You are here

Saad

Haroon

Saad

Validated Lead Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
Educational:(i) P.hd in local labour markets and impact of national employment policies; Professional: (i)Valleys Development Officer,West Glamorgan County Council-responsible for supporting local economic development in communities impacted by closure of mines and steel works. (ii)Head of Youth and Community Development, Avon County Council. This involved integrating youth , sports, arts and equal opprtrunities into local integrated community development strategies. (iii)Chair of Economic and Community Development, Bristol City Council. This was an elected position and I was responsible for the implementation and monitoring of several programmes including URBAN I programme in a deprived multi cultural community (iv) Head of Community services and Equalities, London Borough of Southwark. Responsible for supporting involvement of community organisations within the Council’s regeneration programmes. (v) Head of Equalities, Birmingham City Council. This was chief officer postion and in this capacity I was involved as lead officer in the development and implementation of a Local Involvement and Local Action programme that was rolled out across the city. (vi Head of Social and Economic Renewal, City of Amsterdam(Zuidoost). Responsible for an URBAN I programme and also for the implementation of the national big city programe at local level. (vii) Director of Local Urban Development European Network(LUDEN-previously known as Quartiers en Crise.).
B1. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of his understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
I have been involved in transnational projects for over 25 years. I was lead expert for the UDIEX-ALEP and MILE URBACT networks. In addition I was also an ad-hoc expert within WEED , ROMA-NET(First phase) and ACTIVE AGE Urbact networks. In addition I have been involved in over 20 EU projects which have all focused on local development issues and within which I have acted as a moderator, facilitator, and presenter. I have a professional background in teaching and training which has involved working in schools, adult education and vocational training institutions.
B2. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of his understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I have B.Ed, Msc. Econ and P.hd all awarded by UK universities. In addition I have written several reports for projects (including URBACT networks, UDIEX-ALEP and MILE) in english. English is my mother tongue. I am experienced in communicating in both written and spoken English with partners from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds. . I am a regular speaker and facilitator at seminars and conferences and have featured on UK, and Dutch TV and radio programmes
B3. Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to convincing evidence of his 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: 
In my role as Director of LUDEN for the last 12 years I have written many briefing papers our members across the EU. The briefing papers communicate complex policies and programmes to an audience of non-English speakers who want to stay informed on policy developments but don’t have time to read in-depth. They include briefings on the Europe 2020 agenda, climate change, employment, poverty, research & development. To communicate effectively with non-English speakers, the briefing papers were: written in plain English, without jargon, so easier for second language speakers to understand or translate; included information displayed graphically where possible and with illustrations; included case studies to make the reports more readable and relevant to an audience of urban development practitioners.
C3.1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to a valid example of how he is able 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: 
Capturing the explicit and the tacit knowledge that participants bring into transnational projects is key It is essential to capture learning and ideas at all stages of the learning process to provide a record of the journey. As well as recording this in more conventional report formats, I use a range of more creative and visual techniques for drawing out ideas, supporting the learning process and documenting processes and outputs, such as creating illustrated documents as a live activity within the workshop, building photo collages and using online sharing platforms such for participants to share images, ideas, links etc. Where appropriate elements of the learning process can be filmed to create a resource for participants to refer to and share and also to record ideas. Also useful can be encouraging the use of reflective physical or digital learning logs and building these into the learning process.
C3.2 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides a number of convincing examples of outputs to support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants.
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away: 
I have evaluated or written the final reports for more than 20 transnational projects in the last 20 years and for each of these I have produced at least one report which captures knowledge generated and lessons learned at the transnational level. For most projects which I have led I have produced more than one report, including interim and final reports, annual progress reviews, and post-project meeting evaluation feedback reports. All of these reports are customised to the needs of the transnational partners; some reports are short, highlighting main learning points, with the aim of supporting continuous learning within the transnational partnership. Others are more complex and capture all the learning from a project, based on the range of quantitative and qualitative data gathered through the on-going evaluation processes. All these reports are written to be useful for the project partners, and potentially for wider audiences.
