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DI FALCO

Germana

DI FALCO

Validated Lead Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
During Doc and Post Doc activities, I started investing on research in Urban Management and Partecipatory Planning as Tools for Integrated and Sustainable Development. As an Adjunt Professor of Public Management, I was the Scientific Coordinator and/or Director of Master Programmes and Capacity Building Transnational Projects aimed at enforcing innovative managerial models for City Administrators and Managers. On behalf of EUROPEAID and of the Italian Ministry of International Affairs, I coordinated several twinning projects with MENA and Eastern Europe Country addressing sustainable urban development. At the moment, I advice the Ministry of Economy, Department of Cohesion and Development Policies, in the design, ex-ante assessment and coordination of the the National Operational Programme for Metropolitan Areas. In the past URBACT programming period, I was contracted as National Trainer and as “ad hoc” expert within USEACT and MY GENERATION AT WORK Networks. I started supporting to Local Authorities and Key Stakeholders in ‘90s, now being more than 15 years that I’m involved in strategic planning in urban and rural areas. I’m in command of facilitation and visioning techniques and coordinate interactive teamworking and consensus-building for an active engagement of Key Stakeholders on urban issues at Trans-national, National, Regional and City Level (recent topics addressed: Metaplanning, Urban Finance, Social Inclusion, Digital Urban Agenda, Crowd-sourcing for Urban Growth)
B1. Assessment: 
1 - Demonstrated more than 2 years of experience with integrated and sustainable urban development (from 2013 onward in URBACT activities)
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
As coordinator of several EU projects and Professor and Trainer involved in international Courses and Training Initiatives, I usuallu manage Up-scaling/re-scaling and up-grading of skills, often supported by team-building/management, future visioning and scenario planning in multi-cultural, multi-actor and multi-purpose networks. From the very beginning of my career, I had the opportunity to practice tools and methods applied to exchange and learning processes in transnational cooperation contexts, by adopting PLEF (Personalised Learning and Exchange Frameworks) supported by COPs, Implementation/S Labs, Creativity Hackathons, and Art-Based Inspirational Learning and Exponential Disruptive Training. A personal reflection and investment on Disruptive Training led me, in recent times, to turn-around traditional ways of designing and delivering bench-learning, traditional-way and on-distance as well. With my team, we created an Open-Source interactive tool (Skill Adapter) to profile individual skills, create distributed multi-functional teams and generate individual information and learning paths, by activating inputs from different community-members. This helps both individual success and the adaptation of contents to the different levels of understanding and practices that can be found in transnational partnerships. Visual canvas techniques + gamification are often in my toolkit for wrap-up and take-aways.
B2. Assessment: 
1 - Provided one significant transnational activity that demonstrates understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level (visible in CV - URBACT city festival, USE-ACT and My Generation at Work URBACT projects)
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I currently manage working, reporting and training in English because I usually deal with multi-national teams. The Consultancy Company, whose I’m Senior Partner and CXO, has operational branchs in Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Bruxelles, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia and Greece. English is the common working language.
B3. Assessment: 
1 - proficient in English, has C2 fro all elements except C1 for writing.

