ReStart supports citizens who harness technology to create a more open society, improve the life of everyone, and create a stronger country and economy. 

ReStart Romania is one of six challenges in the CEE region – all supported by TechSoup Global and the local United States Embassy – that create a platform for civil society activism in each country and aim to return civil society’s power base to the people.

In 2012, you can also find ReStart in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

ReStart Romania is a challenge, inviting the pitching and discussion of ideas that tackle difficult issues in Romania with the help of web-based tools.

With the support of a strong community, the ideas are shared online, then narrowed down to seven finalists, who receive help to build prototype versions of their technical solutions. At the culminating awards event, three winners are selected. The winners receive ongoing support to launch their applications and engage Romania’s citizens in improving their lives.

ReStart Romania is supported by a grant from the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe.


The 3 winners of ReStart Romania 2012 are:

București, orașul tuturor (Bucharest, the city of everyone - the map of accessibility for those with disabilities), The National Organization for People with Disabilities and Zitec, Bucharest - www.orasultuturor.ro

A website that would count all the accessible public places and put them on an interactive map, thus helping both Bucharest residents and tourists with disabilities plan their days better.


Lipsatratament.ro (Lack of treatment), the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation and Webikon, Bucharest - www.lipsatratament.ro

A national website for tracking medication shortages in Romania. This project will create an electronic system to monitor stock-outs of drugs across the country.  The system will also include a mobile phone web application that will utilize GPS data. A blog and interactive maps will display the data to the public which will then be reported to the Romanian Ministry of Health, national and international organizations, thus ensuring transparency and accountability.


Sexul vs Barza (Sex vs. the Stork), Adriana Radu and Front Association and Good Afternoon, Bucharest - www.sexulvsbarza.ro

An easy to access and understand website with all the relevant information about sexuality, but all diversity issues and minority rights, for teenagers.



Other 4 finalists included:


A website that teaches citizens about the legislation in place in terms of urban development and supports them to report illegal actions.


Legi libere (Free laws)

A website with all the legislation in place, which is not yet free from payment in Romania.



A portal that puts together all the public job vacancies and means of applying, to ensure equal access to all.


Publicăm economia publică (Publishing the public economy)

A platform that treats citizens as share-holders in the state businesses and aims at keeping them informed about how the administrator – the state – deals with their money.


Stats and process numbers in ReStart Romania 2012

102 ideas received

  • 61 community aggregation projects – dedicated to building tools for niche or unrepresented minorities to aggregate and represent their interests;
  • 22 transparency and open data projects – dedicated to building transparency and watch-dog tools;
  • 17 user-friendly public administration projects – dedicated to building tools that tries to make more efficient Romanian public institution.
  • places - majority of projects from Bucharest, 5 from Iași, 3 from Cluj Napoca, 2 from Târgu Mureș and 1 project from each of the following: Alba, Arad, Făgăraș, Mărăcineni, Craiova, Oradea, Oslo, Helsinki, Pașcani, Ploiești sau Timișoara.


1950 users registered on the ReStart platform engaged in voting, commenting and other platform activities

2409 Facebook community members

15.650 unique visitors on www.ReStart Romania.ro, spent an average of 6 minutes on the website, 106.550 pageviews

599 online media mentions, 1.023.000 impressions



Partners and friends of the project


Supported by a grant from the Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe

Supported by: Microsoft România, Senior Interactive, Romanian American Foundation, Erste Stiftung, GTS Telecom, Oracle Romania, Zitec, Webikon, Drupal Association Romania, Good Afternoon


This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Department of State. The contents are the responsibility of TechSoup Romania and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of State and the United States Government.


A campaign supported by Gândul and Mediafax, Business Magazin, Decât o Revistă, Gazeta de Sud, Craiova.ro, ZeList Monitor

Friends and supporters: British Embassy, Canada Embassy, Austrian Embassy



ReStart Romania in 2011

In 2011, Restart Romania generated more than 100 project ideas and 2,000 registered users.

Today the platforms generated in 2011 are alive and building their own communities of citizens interested in such topics as deforestation, public finance, local electoral debates, national legislative reforms and petty corruption in the medical system.

ReStart Romania 2011 was supported by the Embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Spain and Canada.  Additionally companies like Microsoft, Cisco and Google and Foundations like the French American Charitable Trust and the Erste Foundation committed vital financial and human resources.

