Women in Tech: Leveraging global technology for local solutions with Emili Jovanovic Lokvenec

UNDP People for 2030
3 min readApr 9, 2024


The Women in Tech series puts the spotlight on women who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital innovations across UNDP. By sharing these inspiring individual stories, we hope to encourage others to choose this path and spur gender equality in the digital sector.

Emili Jovanovic, IT and Digitalization Specialist at UNDP North Macedonia

As the IT and Digitalization Specialist at UNDP North Macedonia for the past four years, Emili Jovanovic Lokvenec is working to leverage advanced technology to address key challenges faced by her community. In close collaboration with Macedonian national institutions including the police, municipalities, and Government bodies, she is committed using digital innovation to address societal issues.

Emili’s work primarily involves developing complex software solutions for national institutions. One significant achievement has been the development and implementation of Police Information Management System, which is already being utilized by 3500 police officers at various levels in the Macedonian national police in its first year of operation. Additionally, she has been instrumental in supporting and managing the development of LOGES, the unique cloud-based solution for e-services on local level.

Prior to joining UNDP, Emili was the Managing Director of a software development company for 25 years. There she helped major clients such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia develop and implement custom-made business management software solutions, including ERP, HR and CRM systems.

“When I decided to move to UNDP, many thought it was a risky move, but I was drawn to UNDP as a professional challenge. I was asked to implement a complex case management information system for the police that would probably be used for 20 plus years. It was exciting!”

Part of Emili’s work involves scaling up solutions already employed by UNDP elsewhere. She played a key role in implementing a project Digital Sex Crime which had previously been successfully rolled out by the UNDP Korea (UNDP Seoul Policy Center) and the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA). The initiative involves capacity development and multi-sectoral cooperation in the Ministry of Interior with the aim of preventing and combating digital sexual exploitation and abuse, awareness raising and providing skills to local police to better assist technology-facilitated crime victims.

More recently, she is working on introducing the fact-checking tool iVerify together with the Association of Journalists in North Macedonia to tackle misinformation. iVerify was initially introduced by UNDP’s Chief Digital Office as a “Digital Public Good” to help address misinformation ahead of elections.

“As our national elections are coming up in April and May this year, we had already planned a project on misinformation. By scaling up this existing solution, rather than developing something new, we could deliver something of higher quality while receiving great internal support,” Emili said.

Emili’s role with UNDP has evolved significantly and she is now driving several bilateral projects and is continuously working to find new solutions addressing her country’s needs.
“I am happy when I can find an existing solution and bring it to North Macedonia. It is great to be able to suggest and implement solutions that have proven successful elsewhere.”

Emili emphasizes the advantages of UNDP’s size and scope for innovation.

“Through the vast UNDP network I have found out about a lot of interesting solutions, which I have then worked to pilot in Macedonia. The accessibility and diversity of this organization are really appealing for me as a professional, as it enables us to build upon each other’s experiences and collectively find solutions. In this way we can deliver something much better together.”

Emili has an educational background in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Computer Science and Information Technology, and actively supports other women interested in IT and engineering. She emphasizes that success in the field is determined by dedication to continuous learning and personal development, rather than gender.

“Many women interested in digital technologies hear that it’s a man’s world. But after decades in ICT, I can attest that it’s a competitive field that recognizes talent, regardless of gender. To success in this profession, we need to stay on top of the latest developments and accept that will be students all our lives.”

Looking ahead, Emili will continue to investigate ways to adapt global ICT innovations for use in North Macedonia. At some point, she may also be interested in applying her experience in a different country -context.