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Amato

Paola

Amato

Validated Lead Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
My 20 year professional career spans across different experience; researcher in urban/territorial integrated planning for JP and IT institutions; professional designer in JP; PR, technical adviser for an Embassy; since 2003 I have worked as public official expert in strategic planning, urban renewal schemes, EU cohesion policies, project manager of various EU funded initiatives for 2 Provinces and now for a city. Soon after graduation, whilst declining a work as junior technical lobbyist in Milan, I joined the CNR working 5 years as assistant to the project manager of a large Building National Research Program. Along with research I was peer reviewer conducting audits on various research contracts. Later on as EU STA researcher, I worked for a huge Jap research institution of the Jap Ministry of Construction. There I conducted experimental research onJap decentralization strategies, programs&policies, experimental urban integrated regeneration plans promoted in early 1990s in order to make outmost territories more attractive and prevent brain drain. Back to Italy I have been involved in various Interreg 3c,4c,MED, ENPI ItalyTunisia projects strongly related to cohesion policies, EE, RES. I've advised the Mayor and city managers on: new EIB finance; new forms of PPP; new ESIF FIs; Integrated Sustainable Urban Dev (CP ERDF); participation to 2013 Eu-China Urban Sustainable Forum in Beijin.I got an external contract from a law firm on EU financial support and H2020 FTI
B1. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of her understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development (e.g. Master Degree in Architecture and many years of professional experience as a researcher in urban/territorial integrated planning in Italy and Japan).
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
As univ student and national Secretary European Arch. Students Assembly I took part to specific urban regeneration/design participative workshops across Europe. At CNR I was in charge of coordination weekly technical&reserch meetings aimed at monitoring overall results and attended each time by20 different stakeholders among academics, professionals, industry executives. This required a lot of preparatory&assessment and benchmarking work. When I joined the BRI in Japan, since most literature on decentralization policies/projects was mainly in Jap, I had to rely on direct interviews, field visits, vis a vis meetings/workshops with professionals, civil servants, executives,top architects&planners of design companies, politicians. Most of the work in small cities was conducted in Japanese while in general I had to provide a lot information or written questions far in advance as it was the norm. Such abilities combined with psychological skills of non verbal communication typical of Japanese culture, has so far helped my current activity as project manager of EU funded projects especially addressing technical workshops in a wide range of fields: civil protection, EE, RES, sustainable land uptake, Youth policies, prevention of violence against women etc. Getting involved in strategic planning and in many policy dev. design at city level has also deepened my understanding in integrated urban development and in exchange&learning at transnational levels
B2. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of her understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level (e.g. participation in several international projects and subsequent transnational meetings/conferences).
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
EN is my second language and is versatile. It spans from minutes for building site meetings as I did for the Embassy down to translating papers in the field of medicine for friends.I started learning English at age 10, thanks to my grandmother an fluent EN Russian & FR an my high school EN teacher a former interpreter for the European Parliament. At 22 I already got a Cambridge certificate while as Secretary of the EASA I attended several international workshops being able to speak EN, IT, ES and understanding FR. In Japan my fist language was EN (then JP) as all my presentations, conference papers, working documents as the same was for the overall documents and communication at the Embassy in Rome. Even now in Italy as public official in charge of managing and writing EU funded proposals 90% of my work is in EN. Since 2013 I am Europe Direct Communication officer in charge of producing articles and general communication mainly EN IT. As for other languages: I studied Spanish in Spain and Italy and was homestay in Almeria. I was homestay in France on several occasions but never took proper courses so my written knowledge remains very basic. With Japanese I enrolled the Rome Jap Culture Inst. and was homestay in Japan for 3 months. In Japan the second time I took 3 classes a week including a free Council’s course open mainly to Asian immigrants. I passed twice in 1997 and 2011 with top marks the Nihongonoryikushiken the only recognized proficiency test by Jap Govnm.
B3. Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to convincing evidence of her proficiency in English.

Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:

C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers: 
One the most consuming and complex example was the annual conference of the institute I was working in Japan.I had been asked to present my work in EN and JP. I had arrived only 2 months earlier and discovered my boss did not speak EN and had imposed in a sort of unwritten rule that all conversation should be in Japanese. So all my peer researchers would address me only in Jap.To a Westerner this would appear much as a provocative attitude or insult but I was apt to this attitude on silently studying situations. I could not discuss this request from my direct boss as I later discovered that: 1)such effort was aimed at making my colleagues understand what was the issue of my research; 2) demonstrate that I was making all efforts to integrate with a Japanese group. 3)I would not discuss and bind top orders indeed. Apart from that at the time Japanese had already advanced and interactive technologies so I would prepare a very visual ppt using a lot charts, diagrams. This was a successful choice as I was able to better integrate and have more feedback from colleagues.Another example is ENPI Tunisia Italy meeting where French was the norm as some government representatives were attending.I sensed that although they were all top researchers, the topic of EU energy policies and funding was complex so I had to make ppt very visual and provide examples on the ground or effective statistics. I must say this proved as well very successful and my Japanese experience also helped me a lot
C3.1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides two relevant examples that demonstrate her ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers.
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants: 
As a former researcher familiar with comparative analysis and benchmarking I have always worked on preliminary reports and background papers. Of course I believe that much depends on the level of expertise in a given topic and that generalist views should be avoided especially when working on the ground with cities or with authorities which provide concrete services to citizens . In the Interreg3c on civil protection as LP we had to collect information on the ground on simulations against 3 types of risks present across the partnership. This work needed an initial analysis given the different legislative and organization framework of the actors intervening in the process in each contexts. With the responsible of civil protection of the LP we set up a first index of the topic and a structure questionnaire while I was in charge of identifying at least 1 best practice across MS that would be the basis for a background paper for discussion and for concrete simulations. Other examples refer to more recent work as assistant to the city manager (and technical adviser to the Mayor) in a large and diversified number of sectors addressing concrete challenges of the city. I was involved in the elaboration of the technical report and background papers preliminary to negotiations with the MA: access to Jessica via SF2007-2013, access to ESIF Fis, art 7 of ERDF Reg and specifically Integrated Sustainable Urban strategies and projects prior to the city current designation as UA by the MA.
C3.2 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides one example that demonstrates her ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants to enable comparison, exchange and peer review (e.g. Interreg3c on civil protection project).
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away: 
I am convinced that to capture learning, comparative and background analysis are key nut they should be conducted by people that combine direct experience at the level of cities and not merely at wide EU international levels. Understanding vertical integration (esp barriers) in MS in especially very technical and complex fields (Environ, Energy etc) is no easy task and it might end up to be self referencial if conduced by people who exercise professions for long time so to say in the Brussels circle. As for my direct experience an example was coordinating 1 thematic workshop in the Interreg4c E-coop that was not exactly in the field of my expertise but I had experience in the ground so I assumed the role of moderator in focus groups facilitating views and opinions of participants. The event aimed to agree upon on a set of BP already discussed via virtual meetings. I was in charge of followups from partners and on drawing conclusions on BP and overall topic discussed. A similar example falls out again of my specific expertise being an Interreg3c (Egovregio) aimed at enhancing governance of PAs via ICT. Again I assumed the role of moderator and reporters in 1 workshops of a sub-thematic, contributing in advance to structure questionnaires and swot charts to be discussed during physical meetings. In both cases I was supported by technical experts of my administration in order to focus on those traits that could help capture partners learning potential in each session
C3.3 Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to two examples of how the results were captured for the participants to take away (e.g moderator in focus groups within the Interreg4c E-coop and Interreg3c projects).
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
An example was the vademecum of civil protection for EU citizens. I was in charge of the final EN version agreed upon by all and later translated in all partners' languages. A second example are presentations I made over my career including in Urbact Creative Cluster final conference and contributions to the final report. Although I am used to transnational conferences and papers I must say that Urbact required more attention than other EU programmes when it comes to communication standards and policy messages. Now that I am EDIC Communication officer working closely with DG COMM (coordinating 500 EDIC across Europe) I have been further involved on activities and on the production of communication material with more concise and highly communicative standards.During 2014 I indeed published a Guide on new cohesion policies providing a full picture to non experts on the relevant architecture of a EU policy which today still constitutes 1/3 of EU overall budget. A similar report was produced for Urbact III as the sole ETC programme for cities' sustainable development. A new dedicated report will be elaborated on macro regional dynamics and new ETC Programmes. This last report will aim at explaining the complementary role of ETC in the frame of general Cohesion Policies and the positive effect they can have on single territories. In a time of Euro-skepticism these reports should not be underestimated because they can deliver correct information against recurrent distorted info
C3.4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides several examples demonstrating her ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages (e.g. vademecum of civil protection for EU citizens, Eu cohesion policies 2014-2020 in a nutshell and Urbact 2014-2020 reports).
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
My 20 years professional career spans across different experience; researcher in urban/territorial and integrated planning for JP and IT institutions; professional designer in Japan; PR, technical adviser for an Embassy; public official expert in strategic planning, urban renewal schemes, EU cohesion policies, project manager of various EU funded initiatives for 2 Provinces and now for a city. Over the years I’ve become aware of the importance of horizontal and vertical integration: these combined with a strong political commitment determine successful application of models originated in other contexts but adapted to fit local needs. Understanding vertical integration (esp barriers) in each and one context and in very technical and complex fields (environm, Energy etc) is no easy task and might end up to be an self referencial exercise if addressed without experience on the ground. My biggest professional asset remains my experimental research onJapanese innovative decentralization strategies and urban regeneration programs/plans in order to make outmost territories more attractive and prevent brain drain. It still represent a compass to understanding and designing local solutions to support Europe's balanced poly centric urban model. Along my on the on the ground experience as public official it has largely helped me being involved as project manager in many EU funded projects and in experimenting various level of informative, cooperative and active participation methods
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 3 out of 3 criteria under C1, 3 out of 4 criteria under C2 and 4 out of 4 under C3 and therefore should be validated for C. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.