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

C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers: 
Every day I have to expose and transfer complex concepts to non- English Speakers. The solutions I usually adopt are twofold: 1) use visual, not-verbal, art- /game- based approaches 2) involve sponsor stakeholders that can interact in different national languages In both cases, the presentation of project goals and tasks to non-English speakers is supported by four key dimensions, that have always to be properly managed: a) a recipient-focus by identifying the recipients of change and not the senior sponsors. In other words, they should start from the bottom and work up; b) the management of communication as a living document: involving communities, learners and stakeholders is not a one-off exercise. Triggers to update communication solutions should include changes in project direction, unexpected difficulties emerging during the change, or when key players in the project are changing; c) a continuous engaging process: this may needs to work with different people at various phases of the project; d) the use of sensitivity: teams need to use professional judgment in sharing the information they generate. They should not leave information lying around or pinned on a wall. What makes perfect sense to someone at a workshop may not make sense to a passer-by who sees his or her name or to a passer-by who sees his or her name or team’s name written down. The trick is to balance being over-sensitive about confidentiality with the need to engage with people.
C3.1 Assessment: 
1- Provided more than one example that demonstrates ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers in reference projects listed in C1 and CV (Urbact City festival, CBC, Cultural Routes, etc.)
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants: 
In general, all the projects I manage turn into written records of the meetings and reports of findings, comments and feedback into a format that can be used for decision-making. Wikipeida and Interactive Thematic Atlas and Intelligent Libraries are some digital solutions that we usually apply to support the verbalisation and documentation of knoledge and practice from participants, and then organize the responses into themes or categories. This will allow you to see areas of agreement or of contradiction among the community groups we’ve consulted or activated and to generate the basis for capturing learning for participants to take away. In one recent H2020 project on crowd-sensoring for road maintenance we adopted a mixed solution crossing Information Open Houses (sessions are typically held over the course of an afternoon and evening, and are a drop-in format, with information boards and staff on hand to answer questions. This format can be useful in diffusing anger, mistrust or opposition, by providing a very tangible way for people with concerns to be heard, and to provide them with opportunities for feedback, so that people can think about what they learned and provide considered comments by email, mail, etc.) and on-real-time e-bulletins and infographics showing by "NUMBERS" the main contents and results
C3.2 Assessment: 
1 - The applicant shares several examples of methods proving her ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants to enable comparison, exchange, peer review, etc. She does not use concrete projects to do so, but this is not required.
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away: 
If the venue allows it, I love to adopt e-Portfolio as the definitive way to capture learning for participants to take away. As an alternative, some kind of protective hoarding, which provides an opportunity to include images, information, website addresses, etc. Hoarding at ground level can become an opportunity for art by local artists or communities, which can tie into the project Interactive repositories of tools, methods, reccomendation and results are the most common solution that I adopt to recap and capitalize learning results.
C3.3 Assessment: 
0 - The applicant does not use concrete projects or documents to demonstrate her ability to capture learning for participants to take away.
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
I drafted more than 50 policy papers in recent years. One of those I loved most are addressing smart-work and rural-urban connection (http://micropol-interreg.eu/) . Good practices collection, mapping, tagging and clustering in order to support bench-learning and knowledge sharing are the common kick-off of all the projects I've coordinated, both at national and international level. One of my assumption in collecting and checking good practices is not only to fix the relevant chapters (brief description of the good practice, why it is a success story, transferability and replicability, connections to policy instruments addressed) but also to link the ranking of a practice as good, innovative, best by putting it in a future-perspective (derived by forecast aggreagation, future studies, foresight exercises on emerging scenarios): this derives by the need to concretely incorporate good practice in the construction of future-resistant policy making.
C3.4 Assessment: 
1 - Provided more two examples that demonstrate the ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages, visible in CV (Culture Routes project, USE-ACT and My Generation at Work project, list of several relevant publications etc.
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
It's now more than 20 years I've been thinking, researching, learning and expertimenting disruptive training solutions that can help consenus- and effective team- building and management. I'm a learner and a gamer by myself, with a deep love for professional and stimulating storytelling that can enhance creativity, overpass diversities, identify challenges and co-create solutions. I'm Italian, and this make some difference about the attitude of looking for some beauty to help knowledge generation. Art-based learning, gamification, the use of urban spaces as living learning enviroment is part of our identity and, just recently, a technique for creativity and crowd-sourcing. "Open source intelligence" is another one of my personal mantra. Knowledge derives also by the capability to manage Open Data, Collective Commons and non-formal and informal learning materials. I was an Adjunct Professor of Public Management for more than fifteen years in Bocconi University, Milan. Now I'm a senior adviser and an independent evaluator for EU policies, programmes and projects, many of them addressing training and/or urban/local development, active inclusion, community engagement. Within the URBACT Programme, I was involved as a Trainer in NTS andin the "Empowering Cities" seminar during the URBACT City Festival. Digital Training solutions, Open Interactive Atlas for Contents and a long track record as Coordinator of International Projects certify my passion, not only my expertise.
Assessment: 
The expert is validated for C. For C1, the applicant has a maximum score. For C2 she scored 3/4 as she did not provide two examples of having strong team ethic and sensitivity to partner dynamics and cultural differences. For C3 she scored 3/4 as she provided less than two examples that demonstrate the ability to capture learning for participants to take away (not demonstrated through concrete projects or documents)