C3.3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant points to more than two valid examples of how the results were captured for participants to take away.
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
I am an experienced report writer for a wide variety of audiences. Having worked for many years within local government I have written and contributed to a range of policy documents, advocacy reports, guidance/toolkit documents, evaluation reports and project appraisals. I have also written review articles which summarize the key learning points emerging from research or practice. Since being Director of LUDEN, I have written several reports linked to projects in URBACT (UDIEX-ALEP, MILE) and in addition for projects that we have led within the PROGRESS, Lifelong learning , INTI, Fundamental Rights and Europe for Citizens programmes
C3.4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides convincing examples demonstrating his ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages.
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
I have been designing and supporting transnational learning activities for the last 20 years, as a project manager, and thematic expert . I always work collaboratively to create a working culture where all partners can contribute and learn effectively, whatever their previous experience and however challenging for them to operate in a second language. I am an experienced facilitator and use many methods to stimulate lively discussion and exchange of views. I have considerable experience in spotting and managing problems within partnerships, including inter-personal conflicts and communication difficulties between partners, and have prevented conflicts from escalating and successfully mediated between partners in more than one project. I use a variety of methods to support learning within transnational partnerships, including facilitating learning sessions and preparing background papers which highlight the evidence, issues and key points for discussion. I am an experienced transnational project evaluator (I have led evaluations of more than 10 transnational projects in the last 15 years) and so am highly skilled at capturing the lessons learned and developing recommendations and policy messages from transnational projects for partner organisations and external audiences.
Assessment: 
The candidate meets the criteria regarding the expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities. 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: 
Local Economic Development
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
I have worked in in 4 UK local authorities (Bristol, Avon County, London Borough of Southwark and Birmingham) and Amsterdam all in a capacity that has involved working with a cross section of practitioners in addressing urban development issues in an integrated way. In addition for the past 12 years I have been Director of the Local Urban Development European Network. In Bristol city Council I was part of a corporate race equality unit with a specialism linked to inclusive local economic and enterprise development. In this capacity I was part of a corporate team responsible for the development and implementation of national urban initiative targeted at council estates. This involved: • capacity building activities to enable local groups and individuals to take part in the local partnership that was established; • monitoring participation of excluded groups; • developing in partnership with other departments and external agencies specific positive action initiatives to improve the economic position of excluded groups from ethnic minorities; • reporting on progress to the partnership board in respect of the race equality targets set. In Avon County Council I had specific responsibility for community development, youth, arts and sports services. Once again I had a corporate role in respect of equalities working in the department responsible for range of services ranging from adult education, libraries, youth services, museums and third sector support. In this capacity I was the lead officer responsible for the development of a youth strategy that focused on urban locations throughout the county. The strategy involved strong participation of young people and focused on tackling youth unemployment, anti-social behaviour, drug abuse and civic engagement. The strategy made use of culture, arts and sports as important tools for engaging with young people and also for addressing the wider issues that underpinned the strategy objectives. At Southwark council I was Head of Equality and Community Services. In this capacity I was the lead officer responsible for developing a strategy for dealing with a large influx of refugees. This involved working with multi professional team (social services, education, youth service,) as well as external agencies such as the police, immigration services and third sector and faith organisations. I successfully established a clear partnership agreement between the various agencies which ensured that we put into place effective and humane systems for dealing with a problem that was causing considerable stress on available resources and creating real issues of safety especially for women and young unaccompanied refugees. In Birmingham I was part of the Chief officer group for the city council and in this capacity was involved in: • A strategic review of urban development in one of the most deprived communities in the city. This resulted in securing national government funding which enabled the development and implantation of an integrated plan for development. This involved extensive working with residents to ensure that there was local ownership of the urban programme. • The development of an initiative called Local Involvement and Local Action (LILA). This saw the creation of ward committees across the whole city who were supported by technical staff. Each ward committee was allocated an annual budget of £50,000. This was to support the development of Local actions. • Co-ordination of Birmingham’s participation in an Urban Action Research programme with