Thematic expertise:

Theme / Policy: 
Urban Strategic Planning
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
My experience in urban strategic planning got a wide understanding during my experimental research in Japan on decentralization national programs and urban renewal mechanisms for rural regions and small cities. Over decades various attempts had been done in order to reverse centralization ranging from entire new science cities (Tsukuba), theme parks, gigantic sport and leisure resorts in Southern Japan, to small scale projects in rural regions led by governors and using brand architectural landmarks. I was able to conduct comparative analysis of the various impacts these projects had on social env and economic contexts. This has so far helped me understanding today's debate and practice on integrated strategies and projects.Back to Italy I was able to work on planning, policy design and regulatory provisions of general provincial comprehensive sustainable plans but also on specific sectoral plans : non energy extracting industry, huge commercial activities and distribution;civil protection plans against general risk and specific risks. My latest experience is in city strategic planning, smart city and new PPP schemes. As external consultant of an ENPI Italy Tunisia I have recently worked at defining a clear picture of EU Energy policies and financial mechanisms including new Fis in the frame of external cooperation. Over the past few years along with on line publications on CP and Urban Agenda I was invited to many thematic conferences in the frame of EU funded projects
D1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate shows sufficient experience in urban strategic planning (e.g Master Degree in Architecture and several years of professional experience as a civil servant responsible for the design of territorial plans within the City of Terni and Province of Macerata in Italy). However, there are some examples in her reply that are not related to the theme.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
As researcher I took part to many technical seminars and conferences. This has so far helped me a lot to draft reports and ppt as well as back ground research useful for exchange and learning. As direct staff of city manager of Director General I have been used to drafting technical reports on complex issues such as : EIB technical assistance in the field of urban sustainable dev and EE, new ESIF Fis especially to address EE renovation of existing buildings stocks. I usually provide briefing notes and followup to meetings with universities or industrial partners when it comes to joining complex Horizon or Life projects (unfortunately so far not successful). In the past I took part to 2 EU consultation on cohesion policies drafting position papers on behalf of CivilScape ( a EU network on landscape) and Province contribution to the same consultation to be submitted by Partenalia (a EU network of intermediate authorities). I was involved in the drafting of a Smart city strategy for the administration where I work, which was discussed and adopted in 2014 by the City Council Assembly.
D2 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides only two partially relevant examples that demonstrate her ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process (e.g. position papers on behalf of Civilscape and drafting of a Smart strategy for the city of Terni). However, most of the provided examples in her reply are not related to the theme of urban strategic planning. In addition, Mrs. Amato has many years of professional experience as a researcher in the field of urban/territorial planning and programming.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
As EDIC communication officer and expert in EU cohesion policies I have been in charge of drafting together with my previous supervisor at the Province (see referee Ms Venti) 2 reports. The first washas been regularly updated and will be fully re-elaborated in late June 2015. The original report incorporated the finding and inputs from meetings promoted by Terni's local politicians with MA but has in the end found a wider scope targeting city practitioners and urban policy-makers. Both reports are published on line as Europe Direct Technical report. “EU cohesion policies in a nutshell” - The report intends to provide information especially to non experts on the overall complex negotiation process of the new cohesion policies and