Montenegro Human Development Report 2020

On the Verge of a Digital Future for All

No corner of the globe has been spared from the COVID-19 pandemic. Montenegro is no exception. Many underlying limitations in the human development fabric of the country were exacerbated—while others uncovered. The theme of this year’s Human Development Report centres on a powerful approach to respond to the COVID-19 threat: digital transformation.
At the time of publication, Montenegro remained in the throes of the pandemic, experiencing setbacks and new challenges in health, economic growth, and education. Rapidly rising from just a handful of confirmed cases in April 2020 to a peak of 957 new cases in a single day on 9 November 2020 the total number of cases per million inhabitants on 30 November 2020 was 56,146, and Montenegro ranked third in the world according this parameter. The pandemic risks a direct decline to human development not seen in a generation.
Digital transformation enters this scene as both a response and a challenge. From strong underpinnings in widespread internet connectivity, Montenegro holds the opportunity to transform its economic, educational and e-government foundations to leverage the potential of a renewed digital society to expand inclusive human development in the immediate and long-term future. Yet challenges persist in limited business environment, support to innovation, and to education reform that can significantly accelerate progress. 

This Report charts a path to removing these obstacles.

Human development and digital transformation in Montenegro

           Well above the global average (53.6 per cent), 71.5 per cent in Montenegro have access to the Internet whether at home or outside it. Despite strong progress, however, Montenegro stands below European trends (80.1 per cent) and the average access rate for all Developed countries (84.9 per cent)—highlighting opportunity for accelerated progress. 

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Source: ITU 2020

COVID risks reversing over six years of progress

          This Report also produces for the first time a “COVID-sensitive” estimation of the human development index (HDI) at the national-level—bringing together how the pandemic has impacted economic, health and education dimensions into one statistic to assess human well-being.

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The changing world of work

              While on the rise, the employment rate in Montenegro remains low: at 46 per cent, 1 in every 2 people over 15 years of age has no job. To reach the European Union average employment rate – 65 per cent – Montenegro would need to create another 40,000 jobs. Since 2011, about 6,000 new jobs have been created annually, meaning that it would require 8-9 years for Montenegro to reach the number of jobs required.

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Workers with lower secondary or lower education levels at highest risk of automation, Source: OECD, 2016