Montenegro shows its beauties to Swedish tour operators

01 Mar 2015


What’s Montenegro got to offer to Swedes? Blog post by Marianne van Twillert Isn't it a challenge to make a study trip to Montenegro in in the middle of the winter, when the weather circumstances are quite changeable? It certainly is, but the risks of bad weather did not prevent two Swedish tour operators - Ms. Eva Flygh from Wi-Resor AB and Mr. Hakan Landberg from Bikan AB - from visiting Montenegro and Croatia. This was agreed during the business workshop held in Stockholm with representatives of the first outdoor tourism cluster in Montenegro. They arrived a few days before the closing conference of the EU financed cross-border project "Development of ICT for outdoor destinations"***, eager to explore the hiking, biking and sea kayaking possibilities in the border region of Montenegro and Croatia. And despite of the weather, they returned to Sweden with positive impressions. Apart from an interesting itinerary that was a combination of outdoor activities and cultural sightseeing, meetings were organized with the representatives of Montenegrin travel agencies for adventure tourism, in order to better understand the local tourism offer with an aim to present it on the Swedish market. Ms. Flygh was the first to arrive in a  Read More

Ageing is not a matter of choice, but our attitude toward the elderly is

19 Dec 2014

image Blog post by Marija Brkovic, intern at the UNDP in Montenegro Photo by: Mediabox/Milos Vujovic

How often do we, so young and full of vigour, always on the run, stop to ask ourselves what happens with the people who are alone or far away from their loved ones? How often do we think about those who have been surrendered to solitude and negligence in their old age? Winter is approaching, and we need to think about how we can  help the elderly, helpless people left on their own in some of the most inaccessible regions of Montenegro. We have recently visited some of those people in their remote homes, and once again we witnessed their solitude and that they live on the verge of existence, right in the middle of nowhere. Concrete floors, stove with no smokestack, solitude and empty stomach sometimes. Some of them forgotten and abandoned by their families, some of them without any family, relatives or friends- they are facing the days that go by all by themselves. Is it possible to neglect your own parent, brother, aunt? How is it possible not to have anyone around to chop the wood, light the fire, buy groceries? The people we have visited were very happy that somebody even just showed up at their door.  Read More

Working with you: How Montenegro is opening itself up to new ideas

13 Jun 2014

      Take heed: 1500+ civic reports of grey market, 2500+ active users of the civic app “Be Responsible”, and 250,000 euro invested in projects selected by the communities themselves, all in the tiny country of Montenegro. How did we get here? It all started with a bold idea to host the first-ever social innovation project in the country, Open Ideas for Montenegro (in Montenegrin).   As we were planning our very own apps-for-social-good contest, there was suddenly a deluge of people saying that hackathons were nothing but fluff, devoid of any kind of sustainability, and a solution without a problem. Disheartening? Sure but we had our hearts set on organizing Montenegro’s first-ever hackathon for social good. We wholeheartedly believed in active citizenry: Not only are citizens best placed to pinpoint the problems that bug them in our society, they are also the ones fully equipped to design tech-powered solutions. The contest itself went well but what ensued after was the best outcome we could have hoped for. Just two months after the event, the Ministry of Finance decided to invest in scaling the app. They were battling the scourge of informal economy and realized what they needed most were  Read More

UNDP and UNICEF in Montenegro: Putting Innovation in the Center

30 May 2014

image Blog post by Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative and Rastislav Vrbensky, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro

What does the future hold for Montenegro, with its trajectory from being influenced by conflict and sanctions in the 90s to becoming an upper middle income country on a rapid paced EU integration process in 2014? Delayed transition has unleashed many previously unknown opportunities and challenges without experienced institutions ready to address them. Undoubtedly, social cohesion and economic development in 21st century Montenegro will be increasingly dependent on innovation. UNDP and UNICEF in Montenegro have jointly committed to harness the spirit of innovation to support government and civil society in driving through reforms for development and human rights. But “the spirit of innovation” cannot be developed through a matrix or an online UN learning programme. Rather it requires a shift in mindset, and indeed values and modelling leadership that embraces what global innovation experts identify as the key pre-requisites for innovation: collaboration across sectors and change in organizational cultures, empowering staff and rewarding proactive approach, open sourcing, curiosity and creativity, grit and willingness and ability to fail and be wrong. It also requires a shift from a culture of carefully planned risk-averse projects to agile and adaptable trial and error interventions and learning while doing. For us, innovation in Montenegro is  Read More