B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development:
My professional background brings together the experience of working for EUROCITIES – the network of major European cities, with a Master’s degree in Public Policy and professional experience in community-based services (social work). As a policy coordinator at EUROCITIES, I have worked with the city administrations on integrated and sustainable urban development in practice. I facilitated mutual learning between city practitioners, produced reports and publications on good practices, coordinated development of common positions and communicated information emerging from this work to the European institutions and other stakeholders. I was responsible for the cross-cutting portfolio in the social affairs team – which entailed identifying and promoting local projects that integrated social, environmental, educational, employment and economic development objectives. I was also involved in EUROCITIES’ work on migration and integration, Roma inclusion, demographic change, European funding, accessibility of public spaces and services, and social clauses in public procurement.
1: The applicant demonstrates educational and professional background related to urban development (i.e. She is a former Eurocities expert on social affairs, migration, integration, Roma inclusion, demographic change and public services/space accessibility. She holds a MSc in Public Policy and Human Development).
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level:
As a policy coordinator at EUROCITIES, I have gained extensive experience in designing, organising and facilitating various types of learning activities at the translational level for the staff of city administrations of large European cities. This included organising and programming study visits, seminars, peer reviews, working group meetings, conferences and forum meetings. My responsibilities included liaison with the host cities and working group or forum Chairpersons, shaping the agenda, selecting, inviting and briefing experts and partner organisations, identifying practices to present, selecting formats and methodologies, moderating sessions and overseeing logistical arrangements. I demonstrated the ability to shape the programmes of these activities to benefit both the lead (host) city and all participants, providing them with knowledge and exchanges that had a high practical value for them. With experience, I have developed and deepened my understanding of the most effective and efficient formats for learning and collaboration between the cities. The learning activities that I was responsible for have consistently received high appraisals from the participating cities.
1: The applicant demonstrates experience in exchange and learning activities at transnational level (i.e. as a Policy Coordinator at Eurocities she designed, organised and facilitated study visits, seminars, peer reviews, working group meetings, conferences and forum meetings).
B.3. Proficiency in English:
My written and spoken English are fluent. I have completed two university degrees in English at the levels of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. For the last 16 years, I have worked in companies where English was the main working language including in the UK and in Belgium. I have published reports and provided presentations in English in the European setting. I am able to communicate proficiently both in formal and informal settings and I am able to adapt the communication to the English language level of my conversational partners accordingly.
1: The applicant is fluent in English language.
Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers:
On a regular basis at the transnational meetings, the EUROCITIES secretariat staff provided EU policy updates to the city officers most of whom were non-native English speakers. This required explaining the potential impact of EU policy on their city and their work, as well as how and at which time points the EU policy could be influenced by the city network. One of the most challenging of such presentations that I gave was for the working group Accessible Cities for All. I had to explain the proposal for the European Accessibility Act, which is a complex piece of legislation, with varying degrees of impact on cities, depending on the number of factors such as the division of competences between the national, regional and local authorities, and what specific services existed in a given place. I have preceded the presentation by a simplified explanation of the EU legislative processes and established the basic terms. I also focused on the key provisions of the directive and provided ample practical examples of the potential impact to aid the understanding. Pausing and allowing the participants to verify their understanding with questions throughout the presentation – not only at the end – kept the presentation dynamic and the participants engaged throughout.
1: The applicant demonstrates ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers (i.e. she presented the European Accessibility Act at Accessible Cities for All working group).
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants:
Cities’ Strategies Against Homelessness I have worked on an extensive 2012 update of a detailed comparative report on Cities’ Strategies Against Homelessness (https://bit.ly/2kIFs3G). It included a visual representation of the full scope of homelessness services in each of 10 cities participating in the report, as a set of 10 comparative tables. I have worked to establish consistent categories and consulted them with the city officers, to ensure they made sense in the local context. I have then worked through the data provided by each city to organise it under these categories and ensured the use of terms was consistent throughout. Background paper on Active Inclusion in Newcastle Prior to the peer review of Active Inclusion Services in Newcastle, I have worked with the city representative to create a background paper. The aim of the document was to provide the participants with sufficient background knowledge on the local context in Newcastle to ensure they can actively participate in the peer review. My role involved identifying the most relevant information provided by the administration of the Newcastle, organising it in a clear and consistent manner and finding the right balance between presenting a complex system in sufficient depth but with clarity and simplicity. I ensured that the paper was at the level of English appropriate to non-native speakers and that specialist vocabulary and terms were clarified.
