Case Study: Women's Tech Hubs Moldova

The tech hub approach is derived from a collaboration between WCUK, Humans in the Loop, and FiftyEight in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 


During War Child’s response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, War Child identified that one of the major protection concerns facing vulnerable women and girls, both from Ukraine and Moldova, is labour traffickingWar Child also found in needs assessments and through close work with its partners in Moldova that women specifically struggle to find decent labour opportunities due to scarcity of childcare, and in the case of Ukrainian women, as they need to supervise their children who are not attending school in person because they are studying online with their schools in Ukraine.

Therefore, War Child and partners piloted the tech hubs approach in Moldova, to provide women with a livelihood that could be practised at home to provide the flexibility to allow women to manage household responsibilities. The tech hubs approach was specifically targeted at women in rural areas with limited education who are most at risk of trafficking. 



A tech hub is the establishment of a one-stop-shop for online livelihoods, such that participants can access: electricity, the internet, relevant hardware and software; training on IT skills, including basic IT skills and/or vocational skills such as digital annotation, and other skills required for freelancing online; and linkages to the online labour market.

The tech hub also addresses a major blind spot in livelihoods programming that treats unemployment amongst youth as purely a supply-side issue (youth are deemed under-capacitated and training will allow them to find jobs) rather than a demand-side issue (the domestic market has a surplus of labour and weak demand). 

Tech hubs therefore address this issue by connecting participants to the global market, which is more diversified and therefore offers more consistent opportunities than relying exclusively on domestic markets. This is especially the case in rural areas, especially in WCUK’s countries of operation which are conflict-affected and have low or even negative economic growth. For tech hubs, WCUK targets ‘digital deserts’ which are areas where there is little or no internet connectivity, and where the majority of inhabitants have few IT skills.