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.: 
Teaching and project delivery in at least 20 different cities in Italy and Europe. Responsible of the Strategic Plan of Milan, Livorno, Gorizia. In charge of the Urban Marketing and Strategic Planning Course at Bocconi University for almost 10 years (1996-20005). Coordinator of the Master in Public Management LUISS University and one of the Course Coordinator in MIMAP (International Master in Public Administration and Management of University of Rome Torvergata). To the Master Programmes are related both PhD programmes in which I supervise research and executive short programs, addressing city managers and policy makers.
D1 Assessment: 
1: The applicant has at least 2 years' relevant experience.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
In 2018 I contributed to the Interim Assessment Report of the LIFE Program by providing analysis, benchmarking and guidance on two main aspects: 1) outputs to be capitalized, impacts and spill-over effects of LIFE Projects on urban quality; 2) practical examples of how to disseminate, capitalize and re-use the LIFE projects result to multiply the impact by merging and synergizing with other programs. 30 Managing Authorities from 5 different Member States were involved. In 2016-2017, I coordinated the Final Evaluation Report for the INTERREG IPA CBC Adriatic Program 2007-2013. To maximize the final impact of the Program we defined and supported a capitalization strategies that was lately replicated also by other cross-border programs (i.e. IT-FR Maritime or IT-Switzerland)
D2 Assessment: 
0: The applicant shares two examples of outputs she worked on, but she does not explain how she delivered thematic input and how this lead to learning.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
In 2016, I coordinated, on behalf of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, the collection of good practices for DG GROWTH to focus the best use of EU funds for culture and tourism. The guide served as a basis for creating a supported project pipeline, from cities, in the perspective of the European Year of Heritage. In 2018, I produced an in-deep focus on the application of SPI (Social Progress Index) at sub-national level. In the report, we pushed forward the results by activating working groups of selected cities and regions to help them integrating SPI in the regulatory and policy assessment frameworks. For the URBACT Secretariat, I produced webinars and guidebooks on Urban Resourcing and Urban Strategies to Fund and Finance the Implementation of the Local Action Plans
D3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares 2 valid examples of translating knowledge into policy relevant information.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
I started introducing “aggregators” (Forecast Aggregators, Good Practices Aggregator) as a tool to maximize the use of project results in 2015 by using a good approach that I identified in the implementation of the MED Program (The Library of Outputs”). Since then, I coordinated the production of: 1. A TEMPEST Model to anticipate change in Social Entrepreneurship in Europe (project INTERREG EUROPE SOCIAL SEEDS, Lead Partner: IFKA- Hungarian Ministry of Economy). The model was used to support policy learning platform that integrated other 4 INTERREG EUROPE projects addressing social entrepreneurship, as well as the European Association of Regional Development Strategy (EURADA) 2. SKILL ADAPTER. An Interactive Tool to define the future of skills so to anticipate and align public instructional, educational, vocational and labor policies (it was produced in the framework of the ENGAGING Erasmus Project and then adopted as a tool by ESF Authorities – i.e. the Ministry of Labor in Romania; by Human Resources National Agencies – i.e. in the Talent Policy of JobsOhio and in the Future Skills Initiative of the Singapore Government) 3. TALENT and IDEA Marketplace. It was based on a 3.0 Wiki Model and developed jointly with the BOKU University and the ISEKI FOOD Association in the framework of an ERASMUS + Knowledge Alliance FOODSTA and then used to support a reversed incubation model that connects Startups and Corporate Innovation Projects.
D4 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares more than one example of developing interactive tools that can be used for benefits in capitalization, policy design and awareness.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
As a Professor of Public Management with special interests on local economic development, business-government relations and multi-level policies, Germana matured a long previous experience as advisor for National Governments and Cities, from Italy and Europe mostly, but with connections also with US, China and Eastern Cities. On behalf of the European Parliament, she addressed in the past two years two specific issues: a) how to create an higher impact from multiple programs supporting the quality of urban environment (i.e. LIFE, INTERREG, URBACT, UIA and EARDF/ERDF operations) with a dedicated focus on urban mobility, urban biodiversity and food and water sustainability; b) the application of the Social Progress Index to participatory monitoring and build-up of urban policies, especially considering arts and culture-related initiatives, urban resilience strategies, urban quality. In her approach, the only possible use of public money is to create a multiplier-effect and a practical swing to boost sustainable growth. This is the reason why, in several EU projects that she coordinated in the past years, outputs were generated and designed from the very beginning in order to serve as tools for Open Policy Learning Platform.
Assessment: 
1: The applicant is validated for the theme of Urban Strategic Planning by a score of 3 out of 4.

Informations

Residence location:
Italy
Languages:
Italian - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
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Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Email:
germana.difalco@gmail.com

Area of expertise