Active employment policies through the digitalisation of Employment Agency of Montenegro

The objective of the project is to deliver active employment policies for Montenegro through the digitalisation and strengthened operational capacities of the Employment Agency of Montenegro (EAM). The importance of the transition toward digitalised approaches within the EAM and other employment institutions has become even more evident during the COVID-19 crisis, when bringing services to people in the face of the health emergency was a critical function across the board.

The upgrade of the Employment Agency of Montenegro’s information system is instrumental to strengthening the administrative and operational capacities of the Agency. A rapid assessment conducted by the ILO at the end of 2018 and submitted to the Ministry of Economic Development and the EAM indicated that in order to enhance the effectiveness of employment services and programme delivery, as well as monitoring and evaluation of active labour market measures (ALMMs), two main challenges need to be addressed: (i) the cumbersome procedural requirements for service delivery, not fully supported by the existing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platforms; and (ii) the upgrading of EAM counsellors’ competencies towards more intensive interaction with clients, in the spirit of the new law on mediation in employment and insurance in case of unemployment.

The specific objectives of the ILO project are: (i) to improve the efficiency of the EAM in the delivery of inclusive and people-centred services to clients; and (ii) to put in place the pre-conditions for the implementation of the ICT reform of the EAM’s service delivery. This reform will materialise at the end of the Project through additional Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) II funding that will become available to the Ministry of Economic Development.

In addition to the technological upgrade, the EAM staff will work with improved procedures and workflow which will also be reflected in the content and processes of the new ICT platform. The ILO will use facilitated peer-assistance from selected European public employment services for the design of better processes.

Direct beneficiaries of the interventions are decision-makers and staff from the Employment Agency of Montenegro (EAM) and of the Ministry of Economic Development (MED). The interventions will also address the EAM’s operational linkages with other institutions. The final beneficiaries of the interventions are the unemployed in Montenegro.