B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development:
Since 2005 my professional and educational experience is closely linked to the EU cohesion policy and its implication at national level. Currently I am a senior consultant at Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini which is an independent and non-profit organisation that deals with labour, economics and development in Europe. For seven years I worked at the State Regional Development Agency in Latvia where I was involved in the implementation of EU funds as well as Norwegian and Swiss financial instruments aimed at integrated and sustainable development. The main target group was local and regional authorities. I have managed various ETC projects in the area of innovation promotion and have coordinated thematic project clusters. These projects focused on finding new solutions for promoting urban development in Europe, including exchanging experiences of innovation promotion tools, supporting interregional clustering and joint business initiatives and increasing responsibility of local and regional authorities in supporting business development in their territory. I have been involved in strategic development of several projects on open and social innovation in close cooperation with local and regional authorities in Italy and Latvia. I am holding PhD in Management Science. My thesis was focused on the implementation of the place-based approach in regional development and was linked to policy formulation, delivery and resource management.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level:
Since 2000 I have been involved in international projects starting with experience exchange on various thematic matters linked to EU integration during my work at European Integration Bureau. Since 2004 I am regional development and cooperation expert at the Centre for European and Transition studies and from 2007-2011 I was Head of the International Projects and Communication department at State Regional Development Agency working within projects financed by Interreg IVC (e.g. project „IPP - Interregional Partnership Platform”) and Baltic Sea Region programmes (e.g. projects „BSR InnoReg” and „Science Links”) aiming at extensive experience exchange and transnational learning. At North West Europe programme I was involved in facilitating project developers and supported them during both the project planning and implementation stage. I have been giving presentations at the seminars of EIPA on how to build a successful European partnership for better use of EU funds. I have provided trainings and consultations to NGOs and local and regional authorities on participative approaches (e.g. project „People have the power”). I have steered the project “TRANSMEC - Transnational Support Method for European Cooperation” supporting ETC programmes on project development and capitalisation. Working experience covers also being a member of the national subcommittee for Territorial cooperation and acting as ESPON contact point in Latvia.
B.3. Proficiency in English:
Since 2000 I have been involved in international projects where all documentation is in English. I am working with European Territorial cooperation projects for more than 10 years. Since 2011 my daily working language is English (working at Groupement Européen pour la Coopération Transfrontalière, Transnational et Interrégionale in France and at Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini branch office in Brussels). I have produced several publications in English and have given presentations at many international conferences (among latest is the Cohesion Policy Forum organised by DG Regio). I have also provided various trainings in English (e.g. at EIPA in Barcelona, ECAS in Brussels and Centre for Counselling, Education and Research in Croatia).
Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
Within various transnational projects I have delivered needs analysis of various stakeholders in order to select appropriate learning tools; ensured constructive support to all partners and stakeholders involved; developed shared platforms for project documentation; designed and implemented transnational training modules. I am co-author of the e-handbook for local authorities on developing and implementing EU funded projects and of the handbook on participatory approaches (published in Croatian). In ensuring exchange of project materials and ongoing communication with project partners and stakeholders the following tools have been used: project extranets, conference calls, Skype calls, Linkedin project groups, fast online surveys, DropBox etc. Within ETC projects and my lecturing practice I have applied fish bowl, storyboarding, focus group sessions, case study analysis, role plays, QA sessions, jury panels and other techniques. The following ETC projects focused on transnational exchange and learning activities can be mentioned: Interreg IVC “Interregional Partnership Platform”, BSR programme “BSR InnoReg”, ESPON programmes projects on capitalisation activities (NORBA, CADEC, ESPONTrain), “TranSMEC – Transnational Support Method for European Cooperation etc. I have also provided training at EIPA on how to build a successful European partnership for better use of EU funds.
Theme / Policy:
Local Economic Development
Summary Thematic expertise:
I have provided expertise to local and regional authorities on social innovation and innovation support practices and have been involved in developing joint benchmark and monitoring tool to assess the participation rate of SMEs, local and regional authorities and support agencies in international know-how transfer. I have been core expert in delivering feasibility study on the implementation of JESSICA type initiatives for Riga city development and regeneration projects. Among my publications, I have co-authored a handbook on participatory approaches, booklet on Innovation support tools and practices and have prepared report on participation of institutions and organisations in EU programmes and existing support structures for internalisation in Latvia. My PhD thesis was on the implementation of the place-based approach in regional development and was linked to policy formulation, delivery and resource management.
