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Independent Country Programme Evaluation: Montenegro
Commissioning Unit: Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021
Evaluation Type: ICPE/ADR
Completion Date: 12/2020
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Montenegro
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
1. Recommendation:

In line with Montenegrin EU accession aspirations, UNDP’s next country programme strategy should build on the established intersection of themes in which UNDP has found a strong niche, i.e. support to good governance across the public sector as well as economic development underpinning sustainable environment protection.

Within the implementation of the current country programme, UNDP has invested efforts in synergies among different portfolios and cross-fertilization of successful models and system solutions across different sectors and institutional set-ups. Good examples are found in IT and e-governance interoperability solutions or investment in green jobs and sustainable tourism and businesses, etc.

The next CPD cycle should use this momentum and build on gains achieved through coherent cross-sector and cross-portfolio interventions to further consolidate the programme. It is advised that the next cycle of the UNDP country programme focus its portfolio under three cross-sectoral outcomes, which may reflect this synergetic potential. Specifically, UNDP should consider consolidating investment in the environment and economic development under one outcome area. This will help gain full understanding of the catalytic potential of UNDP’s investment in green jobs, sustainable tourism, business and innovation

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/12] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]

The recommendation is accepted and will be pursued through the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and CPD 2022-2026 formulation process. In the new CPD programme cycle (2022-2026), UNDP will focus on identifying the mutually reinforcing interventions, especially in the areas of the highest potential for EU accession and Agenda 2030 synergetic effects. In line with SDG Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) report, the highest SDG acceleration potentials were identified the areas of social protection/inclusion human rights and in the area of environmental protection and green economy. Building on the results achieved in the current cycle, UNDP will pursue further development and implementation of the new programmes in the proposed areas. Among others, responding to the emerging post -COVID19 recovery needs that call for restructuring the current development models to enable inclusive and sustainable growth prospects is expected to be in the focus of the next UNDP country programme.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Programmatic interventions developed and implemented seeking Agenda 2030 and EU accession synergies
[Added: 2021/10/28]
CO Programme 2022/12 Initiated
UNSDCF/CPD consultation and prioritization informed by the recommendations of the CPD evaluation, country’s post-COVID-19 recovery needs and EU accession dynamics
[Added: 2021/10/27] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
RR/Team Leaders 2021/12 Completed Completed History
New CPD/programming developed and validated with national partners
[Added: 2021/10/27] [Last Updated: 2022/06/21]
RR/Team Leaders 2022/03 Completed New CPD validated and consent received from the Government. History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should consolidate and expand its support to local self-government units to embrace and implement reforms, principles and standards initiated by the central government. Particular attention should be placed on the institutional capacity development of local authorities to promote and benefit from reforms in line with the EU accession aspiration of Montenegro.

UNDP’s efforts to assist local governments in understanding and implementing public administration and finance management as well as social welfare reforms should be consolidated and replicated across Montenegro. This support would ensure coherent and more uniform approaches and practices with the potential to create more equal chances for development across the local level in the country. This is particularly important in light of the country’s aspiration and preparation for EU membership, which requires a well capacitated and successful local-level government as one at the central level.

To facilitate this process, the CO may consider elaborating jointly with the Government a concept for reforms needed at the local level within the framework of existing and upcoming central government strategies in given sectors based on the new cycle of the PAR and PFM strategies, as well as policy framework for social welfare sector and collaboration with civil society. The CO and the Government should also assess opportunities for more effective engagement of local governments and other local actors in its support activities as a way to strengthen the sustainability of structures promoted at the local level.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/12] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]

The recommendation is accepted with the reservation that implementation will hinge on the availability of funding, allowing for the expansion given the country’s UMIC context. UNDP Montenegro is committed to continuing to expand its programmatic work at the subnational level, among others, through supporting better servicing of the populations in need and, in particular the most vulnerable groups. However, the extent to which UNDP can cover the needs of a larger number of self-government units in a meaningful and impactful manner will depend on the funding available for UNDP to expand, given the country’s UMIC status. Under the new CPD, UNDP will explore opportunities by introducing new technologies to reach out those left behind, but also by developing capacities of the local authorities to enable effective and transparent functioning of the local institutions, thus meeting the EU accession requirements when it comes to decentralization processes

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Seek opportunities as part of the new CPD/resource mobilization
[Added: 2021/10/28]
RR/Team Leaders 2022/12 Initiated
Forge further partnership with the Union of Municipalities to allow for more systematic and synergetic transfer of good practices across municipalities
[Added: 2021/10/28]
RR/Team Leaders 2022/12 Initiated
ReLOaD 2nd phase allowing for partial expansion to a larger number of municipalities and component of inter-municipal cooperation built in
[Added: 2021/10/28] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
Team Leaders/Programme Staff 2021/12 Completed Completed, larger number of municipalities involved in the Reload 2 and intermunicipal cooperation built in History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP should consider merging economic development and segments of its support to the environment, green growth and reduction of carbon footprint under one umbrella programme to ensure consolidation of its green economy portfolio. Lessons from implemented models with potential for scaling up and promotion of a systematic approach to circular economy and innovation should be generated to inform the Government’s efforts to diversify the economy.