partnership with 10 other cities. This was a comparative research project with the involvement of city councils and universities in each of the cities. The focus was on strategies for tackling inequality and exclusion in urban areas. In Amsterdam, I was responsible for the Urban I programme that had run into difficulties and had indeed been suspended by the EC. I re-established trust between the council and local stakeholders and then lead a process of reprogramming of the initial proposal in order to address the criticisms of local stakeholders. This resulted in the successful implementation and completion of the programme which included housing and environmental improvement, local economic development, digital arts and culture as well as the establishment of a multi- cultural education centre which hosted the regional centre for training in hotels and catering as well as providing space for local NGO’s involved in informal education and capacity building activities, especially for women. As Director of LUDEN, I have strengthened my expertise and experience of working on integrated urban development at European level and also directly in several other EU member states. More specifically in my capacity as Director, I have: • Worked with the Critical Areas programme in Portugal. This was a national programme focussed on 11 critical urban areas. I took part in the evaluation and reflections arising from this high profile initiative. This work resulted directly in working with Amadora in the development of their local urban development programme. • Worked with the city of Genoa in reviewing their local economic strategy and as result also becoming more aware of the Italian Urban programme. • Worked with the city of Venice in developing and delivering two URBACT programmes. UDIEX-ALEP which I believe has been the largest Urbact project to date. I was the lead expert for this project and through this role developed a good understanding of urban issues and approaches in several EU member states with which I had no other source of experience. (e.g. Greece, Spain, Ireland, Finland). This project resulted in the EC and Urbact Secretariat selecting Venice and myself to head up the first Fast Track Urbact network-MILE. • Developed several transnational projects on a variety of urban development issues. Through this work, I have also established very good links with EU institutions (EC, EP CoR and ESOC) In addition to my paid work I have always participated as volunteer in places I have lived. Indeed whilst I was a research fellow at University College Cardiff, I was one of the founding members of group that set up a local community enterprise which created work experience and training for over 300 unemployed people linked to environmental improvement, creating local facilities for community usage and boosting local tourism. In this voluntary capacity I become chair of Community Enterprise Wales which went on to secure funding from the Welsh Office. Throughout my career in urban development , I have focused on social inclusion and economic development. This has meant that I have developed an excellent understanding of the issues and underlying these fields . This has given me an excellent grasp of working with disadvantaged groups( ethnic minorities, young people with low skills, women returners, single parents , older people and people living in poverty or at risk of poverty. For example my research fellowship linked to Ph.D. was focused on local economic development and in particular examined the impact of national economic programmes at local level. I undertook a longitudinal study of 100 young people aged between 18-24 in order to track the impact of national programmes targeted at this group. This involved a participant observer role, which meant that worked (in a voluntary capacity) in two job centres which made the initial contact with the target group and then I worked as a life and social skill trainer in three different centres for vocational training. I did this over a 4 year period and this not only gave me knowledge of how young people responded to national programmes abut also the barriers and issues that public employment service staff faced in implementing national programmes
D1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate shows sufficient experience (both educational and professional) in local economic development.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
2 I have a strong knowledge of best practice from around Europe and also beyond and my role as Director of LUDEN has been to help our members think outside the box and broaden their knowledge and thinking. I specialize in developing processes which help people think more openly and creatively about solving urban challenges and to foster co-production and design. I like to create the conditions and broker partnerships which lower the barriers for enterprising and creative people to take the initiative in their communities and influence long term urban strategy and development. This work often involves sharing international practice and exploring the potential for adopting ideas and practice into specific localities.
D2 Assessment: 
0: The candidate provided less than two valid examples that demonstrate ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of projects. Instead, his response describes in a general way his attitude towards fostering knowledge and creativity among participants in projects.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
I am an experienced report writer for a wide variety of audiences. Having worked for many years within local government I have written and contributed to a range of policy documents, advocacy reports, guidance/toolkit documents, evaluation reports and project appraisals. I have also written review articles which summarize the key learning points emerging from research or practice. Since being Director of LUDEN, I have written several reports linked to projects in URBACT (UDIEX-ALEP, MILE) and in addition for projects that we have led within the PROGRESS, Lifelong learning , INTI, Fundamental Rights and Europe for Citizens programmes.
