working with USAID partners at CHF, this project creates a toursim portal to promote rural travel opportunities in Romania and to transact electronic reservations and payments. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase revenue to rural tour operators.
- E-Environment: This initiative will support information sharing between different governmental environment agencies responsible for construction permits.
Update 2 (January-March 2005):
- PILOT Projects
- Giurgiu: Sobis Solutions finalized the implementation of the document management and tax automation systems in all departments of the Giurgiu City Hall. Sobis Solutions designed the City Hall website which can be accessed at www.primaria-giurgiu.ro.
- Sibiu County Council - Social Services Assistance Project: The Monitoring and Evaluation phase of the project was completed in April 2005. The project is preparing for national replication.
- Salaj & Braila County Libraries Project: The Integrated Library System (ILS) is now fully functional. RITI Access is in discussions with the National Library to repurpose the system under European Union standards. Talks are ongoing to replicate the system in other libraries throughout the country.
- Targoviste eHospital Project: Subcontractor, Infoworld, developed and customized the software used by the hospital to become more efficient through the computerization of patient records, costs and other essential information. Telemedicine and the use of PDAs is also under consideration.
- Valcea Environmental Approvals Management Project: This project is still in its initial phase. The project is expected to (1) Facilitate access to environmental information (policies, legislation, permit procedures etc);(2) Provide real time access to documents/downloads of forms; (3)Encourage greater public participation in the environmental decision-making process and increase efficiency in issuing environmental permits for the business community; and (4) Reduce red tape by improving document management.
- Calafat Local Economic Development via E-learning: The Calafat project will facilitate access to ICTs and knowledge for businesses, citizens and public servants which should strengthen the local institutions abilities to design and implement strategic plans and business development programs in the cross border region. The project will create an e-learning system to stimulate economic development and regional trade. The e-learning system is comprised of computer-based training modules related to key economic and administrative topics. These topics are of key interest to local businesses, associations, and the Calafat Local Council.
- Slatina Info-social Network: The Slatina project (currently in the hardware procurement and software development phase) will improve the social services provided by the Slatina Local Council and Olt County Agency for Labor Occupancy, will create a more proactive support for the unemployed citizens. Also the Project seeks to improve data transfer between the institutions that provide assistance and social services within the county.
- Vrancea Project - Business Promotion and Information Portal: Project Management Plan under development.
The Iana, Balasesti, Rebricea and Frecatei centers were fully operational in the reporting quarter.
- The Braila County Council will replicate the Frecatei Telecenter in one of the Frecatei villages by allocating funds for a communication center. The services to be provided under this center include telephony, Internet, fax and video.
- ICT4U Constanta Telecenter: The ICT4U project team is expected to open the center in May of 2005. The center is adding a cybe cafe on the ground level to increase revenue and encourage customers to sign up for additional training in Cisco Systems and other computer literacy classes. The center aslo offers English language lessons and business skills training.
Update 3: (April-June 2005):
The key direct and immediate results of the projects implemented during the second quarter of 2005 were:
- strengthening of Romanian and US private sesctor initiatives through the development, implementation and replication of RITI projects with ICT firms such as IBM, HP-Compaq, Infoworld,IME, Sobis, IPA etc;
- facilitated easy and rapid access to public information for business and citizens (local decisions, forms, templates, and legislation);
- created a cost effective IT infrastructure that enabled data transfer between central and local administrative institutions;
- created jobs and raised ICT literacy in public and private institutions (e.g. training of civil servants);
- transparent process of issuing and tracking authorizations/permits/social benefits issued by a local administration implementing integrated informatics systems that reduced waiting time for businesses (e.g. Giurgiu & Sibiu projects, Valcea);
- improved tax payment procedures for the business environment and citizens through online facilities that result in local economic growth (e.g. Giurgiu DMS & TAS integrated systems);
- strengthened collaboration and coordination between public and private sectors on all projects.
The RITI Access initiative has evolved from an e-government driven concept to incorporate an e-business approach benefitting Romanian SMEs. Romania's economy is growing rapidly and the demand for quality products and services is driven by its ascension into the European Union. RITI Access continues to evolve and develop innovative and practical applications under this USAID funded program.
Update 4: (July-Sept. 2005)
- Giurgiu City Hall Project
Preliminary results from the M&E carried out between March and July 2005 show an overall increase in transparency in the citizen-public authority relationship. The time spent by the citizens in interacting with public servants decreased as a consequence of performing more efficient activities facilitated by the Integrated Information System.
On July 29, 2005 the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Administration and Interior joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in officially launching the new Integrated Informatics System at a press conference hosted at the Giurgiu City Hall.
The results of the Giurgiu Project were also recognized at the annual conference organized by ANIAP in September 2005, Giurgiu City Hall received the E-Administration award for transparency in citizen relationships. The conference focused on Informatics Systems, the basis of Decision Making.
- Salaj & Braila County Libraries Project
The Library Informatics System was officially launched at the National Library of Romania, Special Collections Hall on Monday, July 11, 2005. USAID/Romanias Chief of Mission, Mr. Rodger D. Garner, was joined by the Minister of Culture and Religious Affairs Secretary of State Virgil Nitulescu and the Deputy-Minister of Communications and Information Technology Secretary of State Aurel Netin in offering remarks at the press conference. The event was also attended by representatives of the projects local partners (National Library of Romania, Braila & Salaj County Libraries), as well as representatives of public administration and county libraries across the country.
