Regional Co-operation for Cultural Heritage Development
რეგიონალური თანამშრომლობა კულტურული მემკვიდრეობის განვითარებისათვის
Տարածաշրջանային համագործակցություն հանուն մշակութային ժառանգության զարգացման
Національна політика щодо культурної спадщини
Mədəni irsin inkişaf Etdimilməsi üçün regional əməkdaşlıq
Рэгіянальнае супрацоўніцтва ў мэтах развіцця культурнай спадчыны
E- Journal №1
Cultural Heritage Policy
“What Process of Change is needed for Moldavian Cultural Policy Reform and Strategy Development?”

Dr. Eugen Martin,
National Consultant UNDP, Moldova


I. Is it necessary to get a cultural Strategy for Moldova?

The Republic of Moldova is entering a new phase of democratic evolution. The country passed through an initial phase that began with the Declaration of Independence in 1991, and lasted until the parliamentary elections of 2001.

Moldova’s progress in developing a civil society and free market economy has been fraught with many difficulties. Even so, this period was marked by several attempts to elaborate and implement official programmes in culture policy, such as the “State Program for the Development of Culture and Social Protection of Artists: 1993-2000,” “Strategy for Library Development: 1993-2000.” These were largely idealistic documents without true financial assurance. Policymakers in the field of culture were famous artists and scientists who often lacked political and administrative experience, and put too much stock in the “magic power” of high-level bureaucratic documents. Both documents remained unrealized. A serious decline in public sector funding for cultural institutions and networks at both national and local levels occurred after the Moldova’s democratic powers lost their dominant position.

The period of time from 2001 to 2009 was characterized by a kind of attempt at communist restoration, during which no strategic documents in the field of culture were implemented. The main goal was to reanimate the old cultural networks. After a decade of decline in cultural institutions, this decision appeared to be justified. The “Moldovan Village Programme on the Development of the Regions, 2005-2015” encompasses restoration and development of the regional houses of culture, libraries and museums as well as protection of local cultural heritage. It is true that a number of local cultural institutions had a financial support from the central government, particularly in the localities with communist administrative majorities. In this sense, cultural development was politically motivated and represented ideological ties.

The year 2009 was decisive for the democratic evolution of the country, and a new phase began. Entrance into the European sphere became the main goal of Moldova’s development. However, new visions and new political forces do not necessarily mean new directions when the influence of past precedents is taken into account.

Can we say that the government promoted the role of culture as a dynamic agent for social change and cohesion, economic regeneration, and sustainable development? Not yet—the role of culture remains limited to cultural activities, holidays, and leisure. Political decision makers are not always convinced that culture is a worthy sector for investment, and do not recognize the potential leading role that the cultural sector can play in national development.

What is the solution?

Our aims are clear, but must be explained to political decision makers. We must elaborate and implement a relevant modern strategy for cultural development that resonates in the 21st century. We are sure that it is not too late, but that now is the right time for action.


II. More efficient cultural data collection, analysis, and monitoring of cultural development

Culture-based development is actually a common priority for a significant number of European countries. Culture-based creativity is an essential feature of a post-industrial economy. Is it for Moldova too?

Is it possible to implement a cultural model for social and economic development for the Republic of Moldova?

Above all, is it necessary to explore the cultural environment in detail and find answers to the question: What are the most important problems for cultural development of the country?

Analysis of the most important debates held in the Republic of Moldova over the last ten years provides us with very little objective information.  The following is a basic list of cultural issues discussed in Moldova:

  • Cultural programs in the Republic of Moldova have a very poor budget, insufficient for normal development
  • artists have no social protection
  • the Ministry of Culture is very passive and does not promote public policy for cultural development
  • the cultural legislation is inefficient; most laws are formal and not implemented

The key problems related by Moldovan artists and cultural experts have been related in the Regional Monitoring and Capacity Building Unit report: “Analytical Base-line Report on the Culture Sector and Cultural Policy of the Republic of Moldova”.

The following essential gaps were established:

  • very little factual material
  • no detailed data about sectorial development. Official statistics give very poor and general information
  • no data about the perception of cultural institutions by the general public
  • no sociological studies in culture field aside from libraries (due to the studies conducted by IREX in 2011)
  • lack of managerial knowledge among leaders of cultural institutions
  • no comparative studies with other countries of the world, especially of the region, etc.

We have made an essential conclusion:

The Ministry of Culture has no relevant tools for measuring Moldova’s cultural environment.

It is not possible to elaborate and promote a relevant cultural policy without knowing the situation, the trends in development, and to make comparison with the countries in the region.


III. Create and implement an information system for the management of cultural environment development

Recent technological development has produced a far-reaching interaction with public administration. ICT offers many possibilities for the improvement of management policy. Many innovations were implemented in various economic fields: mobile communication and information, cloud computing, information systems, and applications for managers.

The adoption of new technologies can also enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the bureaucratic apparatus and can even positively influence the mechanisms of political representation. The adoption of such technologies can make it possible to offer more services to citizens.

What are the priorities and main objectives?

  • to provide cultural institutions with a minimal set of hardware
  • to develop computer literacy training for the cultural managers at all levels: national, regional and local
  • to review cultural statistics
  • to create an input data system, involving all cultural managers in the process
  • to create an integrated information system on cultural data (IISCD)
  • to establish a national analytical body – institution or task forces
  • to elaborate a strategic program for permanent sociological investigations and data collection
  • to integrate the IISCD with the official site of cultural institutions and public administration

What are the benefits?

  • Improving data quality and analysis
  • improving the IT literacy of the culture management teams
  • providing political decision makers with an efficient data collection and analysis system
  • involvement of all cultural management staff in the data collection process
  • creating a client-oriented management for the cultural field
  • improving the transparency of cultural administration 

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