D3 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provided more than two valid examples demonstrating his ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange and put forward good practice.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
In my role as transnational project manager and also thematic expert , I fully recognise the importance of effective dissemination and capitalization of project outputs. I have produced reports for several project as mentioned above which capture the outcomes and seek to make accessible the key results and also identify common issues and good practice.
D4 Assessment: 
1: The response provided by the candidate is only partially indicative of his ability to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization. However, his overall experience and the examples provided for other responses above would suggest that he does possess such an ability.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
I have over 25 years’ experience working within integrated urban renewal- working within local government, as Director of LUDEN and as also as thematic expert. I have an MSc (Econ ) in Management studies and a Ph.D. in local economic development . I have a strong knowledge of best practice from around Europe and also wider afield and my role as a Director of LUDEN is to help our members think outside the box and to come up with creative and pragmatic actions. I am an established expert in active inclusion of disadvantaged and excluded groups, with particular expertise in the labour market inclusion and economic development within the EU. I have advised and supported transnational projects aimed at inclusion of migrant populations on many projects, including as a lead expert on labour market inclusion of migrant populations on the MILE URBACT project and also UDIEX –ALEP.
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 3 out of 4 criteria and should be validated for this theme. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.
Theme / Policy: 
Active Inclusion of Target Groups
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
Please see the information already provided as it addresses both the theme of local economic development and the theme of active inclusion of target groups
D1 Assessment: 
1: In his response to D.1 within the theme of Local Economic Development, the candidate also shows sufficient experience in Active Inclusion of Target Groups. This is evident from his professional experience, which includes the following activities: - enabling economic participation of local groups and individuals; - integration of excluded groups from ethnic minorities; - monitoring race equality; - adult education; - fostering youth participation in addressing youth unemployment, anti-social behaviour, drug abuse and civic engagement; - integration of refugees.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
Please see the information already provided as it addresses both the theme of local economic development and the theme of active inclusion of target groups
D2 Assessment: 
0: The candidate provided less than two valid examples that demonstrate ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of projects. Instead, his response describes in a general way his attitude towards fostering knowledge and creativity among participants in projects.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
Please see the information already provided as it addresses both the theme of local economic development and the theme of active inclusion of target groups
D3 Assessment: 
1: In his response to D.3 within the theme of Local Economic Development, the candidate also shows sufficient experience in producing concise reports within the theme of Active Inclusion of Target Groups. This is especially evident from the following projects: UDIEX-ALEP (with diversity, iIntegration and inclusion as core issues), MILE (managing migration and integration at local level) and projects within the PROGRESS programme.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
Please see the information already provided as it addresses both the theme of local economic development and the theme of active inclusion of target groups
D4 Assessment: 
1: The response provided by the candidate is only partially indicative of his ability to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization. However, his overall experience and the examples provided for other responses above would suggest that he does possess such an ability.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
Please see the information already provided as it addresses both the theme of local economic development and the theme of active inclusion of target groups
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 3 out of 4 criteria and should be validated for this theme. 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 : 
I worked for over 16 years in local government .I have worked in in 4 UK local authorities (Bristol, Avon County, London Borough of Southwark and Birmingham) and Amsterdam all in a capacity that has involved working with a cross section of practitioners in addressing urban development issues in an integrated way. In addition for the past 12 years I have been Director of the Local Urban Development European Network. This has meant working in and leading cross departmental projects bringing together the local authority with community activists, researchers and residents. As such I had an important role in designing and delivering participatory methods and tools to facilitate joint working on projects and also to engender meaningful community participation in defining priorities, project planning, design and implementation. A strong focus was bringing new voices into the co-production of local policies and a myriad of regeneration projects such as developing local plans, park regeneration, implementing temporary uses, and housing developments. In practical terms I identified and brought together all relevant local players into a local partnership group comprising Councillors, council officers, community organisations, businesses, statutory agencies and local residents. I facilitated a series of meetings of this partnership group to generate ideas and to link these to existing policies and programmes in order to add value and to generate , where possible, match funding.
