Vlada, WEASA2022 alumnae, is a prominent presentative of Moldovan civil society. As a part of Primaria Mea NGO, she and her colleague have created a platform where they discuss data-driven urban issues in Chisinau and offer solutions. She also works at the Centre for Policies and Reforms, where she specialised in advising national and municipal institutions on how to better serve citizens through public participation, the use of digital tools, and open data. However, Vlada lacked expertise in data visualisation and was recently seeking a chance to hone her digital skills. And she seized the opportunity when the call of the P2P Meetings was open! 

Vlada in frames of WEASA P2P Meetings initiative took part in the annual international data event in the South Caucasus: DataFest, the founder of which is our beloved alumnae Nino Macharashvili (2018). For her. it was interesting to learn about the different types of visualisations, the good examples provided by the speakers, tips on how to create good storytelling, including how to use colour and create design. 

Vlada tells us that she was reminded of the importance of creating accurately collected data during the DataFest sessions. Now that she has returned home, she is working with her colleague to create a study on the data that is already available, looking at how it is collected, how it is used, how to create policies based on data, as well as the problems and potential solutions. Finalisation of this study is anticipated in February 2024. 

Vlada states that the Moldovan civil society, which focuses on public participation, transparency, and good governance, does not discuss AI.” Thus, for her: “the use of AI in government—including how to increase efficacy and efficiency, contribute to safer communities, raise the standard of public services, and facilitate decision-making—was rather new to me”. Even if it is not currently on the government’s agenda, Vlada wants to concentrate more of her NGO’s attention on a particular issue, such as algorithmic transparency, because she feels that by doing so, they can learn from past mistakes and experiences of other countries and prevent abuses. 

We’re sure to receive updates from Vlada regarding how she developed the activities in her NGO using the knowledge and skills she acquired.  

WEASA appreciates Nino’s hospitality in providing Vlada with a new space to study and practice!