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A first experience for the Republic of Moldova. The National Social Insurance House (NSIH) stepped out of its box of conventional services to teach the older people from Moldova to use the provided public online services with their phone. The training took place under a pilot initiative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and of the NSIH, as part of the project called Digital Skills Connect Generations. Throughout 2021, 300 older women and men attended trainings organised in 15 settlements across the districts of Șoldănești, Rezina, Basarabeasca, Leova, Orhei and Strășeni. Ecaterina Silacov, from the village of Donici, Orhei District, was one of them.

‘This initiative is welcome. I used to have to take the bus to Orhei. Now we can do everything from home with our phone. I have been taking notes during the course. That was very useful information, because we’ve reached an age at which moving around is hard, especially amid the pandemic’, Ecaterina Silacov said.

The trainings were carried out in every settlement by two members of the district-level Territorial Social Insurance Houses. The civil servants helped the older people log into their personal account via the website –, and learn more about the information and services, such as:

● amount of the salary and the social insurance premiums paid by employers to the state social insurance budget;
● online submission of the retirement pension review application;
● using the retirement age calculator;
● making online appointments with services provided by the territorial social insuranceoffices, to avoid unnecessary travel, especially amid the pandemic, etc.

‘About 60% of the pension review applications received by the NSIH were submitted online by older people. Online appointments are made very often – in 2021, more than 4000 people made an online appointment and then only showed up at the territorial offices at the scheduled time. We are happy that under this pilot partnership with the UNFPA we can tap into the remarkable opportunity to make this number bigger by teaching older people how to use out online services’ – said Elena Țîbîrnă, Director General, National Social Insurance House.

This initiative was carried out under ‘Digital Skills Connect Generations’ – a broad program launched by the UNFPA amid the Covid-19 pandemic in pursuit of making the older people digitally literate by involving young people, and of helping them cope with social isolation.

‘Every participant of the 300 received an advanced smart phone. They then attended the trainings, where young volunteers helped them master their digital skills. Thanks to these trainings carried out in partnership with the NSIH, we managed to step it up to the next level – we taught older people to use their phones to access the online services it provides. We are happy that our partners at the NHIS were open to this endeavour and that we made it possible for older people to interact directly with the staff of the NHIS – a first for Moldova’, said Eduard Mihalaș, Programme Analyst on Population and Development, UNFPA.

Statistics show that, in Moldova, only 3 out of 10 people aged between 60 and 79 have access to digital technology, compared to 8 out of 10 people from younger age groups. In addition, the Active Ageing Index launched by the UNFPA shows that lifelong learning is poorly developed and promoted in Moldova, with only 2 out of 10 people older than 55 practicing it.

The project ‘Digital Skills Connect Generations’ is carried out in 15 settlements by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Moldcell Foundationand the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, in partnership with HelpAge International Moldova and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

Contact person: Nata Sarioglo, Communication Consultant, UNFPA Moldova, +373 78 835845