E.1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to more than one valid example of his involvement in activities related to participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local policies.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies: 
It is crucial that whenever possible monitoring and evaluation processes are built in from the inception of projects. I have worked on many publicly funded schemes where it is essential to monitor the value added of public money and quality of processes and outcomes. I am familiar with a range of innovative evaluation methodologies such as Difference in Differences, Randomized Control Trials and results based accountability. It is also important to ensure that alongside impact or outcome evaluation there is process evaluation. I have knowledge and experience of using a range of research, evaluation and monitoring methodologies to collect both qualitative and quantitative data involving processes such as facilitating focus groups, implementing action learning processes, creative documentation, surveys and questionnaires, participatory appraisal and peer evaluation. Essential to any monitoring and evaluation is the collection of baseline data through synthesising existing data and reports, surveys, interviews, creating photographic/film records etc. I also have experience of designing key performance indicators and monitoring systems for local area action plans, so that progress and impacts could be tracked and measured with the involvement of local residents.
E.2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shows examples that demonstrate his extensive knowledge about the monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level: 
Being based mostly in Brussels enables me to keep very much abreast of EU developments . I have taken part as an expert in the recent workshops convened by the EC in the development of the EU Urban Agenda. I have contributed to this process very actively and have written a paper which has been welcomed by the members of the unit in DG Regional and Urban Policy who are responsible for this work. I have also circulated this to the EP intergroup on Urban Policy and have been asked to present this at a future meeting of the group. AS such I am aware of the funding that is available through EU funds such as ESF,ESF and EAFRD. More specifically , I also aware of possibilities of funding through Horizon and Life programmes.
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.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities: 
From 2004 to 2015 I have worked with over 75 cities across the EU to support them in developing a variety of local plans that seek to link the EU dimension with local and national realities. For example, I worked with 12 cities in supporting their work to develop Local Action Plans for social inclusion in the context of the National Action Plan Against Poverty and Social Exclusion developed by each Member State. My role here was as a project manager and thematic expert on social inclusion of disadvantaged groups. I supported the partners with briefing papers which included international examples of good practice in social inclusion interventions, and to support each partner individually to develop their local or regional action plan within the overall context of their National Action Plan. This meant supporting cities, individually and through thematic network meetings, to develop local strategies for implementation of measures to combat poverty and social inclusion, within the overarching objectives, timetables and budgets for the national strategy; identifying appropriate indicators for monitoring and evaluation and selecting those most relevant to the local or regional context; identifying relevant funding programmes and priorities; and preparing and sharing templates for developing proposals drawing on good practice adapted to meet local priorities.
E.4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to valid examples of his ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities.
Summary Expertise: 
I have worked extensively to support the design and delivery of urban development strategies and projects by local authorities and other stakeholders in more than 14 Member States. I worked for over 16 years in local government .I have worked in in 4 UK local authorities (Bristol, Avon County, London Borough of Southwark and Birmingham) and Amsterdam all in a capacity that has involved working with a cross section of practitioners in addressing urban development issues in an integrated way. In addition for the past 12 years I have been Director of the Local Urban Development European Network. This has meant working in and leading cross departmental projects bringing together the local authority with community activists, researchers and residents. Throughout my career, I have been involved in bringing new innovative ideas and practice into the mainstream and sharing practice from around Europe and wider afield with policy makers, communities, and civil servants etc. to help people think outside of the box. Through working closely with those on the ground and creating an inclusive process, tools and content can be scrutinised, tested and then rejected as inappropriate or adapted to fit the local context.
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 4 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. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and the CV.

Informations

Residence location:
Belgium
Languages:
English - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
,
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
,
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Email:
h.saad@ludenet.org

Area of expertise