Brainstorming ideas in e-governance in Bucharest, Romania

This weekend the team of Garage48 mentors and experts are happy to be hosted in Bucharest, Romania. With our great partners Microsoft and TechHub Bucharest we are tackling the exciting subject of digitalizing the government. It is great to see that Romania has already embarked on this project of aligning itself to the latest trends in e-governance and we are here with the experts from Estonia to share the strategies, approaches and experiences we have gathered when building e-Estonia.

E-government is not just about enabling existing processes by using digital means, it involves rethinking and transforming the ways government institutions operate. Romania has both the technical skill to match this goal and also a government that is supportive of innovation. It is said Romania has approximately 100 000 ICT specialists on national level and although most of the country’s IT sector is still focused on providing outsourcing services to foreign companies, founding a startup has become increasingly attractive for both young tech professionals and senior developers. At the same time the government has made an effort to introduce more advanced electronic systems in providing public services to its citizens. For this an official document - The Digital Agenda for Romania - states that the administrative procedures and flows need to be focused on individual life-events. With this approach citizens have easier access to government agencies and institutions electronically, thus avoiding having to wait in line or dealing with paper documents.

The goal of this weekend’s hackathon is to enable a continuous collaboration between these two sides and a playground for ideas to be brainstormed and prototypes created. We want to provide a bridge between the policy makers and implementers here in Romania and also bring in expert advice to avoid the mistakes made in Estonia and know-how to get to the goal faster. The subject is challenging but despite the fairly small number of people we had great ideas presented on Friday and five motivated teams are now building their ideas.

As the teams are hard at work, let us introduce all the ideas that were presented. The ideas that gathered a team are marked in bold.

  1. - A platform to engage in a debate about your city. The user can upload a picture about what they see in the city and instantly comment on the issues they care about the most. Also it will be a way to reach the decision makers.
  2. OPA - App or platform to manage all the e-services
  3. Let’s Do It/Cleaning hub - helps the community to be cleaner, the app ables to identify where the garbage is and thus helps to gather it faster.
  4. Smart government - app to pay bills, makes everyday communication between government and citizen easier. 
  5. Yellow Pages app - Platform to map number of companies in specific areas.
  6. Ajutor Colectiv -  a platform to centralize information for emergency situations.
  7. Digital Government - web platform for specialists to apply to help the government build e-services.
  8. Have your say - web environment to map and gather statistics about Romanians living outside of Romania. It is beneficial for the expats helping them to find places/events/communities abroad.
  9. "Wisdom of the Earth" - Marketing campaign to preserve Romanian art - helping the government to raise money for this piece of art called "Wisdom of the Earth". For this the user can donate money and "buy" a pixel. The goal is to build a visually attractive website.
  10. x42 app - widget to enable video comments.
  11. Map the State - a platform to map all the government institutions. 
Good luck to all the teams! Show your support and follow the live demos on Sunday at 5.30pm GMT+3  (