1: The applicant demonstrate ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice form participants (i.e. she developed comprehensive comparative tables for the Cities’ Strategies Against Homelessness report and background paper on Active Inclusion in Newcastle).
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away:
I have gained extensive experience in preparing post-event reports, following exchanges at a transnational level including creating study visits reports and infographics. ‘Closing the digital gap: study visit on e-inclusion’ (https://bit.ly/1B6lwVZ) is an example of a follow-up report that provides details on the host city practice and four case studies from other cities that were presented at the event. It allows the participants to have full details on each project. It also features a short conclusion section, which summarises the common threads that emerged in discussions on each city’s experience, including success factors of presented practices. Housing First in Lisbon – infographic (https://bit.ly/2lncYg1) The infographic was created based on the report from the study visit in Lisbon which I produced. It summarises the key points of this visit, including summary explanation of Housing First and how to implement it, as well as core information on the two projects that were at the centre of the learning event.
1: The applicant demonstrates experience in producing documents to capture knowledge and experiences exchanged at transnational level (i.e. involved in the development of post-event outputs: "Closing the digital gap: study visit on e-inclusion" report and Housing First in Lisbon infographic).
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages:
I have experience in producing good practice reports to present unique, innovative approaches in various European cities. I have also written introduction and conclusion sections to these publications, summarising the trends and highlighting the areas where a city administration can intervene. “Green jobs for social inclusion” (https://bit.ly/1Q6ooN4) The report presents projects that combine social and environmental objectives. I have coordinated preparation of a two-page text with each individual city, in line with the parameters of the publication. I also prepared the succinct analytical report highlighting three main success factors behind the presented projects and nine areas of intervention for local authorities. The report also features a demand-and-supply analysis, to demonstrate how this approach can be applied in other cities, even if the political and spending priorities differ. “Cities on the frontline: local practices for active inclusion” (https://bit.ly/2kOg9Nq) This report presents projects focusing on preventative or highly targeted approaches to tackling social issues. I worked with each individual city on a two-page report on their local practice, according to the parameters of the publication. I also prepared the introductory analysis, identifying three key areas of intervention that emerged in all projects and summarised the role of the city administrations in driving effective policies in various political and historical contexts.
1: The applicant demonstrates experience in producing reports incorporating good practices and policy messages (i.e. she coordinated and was involved in the development of "Green Jobs for Social Inclusion" and "Cities on the Frontline: Local Practices for Active Inclusion” reports).
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
I am a former EUROCITIES staff member who has organised around 30 transnational and learning activities for city administrations across Europe. This included larger and smaller events, such as working groups and task force meetings, peer reviews and study visits, forum meetings and conferences on a range of topics. I have employed a variety of techniques, meeting formats and methodologies to facilitate mutual learning between the city practitioners, and I have demonstrated to have a very good intuition with regards to what works in which context. Due to this extensive experience I am able to support programming and organisation of transnational learning events in such way that the participants’ time is used to the maximum: I aim to provide them with knowledge and exchanges that have a high practical value, benefit their daily work, inspire to innovate and deepen their knowledge and insights on approaches used by their peers in other European cities. In addition to writing up reports and summaries from these events, I prepared a range of reports and publications on good practices, coordinated development of common positions and communicated information emerging from this work to the European institutions and other stakeholders. I hold a Master degree in Public Policy and have direct hands-on experience with providing services in the local context. This makes me well-positioned to act as a bridge between the local and EU policy levels.
1: The applicant is validated for C. She met all criteria under C1, C2 and C3.