Before the projects official launch, in early July, another 12 county libraries (Arges, Bacau, Bistrita Nasaud, Buzau, Calarasi, Cluj, Constanta, Dolj, Galati, Iasi, Prahova, Timis) and one university library (TCB) became part of the National Collective Catalogue (NCC). Also the National Library of the Republic of Moldova agreed to be part of NCC.
- Targoviste e-Hospital Project
The hospital software application is operational and enables staff to manage the hospitals entire range of activities and processes. Interoperability between the application modules provides hospital administrative staff with appropriate support in the decision-making process, improves services provided by the hospital, personnel activities, as well as communication between doctors and patients and other institutions. Doctors and patients can access files electronically on the hospital website at http://www.elearning.municipiul-calafat.ro. The content/classes for the e-learning application were deployed on the Calafat web site.
- Slatina Info-Social Network
The project improves the social services provided by the Slatina Local Council and the Olt County Agency for Labor Occupancy by offering proactive support to the unemployed, and also facilitates the data transfer between institutions that provide social services throughout the county. The City Hall web site is available at http://www.primariaslatina.ro. Information on social services can be accessed here,information on unemployment documentation is available here. Job opportunities in Olt County are listed here.
- Vrancea Project Agricultural E-Business Portal (Agri-links Portal)
During the reporting quarter, RomLotus in cooperation with RITI Access and the local partners started to prepare the Project Management Plan to include: resource analysis, general research for the Agricultural E-business Portal on the existing stakeholders, their field of activity, infrastructure, Internet connection, capacity to cooperate with the public sector, etc., general IT analysis, training & consultancy requirements analysis and project monitoring & evaluation analysis.
Development Sector(s): Agriculture Markets and Trade, Farmer-to-Farmer, Outreach and Training, Sustainable Agriculture, Civil Society, Governance, Strategies, Enterprise Development, Information Technology, Microenterprise Development, Social Safety Nets, Technology Transfer, Education Partnerships, Participant Training, Workforce Development, Environmental Compliance, Policy Development, NGO Sector Strengthening Program, Private and Voluntary Cooperation, Urban Programs, Women in Development
ICT Intervention(s): Capacity Building, Public Administration, CD-ROM, DVD, VCD-ROM, Computers in schools, Database development, Digital Convergence, e-commerce, e-government, ICT and Women, LAN/network infrastructure, Local content development, PDA/handheld device, Public/Private Partnerships, Technical Training, Telecenters, Universal Service Obligations/Universal Access, Web site/portal
Links and Files:
- RITI-CIPE Branding Workshop PowerPoint
Powerpoint from organizational branding workshop, conducted with dot-ORG Romania
- RITI-Access Project Web site: http://www.riti-access.ro/2000_EN.htm
Web site of the RITI-Access web site.
- ICT4U Telecenter Opening Day - Press Coverage
The ICT4U Grand Opening was held May 6, 2005 in Black Sea town of Constanta, Romania. The event was held in cooperation with local partners at the Cisco Systems Learning Academy. Local officials and USAID were on hand to assist in officially opening the center.
- Local eGovernment Applications - An example from Romania
This short case study presents an example of eGovernment applications at the local government level. 6/05
- Valcea - E-Government Pilot Project
This pilot project in Romania is working to increase the efficiency, transparency and accessibility of environmental permitting procedures.
- RITI-Access Telecenters - Workspace Center Project (WSC)
The Workspace Center Project creates new job opportunities and supports new income generating initiatives in under-developed / rural regions of northeastern Romania The Workspace Centers are business incubators that provide small businesses with a range of information services, access to information technology, business consulting and accounting services.
- Library Informatics System - E-Government Pilot Project
The Library Informatics System (LIS) pilot project supports the RITI-Access objective of implementing innovative e-government projects to increase government efficiency and transparency and to improve citizen participation.
- Agrilinks - E-business Pilot Project
In order to increase competitiveness in the agribusiness sector, companies should integrate ICT to compete effectively in the local, regional and international marketplace. This project tests new approaches in agribusiness development through the creation of an e-business portal that serves agribusinesses in the southeastern region of Romania.
- Targoviste - E-governance Pilot Project
RITI-Access and the Targoviste County Hospital launched a pilot project to develop and implement plot ICT applications and programs to improve the hospital's operational efficiency, improve internal and external communications, and increase access to information.
- RITI-Access Telecenters - ICT4U / Netpoints
RITI-Access, together with the Regional Cisco Academy of Constanta and the School Inspectorate of Constanta, developed the ICT4U Telecenter Project.
- Calafat - E-governance Pilot Project
In July 2004, RITI-Access and the Calafat Local Council launched the Local Economic Development through e-learning facilities project. The project ensures the implementation of e-learning systems for public servants, business owners, teachers, and ordinary citizens.
- Slatina - E-governance Pilot Project
RITI-Access and the Slatina Local Council launched the Infosocial Network Project to develop and implement pilot information and communication technology applicatios and programs to improve social services provided by Slatina Local Council and the Olt County Agency for Labor Occupancy by offering proactive support to the unemployed.
- Giurgiu - E-governance Pilot Project
This project establishes an Integrated Informatics System in the Giurgiu City Hall. The initiative developed an information and communications technology application that increases the efficiency and transparency of the Local Council.
- Project Brief: RITI-Access
This project brief was developed to highlight project results at project completion, in December 2005.
- eGovernment - dot-ORG's Contributions
This document highlights dot-ORG's key contributions to eGovernment, from pilot projects in Romania to elections support in Rwanda.
- Romania Information Technology Initiative
This document provides an overview of the projects' achievements and lessons learned.
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