Large parts of UNDP’s environment protection and economic development portfolios have been increasingly evolving as a more holistic approach to enhancing green growth and green economy, with focus on reduction of carbon footprint and climate change. Such cross-portfolio interventions indicate the potential of a full-fledged structured portfolio of interventions with a larger scope and outreach, with interventions tackling different areas of circular economy and climate change, moving up from scattered individual interventions to larger policy-level support. Hence, it is worth considering bringing these two portfolios under one umbrella. This will allow for more in-depth and operational synergies around green growth and climate change.

Within these efforts, UNDP should further consolidate its approach based on lessons from already piloted models to inform efforts in creation of government measures to recover from the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19 pandemic but also assisting the country to diversify its economic offer. UNDP should pay greater attention to the practical results that may materialize from the innovation initiatives it supports by tracking more closely what happens to the supported innovations over time, what changes they generate at the practical level and how their impact can be sustained in the long term. Besides, UNDP should invest in analytical efforts on the use of innovative technology in particular across sectors towards diversification of economy and ensuring Montenegro’s competitiveness in international economic sphere.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/12] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]

The recommendation is accepted and will be pursued through UNSDCF/CPD formulation, in close consultation with the stakeholders. In responding to the country’s aim to restructure the current economic model that is now characterized with a) the overreliance on tourism, and b) is often times damaging to environment, UNDP will pursue merging of the current environment and economic portfolios within the new CPD cycle (2022-2026) by emphasizing cross-practice interventions and strong mainstreaming of climate change mitigation, adaptation and biodiversity/natural protection into the country’s economic sectors development, and contributing to the improved competitiveness of the Montenegrin economy. Pursuing such approach will be also strongly aligned with the recent EU’s Western Balkans Economic and Investment Plan to support the economic recovery and convergence through the green and digital transition.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
CPD outputs developed to enable consolidation of its green economy portfolio
[Added: 2021/10/27] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]
RR/Team Leaders 2022/12 Initiated History
UNSDCF outcomes formulated to clearly communicate green economic development result ambition
[Added: 2021/10/27] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
RR/Team Leaders 2021/12 Completed Green economic developed built in new UNSDCF Outcomes History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should build on results and lessons from the implementation of initiatives in support of women’s empowerment and gender equality as the basis for the CO strategy to fully integrate GEWE in its portfolio. Cross-sector and cross-portfolio synergies with transformative potential for women should be developed and integrated into support of the Government’s gender requirements as part of the EU acquis. Stronger efforts should be made by UNDP to promote the gender dimension in its environment and climate change portfolio.

UNDP should capitalize on the gains achieved thus far in terms of gender equality and women’s empowerment by ensuring that the new CPD is strongly rooted on GEWE principles in support to government efforts to attain gender requirements within the wider EU accession framework. Based on these principles, UNDP should define a gender strategy in collaboration with the Government and the EU, outlining how to work with national project implementation actors and other project/programme stakeholders to design/ deliver effective interventions with transformative GEWE potential.

Specific efforts should be made to enable and deepen interconnectivity between the social inclusion, democratic governance and economic development pillars considering the multidimensional nature of gender issues and their impact potential. Given the very limited integration of gender dimension in programmes on environment and climate change thus far, these perspectives should be actively integrated and promoted further, seeking synergies with investments across all sectors.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/04/12] [Last Updated: 2021/11/01]

The recommendation is accepted and will be pursued through UNSDCF/CPD formulation and in close consultation with the Government of Montenegro and other partners. UNDP work on GEWE has been fully aligned with country’s EU accession priorities, EU aquis and political criteria and UN Conventions. Within the new CPD, the gender equality principles will be mainstreamed through the entire programmatic portfolio.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
GEWE mainstreamed throughout new CPD programme portfolio
[Added: 2021/10/27] [Last Updated: 2022/01/20]
RR/TLs/Gender Mainstreaming Officer 2022/10 Overdue-Initiated Current CPD extended by the end of 2022. Therefore, action due date extended. History
New initiatives developed pursuing GEWE in all areas of the CPD
[Added: 2021/10/28]
Programme Staff 2022/12 Initiated
Particular interventions focusing on GEWE developed, funded and implemented under the green growth/environmental portfolio
[Added: 2021/10/28]
Programme staff 2026/12 Initiated

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