ESIF funding and specifically on Integrated Sustainable Urban development. It provides inter alias interesting information on the Italian national strategy for “internal areas”, on the synergies among ESIF and Horizon funding as well as the main innovations and funding mechanisms aimed at reinforcing urban sustainable development and the role of cities in the future cohesion policies. Similar intentions has a second EDIC report on “Urbact 2014-2020”. This was thought to help cities join Urbact objectives on integrated urban development. The aim of the document is to deliver simple information also to non experts. The report forms part of a new EDIC report on ECT and main EU macro regional strategies scheduled on 2015.
D3 Assessment: 
1: The examples provided by the candidate are only partially indicative of her ability to capture results after meetings within the partnership or externally to a broader audience, in relation to the theme (e.g. EU cohesion policies in a nutshell and Urbact 2014-2020 reports). However, her extensive overall experience would suggest that the applicant does possess such an ability.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
My latest experience in capitalization of project results has been as external expert providing technical assistance to ENPI Italy Tunisia DEDUENERT on EE and RES. Here the project focuses on setting of sustainable self supporting micro-cogeneration pilots projects systems in both countries, providing new management schemes in the frame of a smart city approach. I have been in charge of the overall analysis of project results and on finding new innovative schemes for future implementation to closer communities via other EU funding programme. I have also been asked to contribute to the publication of the project final report due in late 2015. My contribution will focus on EU Energy policies and specifically on new financial PPP schemes mobilizing privates investments in EE renovation of existing building stocks.
D4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides one example that partially demonstrates her understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for strategic benefits in capitalization, policy design and awareness raising (e.g. capitalization of research results within the DE.DU.ENER.T project). However, the experience of the candidate as an EDIC TERNI Communication officer would suggest that the applicant does possess such an ability.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My experience in urban strategic planning got a wide understanding during my experimental research in Japan on decentralization national programs and urban renewal mechanisms for rural regions and small cities. Over decades various attempts had been done in order to reverse centralization ranging from entire new science cities,theme parks, gigantic sport&leisure resorts, to small scale projects in rural regions led by governors and using brand architectural landmarks by famous designers. I conducted comparative analysis of the various impacts projects had on social env and econ contexts. This has helped me understanding today's debate&practices on integrated strategies and projects.Back to Italy I was able to work on planning, policy design and regulatory provisions of general comprehensive sustainable plans but also on specific sectoral plans: non energy extracting industry, commercial activities and distribution;risk&specific risks assessment plans. My latest experience is in city strategic planning, smart city,PPP schemes esp EIB opportunities for urban areas, including the Juncker Plan (IIW). As external consultant of an ENPI Italy Tunisia I worked at defining a clear picture of EU Energy policies and financial mechanisms in the frame of external coop.More recently along with academic publications on CP and Urban Agenda, 2 contracts as expert by EFDD in the Eur Parliament, I have been invited to many thematic conferences of EU funded projects, including UIA MAC(2017)
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 4 out of 4 criteria and should be validated for this theme. Ms. Amato has many years of professional experience as a researcher in the field of urban/territorial planning in Italy and Japan. In addition, the candidate has many years of experience as a civil servant responsible for the design of territorial plans within the City of Terni and Province of Macerata in Italy. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.

Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies

E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices : 
Over the past 20 years I have taken part to mandatory and non mandatory consultations related to the revision of provincial plans or sectoral plans. Strategic Env Impact Assessment has been the norm and process to incorporate contributions to formal consultations are strictly defined by legislation. On the other hand I have also taken part to more active participative process as the world cafe or conversation cafe workshops (see§3.2.3) Although appearing quite simple to participants these tools require quite a lot of preparatory work, activity on the spot, feedback acquisition and followups. More recently in the frame of Interreg4c E-coop project I have also participated in the definition and launch of the first on line platform used by the City Council to engage citizens in debates around relevant challenges and policies in order to set the basis for co production. For such task I have also reviewed various active participation tools set by OECD and adapted by other local contexts.
E.1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides only one partially relevant activity that demonstrates her knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices (e.g. Interreg4c E-coop project). However, several relevant examples can be taken from her CV (e.g. a roadmap to smart city implementation/a strategic roadmap to implementing creative industry in the city of Terni, The Province’s Development plan for the non-energy extractive activities, Macerata Provincial Territorial Planning etc.).
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies: 
My best and direct experience has been with Province territorial plans and with province sectoral plans. All plans were subject to Sustainable Development Impact Assessment and thus subject to a mandatory set of monitoring tools. I was not directly entrusted with this specific task but in all cases I was involved in the drafting of technical and regulatory provisions and in collecting and assembling information and various contributions by internal and external experts.
E.2 Assessment: 
0: The candidate provides one example that demonstrates her knowledge on monitoring tools. However, the candidate was not actively involved in designing and applying monitoring tools for the province territorial and sectoral plans. Such examples cannot be found in her CV either.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level: 
I have been advising city managers, Mayors and Presidents on the available EU funding schemes on sustainable urban development either grants or non grants. I have been in charge or writing working papers for formal of informal negotiations with MA on the activation of Jessica in the frame of SF OP ERDF 2007-2013, new ELENA and other EIB technical assistance related especially to EE . More recently in the frame of ENPI Italy Tunisia DUEDERNET project and as part of my collaboration as external expert I have provided technical inputs on possible financial schemes such as PPP and EPC for EE renovation of public buildings and private building stocks. In such frame I have been analyzing the new fi.compass platform set by the EC proving guidance and exchange to MA and Pas on new Fis and in particular off the shelf instruments
E.3 Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates a good awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level.Provided more than two example that demonstrate the ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange and learning activities, put forward good practice and policy messages targeting city practitioners and urban policy-makers (for participants as well as for an external audience).
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities: 
Over the years I’ve become aware of the importance of horizontal and vertical integration: these combined with a strong political commitment determine successful application of models originated in other contexts but adapted to fit local needs. Understanding vertical integration (esp barriers) in each and one context and in very technical and complex fields (environm, Energy etc) is no easy task and might end up to be an self referencial exercise if addressed without experience on the ground. On the other hand through transnational exchange I have been able to fine tune possible models and appreciate the possibility to exchange ideas and lesson learned. All the above however require various level of informative, cooperative and active participation methods. For that I have relied on my expertise developed after years of mandatory consultative processes associated to spacial planning. These have been a good starting point for more active participatory tools such as focus groups, world cafe, conversation cafe or web-based consultation processes as the case of the Interreg4c E-coop Prendo Parte platform
E.4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides only partially relevant activity that demonstrates ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities so as to ensure consistency in the design and delivery of integrated and participatory policies across participants in transnational projects. However, the overall experience of the candidate would suppose that she has such an ability.
Summary Expertise: 
Over the past 20 years I have taken part to mandatory and non mandatory consultations for revision of provincial plans or sectoral plans. Strategic Env Impact Assessment has been the norm while processes to incorporate contributions to formal consultations are strictly defined by legislation.This has been a sound starting point for more active participative process as the world cafe or conversation cafe workshops, web based consultations. Although appearing quite simple to participants these tools require a lot of preparatory work, activity on the spot, feedback, followups and evaluation. For such task I have aso reviewed various active participation tools set by OECD and adapted by other local contexts. I have been advising city managers, Mayors and Presidents on the available EU funding schemes on sustainable urban dev either grants or non grants. I have been in charge of writing working papers for formal of informal negotiations with MA on the activation of Jessica (SF OP ERDF 2007-2013), ELENA and other EIB technical assistance related especially to EE . More recently technical reports refer to PPP and EPC schemes for EE renovation of existing building stocks. In such frame I have been analyzing the new fi.compass platform set by the EC to favor and exchange across MA and PAs on new Fis as off the shelf instruments.I have participated in June 2015 to the Urban Dev Network seminar representing my administration which has been designated Urban Authority.
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 3 out of the 4 criteria regarding expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing and delivering integrated and participatory policies and should be therefore validated for E. Ms. Amato has more than two years of experience with designing and delivering integrated and participatory policies (e.g.experience as a civil servant responsible for the design of territorial plans within Italian local authorities and as a researcher in the field of urban/territorial planning in Japan). There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.

Informations

Residence location:
Italy
Languages:
Italian - Mother tongue
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Email:
eu.amato@gmail.com

Area of expertise