Donor to the Project: UNDP Moldova
Implementing Party: SeeD
Dates: 14/11/2016 – 12/05/2017
The political situation in Moldova remains in a perilous state despite recent temporary stabilization. With the revelation in 2015 of the theft of more than one billion US Dollars from the country’s three major banks, Moldova has been thrown into a series of political crises with the result of ever-louder voices of opposition, including both leftist parties as well as right-wing civic fora, all of whom have repeatedly taken to the streets in protest against what parties perceive as corruption at the highest levels of government. The resulting general assessment is that Moldova has in recent years progressively been undergoing a process of “state capture”, while corruption is rife at all levels of government.
As a result of the aforementioned destabilization public trust in governmental institutions has dramatically plummeted, with 90% of the population considering that things in the country are moving in the wrong direction. Low levels of satisfaction with civic life, low legitimacy of incumbent authorities etc. are endangering fundamentals of social cohesion and reconciliation within the Moldovan society. The balance of inter-ethnic relations, on the other hand, is also affected by the ongoing unscrupulous political infighting, generating tensions that can be further exacerbated by external pressure.
The protracted political crisis in Moldova has also impacted negatively on Chisinau’s relationship with the Gagauz Autonomous Territorial Unit. Efforts aiming at strengthening dialogue and trust, harmonizing legislation for the benefit of Gagauzia’s special status and development could provide an example to follow in the case of Transnistria. Equally, should dialogue fail, it would demonstrate that Chisinau lacks the capacity and political will to effectively address minority issues and decentralization needs. Supporting cooperation with Gagauzia is extremely important in terms of preventing expansion of secessionist moods, as well as presenting a practical example of settling differences with regional centers of power, which can serve as a best practice in the future process of settlement of the Transnistrian conflict.
The overarching objective of SCORE-Moldova is to apply innovative research tools to identify verifiable data and baselines for the level of social cohesion and reconciliation in conflict prone regions of Moldova with a further adjustment of future ‘Confidence Building Measures’ (CBM) interventions in the country. The SCORE-Moldova will make sure that the UN portfolio of CBM-related projects and activities are anchored in the realities of community dynamics. The current limited and sporadic methods for measuring results is leading to a deficit in terms of determining to what extent the projects’ outputs were contributing to strengthening social cohesion.
The SCORE methodology has the potential of becoming the centrepiece Monitoring & Evaluation tool of an area based approach in both Gagauzia and Transnistria, targeting an improvement of relations between citizens (improving horizontal relationships between different groups in conflict - reconciliation) and between citizen’s and governments (improving vertical relationships between individuals in a society and the institutions that surround them – social cohesion).
SCORE-Moldova is currently at the calibration stage to develop a conceptual model based on relevant strategy documents and lessons learnt from implementation of relevant surveys in the region, in order to ensure that it is adjusted to the local context and it reliably captures the societal dynamics of Moldova.