Advertising and programming teams from global players like Grey to local companies like Zitec joined in support of winning ideas.  

For all partners, ReStart Romania offered a chance to join in the discussion about open society issues that deeply effect their quality of life, ability to do business and sense of justice in democracy.


Meet the finalists of 2011

Who Promised What, www.cineceapromis.ro, launched in March 2012

Problem: Politicians make many promises during pre-election, most of which are unrealistic or remain unfulfilled.

Solution: a site collecting and publishing electoral promises, evaluates costs and publishes to help citizens make informed decisions while encouraging citizens to give input and debate on community priorities.  Citizens can submit proof of the politicians’ promises and debate fulfillment during electoral mandate. Hopes to encourage citizen monitoring and to hold politicians accountable while in office.

As of June 2012, the platform had over 3745 unique visitors, and partner with www.alegericorecte.ro and www.hartapoliticii.ro (2 other elections monitoring platforms) to offer a wide range of information for Romanian citizens. But cineceapromis.ro organizes offline activities too: for the Romanian local elections in June, they have organized 2 offline debates between citizens and local candidates: in Bucharest, but also in small town in Arges county in Romania – and managed 7 lively discussion forums between candidates and online visitors of the website.


MedAlert, www.medalert.ro, launched in May 2012

Problem: Corruption is the norm in the Romanian health system. It is, with few exceptions, the only way to get medical assistance.  Often, authorities claim they do not have the necessary information to tackle the problem.

Solution: SMS and online reporting systems automatically sending reports to authorities after having been validated by the admin team. Regularly updating the media ensures public attention to encourage and assist relevant authorities to regain control over their system.

As of June 2012, MedAlert had over 4000 unique visitors, over 20000 hits, and struggling to process more than 800 reports (in queue) filled by citizens on issues like corruption or poor medical services.


Deforestation Map, harta.plantamfaptebune.ro, launched in May 2012

Problem: Illegal deforestation is rampant in Romania and negatively impacts both the environment and the rural economies. From landslides to unpaid taxes, there is a chain of negative links to the uncontrolled exploitation of forests.

Solution: A map of deforestation, based on satellite images and citizen mobile reporting, sheds light on the problems proportion, directs environmental organizations to areas most in need, and could put pressure on authorities who allow the abuse. The map is part of an ongoing effort of the idea leaders to replant Romania’s forest, under the name of “We plant good deeds”

More than 242 forest cuts reports were validated on the platform until June 2012. The “We plant good deeds” project won a first prize in the annual Romania Civil Society Award Gala in June 2012.


Lost Money, www.banipierduti.ro, launched in May 2012

Problem: Citizens pay taxes but don’t know how or where their money is spent (assuming it is).

Solution:  A platform to centralize all public financial information (public budgets, annual balance sheets) about publicly funded projects. The aim is to make authorities more aware of the way they spend public money and generate a map of public spending. Shedding light on the flow of public funding, authorities may be encouraged to be more responsible and transparent.

Almost 6500 citizens visited the website until June 2012. The IT team of www.banipierduti.ro consisted solely in Microsoft Student Partners.


Bribery Market, www.piatadespaga.ro, launched in October 2012

Problem: One in three Romanians admit to having offered a bribe. Information about the “price” of a certain “service,” is transferred in a secretive, informal manner, allowing those who ask for bribe to adjust and modify value depending on the victim.

Solution: By building a map where the “prices” are disclosed, people will choose the “cheapest” services and perhaps in time market economics combined with enforcement may lead to the elimination of bribery.  The platform enables citizens to report where they did or did not have to pay a bribe. Citizens may compare bribe amounts and rank ‘satisfaction’ with the amount paid. 


Orasul Meu 2020, www.orasulmeu2020.ro, launched in June 2012

Though not a winner, the www.orasulmeu2020.ro finalist decided to continue developing the project and launched it in June 2012. Razvan and Monica, two tech-savvy citizen decided to build a unique instrument of reporting the abusive occupation of sidewalks by illegally parked cars. 67 reports were logged in the first month of the project and more the 3000 people visited the website.


About TechSoup Romania

TechSoup Romania works toward a time when every social benefit organization has the tools and knowledge it needs to deliver its missions to their fullest potential. Want to learn more about us – visit our communities and our projects: , , www.map4good.org