Arad City initiated it’s Digital Transformation Strategy and supported its implementation by monitoring activities, evaluation plan and KPI’s.
Despite the fact that ICT is a S3 sector for West Region Romania, currently there are no integrated digital strategies defined at city level. The project constitutes a first pilot implemented in Arad, being selected to receive support under the Digital Cities Challenge Initiative of the European Commission.
The initiative fosters synergies between existing policies involving digital priorities (West Region RIS3 and Arad integrated urban development strategy) and the newly planned policy actions supporting digital transformation.
Arad’s ambition is to act as a model for other Romanian and European cities using the benefits offered by the transformative power of digitisation. The indicators for monitoring organised on three layers:
• 10 Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) regarding the level of the Ambition
• Intermediate outcome indicators regarding the level of operational objectives
• Output indicators regarding the level of activities.
A Digital Council has been formed by the 4 partners implementing the project, which is continuously involved in the definition and implementation of the digitalization strategy.
The Digital Council comprises of local authorities, universities, consultants and businesses.
The monitoring department is under the authority of the Mayor and the supervision of the City Manager, being in charged with collecting data on all strategy monitoring indicators and communicating with the Digital Strategy Monitoring Committee on a regular basis.

Resources needed

Monitoring and evaluation will be performed with local resources engaging the implementing partners. External expertise is needed to run overall activities regarding: methodological approach, data gathering, reporting, evaluation and dissemination. These costs are estimated to reach 15.000 Euro.

Evidence of success

Putting KPI on the heart of the strategy, generated local Administration and stake-holders commitment to engage in pilot projects of 3,8 Million Euros for the following period. Two initiatives engaging triple helix stake-holders have already taken place:
- Digital Lab – a common place for joint actions that support digital projects for the city of Arad developed jointly by various stakeholders (hackathons, workshops etc.)
- Create digital platforms for city’s tourism, business, innovation etc.

Difficulties encountered

Establish and develop digital value proposition and branding for growth while using KPI’s to measure the transformative efects.
Creating and integration the relation between a local structural initiative and the system used for monitoring results with the regional monitoring of the RIS3.

Potential for learning or transfer

Developing a local strategic initiative related with the huge challenge of digital transformation of a city is an opportunity to share knowledge in similar cases. Beyond consultations and setting up objectives, to use KPI for monitoring the progress is essential thus offering several areas of expertise:
- development of stakeholder forum at city level to address digital transformation for business growth
- connect local strategical initiatives with Smart Specialisation Strategies
- measuring Cities digital transformation
- sharing experiences on various application of digital technologies in various industries / business areas
- means to exploit synergies between various projects such as COSME and Interreg
- development of new inter-regional projects for digitalisation of businesses

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Main institution
Municipality of Arad
Vest, Romania (România)
Start Date
January 2019
End Date


Cristian Gotia Please login to contact the author.

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