Developing local governance capacities


 Drafting strategic plan for the Municipality of Kolasin. Photo: UNDP in Montenegro

UNDP supports the ongoing decentralization reform in Montenegro by strengthening the inter-municipal cooperation, municipal assemblies and municipal capacities for effective development of human resources.

In the context of the ongoing decentralization reform, local self-governments’ responsibilities are becoming increasingly more important and versatile. While some progress has been made, the effective and accountable delivery of quality public services at the local level still faces considerable challenges. Those challenges are mostly related to insufficient fiscal decentralization, fragmented local self-government systems, limited capacity to design and implement integrated local development strategies, the ability to handle regulatory complexity and the sustainability of training structures.

The Local governance capacity development project has been put in place to support the municipal and central Government’s efforts to address these issues and strengthen local governments’ capacities for effective development of human resources. These activities are designed in line with the IPA 2010 project “Support to local self-government for the implementation of the National Training Strategy and provision of grants to municipalities”.

What is the project about?

Project activities are organized around three general objectives:

Goal 1: Supporting the inter-municipal cooperation initiatives. The first aim of this project is to increase the knowledge and skills that will foster and facilitate inter-municipal cooperation in concrete areas, such as common service delivery, joint strategic planning, and joint applications for EU funding. This should ultimately lead to significant cost savings and increased responsiveness of local administration, as well as improved quality of services.

Goal 2: Supporting the activities of municipal assemblies in Montenegro. The second set of activities will be directed towards strengthening the effectiveness, democratic functioning and outreach of the municipal assemblies by enhancing the knowledge and skills of the parliamentary services, including secretary generals of the assemblies.

Goal 3: Strengthening local government capacities for effective HR development. The third objective of this project is to support capacity building programs in line with the National Training Strategy for Local Self-Government, focusing on strengthening local government capacities for effective human resources development.

What have we accomplished so far?

  • In 2010 UNDP in close cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Union of Municipalities produced a publication on the Inter-municipal cooperation, including the legal, institutional framework and status in Montenegro, building on the experiences of FYR of Macedonia. In addition to this, UNDP organized trainings, round tables and a study tour to Macedonia for municipal representatives in order to share best practices in inter-municipal cooperation.
  • In 2011, UNDP supported the Ministry of the Interior in drafting Strategy for Inter-Municipal Cooperation (2011-2015) (in local language). The goal of the Strategy has been to define directions for the development of an efficient, economic and effective work of local self-governments and mutual cooperation. Also, the goal was to give guidance for solving common problems, help reduce costs and improve the quality of public services, as well as to assist in attracting public, private, donor funds and other sources. During the first half of the 2014 UNDP supported preparation of the Draft Action Plan for implementation of the Strategy for Inter-Municipal Cooperation for 2014-2015 and draft Models of Municipal Agreements and other legal acts for establishment of inter-municipal cooperation.
  • Besides strategic framework, it was very important to identify concrete examples and calculate potential costs and benefits of the inter-municipal cooperation for few priority areas. Therefore, we developed preliminary cost-benefit analysis for municipalities: Nikšić, Plužine and Šavnik in the area of communal police; Plužine, Šavnik and Žabljak in the area of tax administration and collection; Andrijevica, Berane, Bijelo Polje and Plav in the area of disaster risk reduction (reduction of floods in Montenegro); Andrijevica, Kolašin and Podgorica, in the area of management of natural resources of special value in Montenegro (regional park Komovi).
  • In order to strengthen local government capacities for effective Human Resources development, we have prepared a comprehensive Functional Review of the HR function and management capacities in Montenegrin municipal administrations and reinforced National Training Strategy Unit in the Union of Municipalities of Montenegro by hiring two employees. In addition to this, we supported development of the Analyses of functioning of the local self-governments in Montenegro.
  • Preparation of the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Local Self-Governance has been supported by the UNDP team as well. New articles were introduced to regulate more clearly establishment of inter-municipal cooperation in Montenegro and clear structures for HR management and development at the local level. 
  • With the aim to strengthen the effectiveness, democratic functioning and outreach of the Municipal Assemblies we enabled sharing best practices from the Czech Republic to Montenegro in the area of municipal assembly functioning.

Who finances it?

Donor name

Amount contributed

Czech Trust Fund

USD   68,275


USD 238,027

Government of Montenegro

USD 164,126


USD 470,428

Delivery in previous fiscal years

December 2014 USD   26,764

December 2013

USD   40,031

December 2012

USD   75,540

December 2011

USD 150,876

December 2010

USD   83,162