Integrated local development in Montenegro


  Photo by UNDP Montenegro

In the context of EU integration and of the ongoing decentralization reform, local governments' responsibilities are becoming increasingly more important and versatile. UNDP is actively supporting local self-government units as the main catalyst and crucial players in order to assure the success and effective achievement of the two processes. While some progress has been made, the effective and accountable delivery of quality public services at the local level still faces considerable challenges in terms of limited capacity to design and implement integrated local development strategies, insufficient organizational development and financial management in line with the principles of good local governance and  lack of understanding of benefits of inter-municipal cooperation.

UNDP is undertaking this path, developing a two-fold intervention within local self-government units: one acting on the improvement of their capacities and competences aimed at increasing productivity in their work and the other aimed to the deepening of their relationships both with other municipalities, local stakeholders, SMEs and potential investors. Active participation, cooperation and coordination of activities between the national and local level and building human capacity at both levels are prerequisites to ensure that the decisions taken at the national level are concretely translated and can start to make a difference on the ground.

What is the project about?

Project activities are organized around four general components:

1. Developing prioritized and mature project pipeline in the local self-government units that is aligned with strategic priorities at national and local level. To this end, different tools and modalities are used: trainings, studies, exchange of experiences, regional conferences, study tours and mentoring, tailored according to the needs of the specific context and considering the stage of development of the municipalities, with a higher focus on the less developed ones.

2. Improving transparency and accountability of municipal financial management. The support is provided to local administrations in increasing transparency and accountability especially in municipal financial management, also strengthening capacities at national and local level in using new technologies for a more efficient completion of administrative work.

3. Enhancing local service delivery through inter-municipal cooperation. Municipalities are supported in the definition of specific measures and structures for the development of common service delivery, joint strategic planning, projects development and implementation.

4. Improving municipal and ministries’ management practices in order to deliver better quality of services to the citizens in a transparent, accountable and cost-effective manner. Enhancement of human resources development in the local administrations and improvement in the organizational design at local levels, especially in the field of business zones management and promotion as a way to increase competitiveness, to attract new investors and to foster local economic development in Montenegro.


What have we accomplished so far?

The implementation of new planned activities is linked to further expected results into three main areas:

Enhancing the competitiveness of local SMEs in Montenegro through cluster development

The European Union funded project is implemented by the United Nations for Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with UNDP, with the Ministry of Economy as the main project counterpart and coordinating body for the implementation of activities. The official implementation of the two-year project started on 1 March 2014, with the overall objective to enhance competitiveness and access to local and regional markets of selected SMEs clusters and networks in Montenegro, and a special emphasis on the more impoverished Northern region as well as on less developed municipalities.

So far, UNDP has:

Capacity Building Programme for Local Self-Governments in Business Zone Management and Promotion

The Project is financed and implemented jointly by UNDP and Ministry of Economy and beneficiaries are municipalities of Berane, Bijelo Polje, Kolašin, Mojkovac and Nikšić, with the objective to enhance capacities of the local authorities for absorption, promotion and coordination of new investments in the light of local economic development. The project activities include organization of trainings for business zone managers, development of business zones management and marketing plans, preparation of promotional materials (brochures, video presentations, maps and photographs, a website with a database, newsletter, trade fair promotional materials), design and setting up of a web portal for business zones and organization of field visits in already established and operative business zone sites.

The Catalogue on Best Practices on Business Zones Management and Model on Establishment and Management of Business Zones have been prepared. In addition to this, the project supported preparation of the first legal document of such kind in the Region – Draft Decree on Business Zones in order to regulate establishing, functioning and sustainability of business zones in Montenegro.

Monitoring of municipal budgets in Montenegro -        

Together with the NGO Institute Alternativa, and funds provided by the Ministry of Finance, UNDP will update information on the portal in order to improve the transparency of local finance in Montenegro by making budgetary data from all local municipalities easily available and understandable to everyone. The project will also contribute to increase evidence based debate and citizens’ participation in the local budgetary cycle as well as provide specific recommendations for improving the situation in this regard.

Who finances it?

Donor Name Amount contributed
UNIDO USD 86,000
UNDP USD 75,000
Government of Montenegro
USD 52,700
TOTAL USD 52,700

Delivery in previous fiscal years

December 2013 USD  30,000
December 2014 USD  92,000

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