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 :
I have applied participatory methods in practice within the following projects: • “The People Have the Power! Sustainable models of CSOs and citizen participation in local and regional decision-making processes” (2013-2014). General objective of the project was to develop sustainable participatory democracy mechanisms and enhance sustainable models of CSOs and citizen participation in local and regional decision-making processes. I was involved as a trainer and was also a co-author of the collection of participatory tools (published in Croatian). • “FLOWER – Fostering Local Opportunities for Women’s Effective Participation”. Project funded by the Grant Scheme “Civil Society Dialogue Between EU And Turkey –III”. I am involved as an expert in designing the study visits and workshops to discuss the good practices in the field of promotion of women participation in public life. • Research paper on methods for promoting public engagement and participation in regional development and international cooperation matters. I was involved in the experts’ team leading the project on public engagement and participation. I have designed and implemented the trainings on participatory and prepared practical examples. The following examples of tools and methods can be mentioned: Appreciative Inquiry, Community forum, Citizens’ Jury, Open Space Technology, Open innovation method, Stakeholder prioritisation matrix, Channelling feedback, etc.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies:
I have worked with the administration of the following three ERDF activities: Growth of national and regional development centres; Sustainable development of Riga; Growth of amalgamated municipalities. The main objective of these activities was to foster polycentric development in Latvia by providing support to strengthening competitiveness, accessibility and attractiveness factors for the development of the urban environment according to integrated development programmes of local governments. I provided guidance to local and regional authorities in applying integrated approach in designing their development programmes and strategies addressing economic, environmental, climate, demographic and social challenges. The priority “Polycentric development” has been main example of applying the place-based approach in Latvia that is also my academic interest. The core element in applying integrated approach is to develop a wider framework for creating a coherent and integrated response (including, actions, measures, investments) to the urban development challenges and to ensure that there is space for further evolvement. The important element of applying integrated approach is a need to ensure that the urban development strategy is coherent with overall development targets and is realistic. The collective undertaking is an important element of the creation of the integrated strategy.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level:
My daily work requires being aware about main EU policies and latest initiatives. Working in Brussels provides me a great access to many different EU level events and I am in close contacts with many institutions and organisations across Europe who are working in the area of sustainable urban development (e.g. managing authorities, local, regional and national level authorities, research institutes, NGOs, individual experts). I am regularly participating in such events as Open days, City Forum, lunch break discussions as well as following latest updates in Twitter, Linkedin and other online sources. I am a member of Regional Studies association and a member of The Network for European Social Policy Analysis. I am regularly following the latest calls at the EU level and I have a long lasting experience in consulting various stakeholders on EU funds.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities:
Both my professional and academic experience is related to the development of tools and solutions tailored to local context. One of the key elements is a need to design and apply participatory policies that is an important element in all transnational projects. Each area has a different set of territorial resources, including institutional resources, and, therefore, a single approach in the development of these resources cannot be applied. My PhD theses demonstrated that the move of EU regional development towards a place-based approach to regional development planning corresponds to public administration trends that are marked by long-term planning, policy integration and interinstitutional cooperation. Most of the projects I have been involved so far (e.g. Interreg IVC project “Interregional Partnership Platform”, BSR InnoReg) contained the following activities gathering existing practices, developing new methods and tools, adapting developed solutions to local contexts. Within the feasibility study on financial instruments in Latvia, I analysed the opportunities to implement them in Latvia based on the existing practices and EU and national legal and institutional framework.
My professional experience so far has been dedicated to the following interlinked fields of work: programme and project management (implementation of EU funds (ESF, ERDF, ETC programmes (Interreg IVC, North West Europe, Baltic Sea Region), bilateral cooperation programmes (e.g. Norwegian and Latvia-Swiss cooperation programme); research (e.g. research methodology, comparative analyses, internet surveys; studies); and communication (e.g. engagement with stakeholders (both private and public), coordination of the EU wide expert networks, organization of events, preparation of various information materials, planning and implementation of trainings). Being involved in whole process from the ETC project design until the project closure I have developed skills and ability to work with various stakeholders having different levels of knowledge and experience in the field. My experience includes bringing together various stakeholders, development of project methodology, managing project meetings, facilitating working groups, preparing various project reports and contributing to the production of thematic reports. I have provided guidance to local and regional authorities in applying integrated approach in designing their development programmes and strategies addressing economic, environmental, climate, demographic and social challenges. I have facilitated the development of local ecosystems transnationally by developing networks and knowledge exchange platforms.
Latvian - Mother tongue