Romania contracted with WRMA to provide management direction and technical assistance to the Romania National Authority for Child Protection in developing and managing an information system to track and document children receiving both Romanian government and alternative community services. Development of this information system was part of a broader collaborative initiative, known as the Romania-American Partnership for the Welfare of Children, which was undertaken by USAID with the cooperation of the Romanian government and financial assistance from the World Bank and European Union, to improve the policies, legislation, service delivery, and standards for child welfare. The initiative emphasizes partnerships of U.S. and Romanian non-government organizations with Romanian government units to improve services for children and families.
The initial work performed by WRMA under this initiative, prior to March 2003, was funded by USAID and was in the form of technical assistance on a wide range of topics, with all of the topics associated with the potential improvement of Romania’s child welfare system. More specifically, WRMA provided technical assistance on child welfare policy matters, service delivery practice, program evaluation issues, and the use of information technology. As WRMA provided the technical assistance, it became clear that there was a critical need for accurate and timely information that would help the Government of Romania make more informed decisions regarding clients, services, resources, and service costs. Following extensive briefings to the initiative and Romania government leadership, a decision was made to move forward with developing a Client Monitoring and Tracking Information System (CMTIS) for Romania’s child welfare services program. Two task orders awarded to WRMA resulted in the successful implementation of CMTIS.
The CMTIS is a Web-based application with a centralized database at the national level and is accessed from the local level through a secure network. The system was developed, piloted, and deployed in phases. WRMA led the design, planning, and management of the project. The tasks associated with the project included system design and development, technical architecture design and installation, and user training and support, as well as research and report production both locally and nationally. The objectives of the system were to enable the Government of Romania to decrease the number of institutionalized children, improve services for children and families, and develop sustainable collaboration between non-governmental and governmental sectors for the benefit of children in Romania. The information system technology developed and implemented by WRMA for this project is also assisting the Government of Romania in ending the warehousing of children in institutions and in reforming the way in which children receive child protective services.