The “Romania without file” competition started its third edition on Monday, March 20, 2023, with 51 students, 10 mentors-deputies and a brief that involves the creation of an information and programming portal aimed at eliminating unnecessary queues from the counters of public institutions. The 20 student teams, representing seven universities in the country, work for two days to create a final product that aims to contribute to the de-bureaucratization of the state and help simplify administrative processes.
The hackathon is organized by the University of Bucharest and the Chamber of Deputies and had 38 teams registered in the first stage. The competition will end at the Parliament Palace on March 22, 2023, with the presentation of the projects of the 20 teams selected for the final stage (10 from the IT area and 10 from the communication area). Students have to deliver during the 48 working hours:
- an interface design of a portal where we can find all the necessary information for 3 life events for which the state provides public services. The portal will also offer the possibility of making online appointments for audiences or of sending in the electronic format the documents necessary to obtain public services.
- a plan to promote the portal and the benefits it offers to the population.
“Romania without file” is the perfect example of the active involvement of the academic milieu in society, through a transfer of know-how from our community to the state administration. I’m glad to see that this initiative has grown so quickly, has expanded to the national level and is already reaching collaborations with state institutions that can contribute to beneficial changes for the whole society”, said prof. Sorin Costreie, PhD, Vice Rector for University Networks and Public Relations at the University of Bucharest.
The 3rd edition of the competition is carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Digitization, which aims to implement the students’ ideas and thus facilitate the citizens’ process of searching for information and programming at state institutions that offer public services corresponding to life events (birth of a child, getting a car, opening a business, building a house, etc.). The students selected for the final benefited from a debriefing session with the Minister of Digitalization, Sebastian Burduja, four days before the start of the competition.“We are in 2023 and Romanians need to find information easily and centrally and not waste their time making unnecessary trips to public administrations to find out information, to submit documents or to get appointments. All this can and must be done online, quickly and efficiently, so that the citizen gains time and money and we increase the level of satisfaction he feels in the interaction with the state and its employees”, explained George Tuță, quaestor of the Chamber of Deputies and initiator of the competition.
The students work in these two days in Bucharest, in mixed teams (IT & communication), to develop the final projects, under the coordination of ten mentors-deputies: Florin Alexe (PNL), Viorel Băltărețu (USR), Diana Buzoianu (USR), Andi Cristea (PSD), Natalia Intotero (PSD), Bogdan Ivan (PSD), Ana Predescu (PSD), Sabin Sărmaș (PNL), Glad Varga (PNL), Miklos Zoltan (UDMR). The participants represent seven universities in the country: University of Bucharest, Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Transilvania University of Brașov, “Ștefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, “Titu Maiorescu” University, National School of Political and Administrative Studies“.
The novelty of this year’s edition consists in the fact that we combined students from the technical area and students from the communication area, assuming that we can build in a few working days an interface for a portal that is extremely necessary for the citizens of Romania, together with campaign outline to help promote it. It is an exercise to integrate the academic milieu and the administrative apparatus”, explained lect. Anamaria Nicola, PhD, teaching staff at the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences of the University of Bucharest, and organizer of the competition.
The competition, awarded at the end of last year with the Aspen Social Action Prize, a prize granted to initiatives with an impact on society.
The competition initiated by the University of Bucharest and the Chamber of Deputies in 2022 is in its third edition and involves practical activities for student teams, who receive a brief and work for three days under the coordination of mentors-deputies to create products intended to reduce bureaucracy. In the three editions organized so far, 40 teams, with 115 students, reached the final stage.The project initiated by Anamaria Nicola and George Tuță was awarded by the Aspen Romania Institute in December 2022 with the Aspen Social Action Prize, a prize offered to projects initiated by alumni of Aspen programs that have a significant social impact during the last year. The initiators of “Romania without file” competition, like a large part of the mentors, are alumni of the program dedicated to the public sector, Aspen Public Service Leadership Program.