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Elsing

Stefan

Elsing

Ad-Hoc Expert
Generic Skills
B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
I studied Spatial Planning at the University of Dortmund. At the faculty of Spatial Planning the integrated approaches to urban (and regional) planning and development were essential elements of the theoretical and practical education. In my professional career I was involved in numerous projects on integrated urban development. Firstly in Berlin and Brandenburg (Germany) where the focus after unification of Germany (after 1990) lay on integrated urban (and later also regional) development and transport concepts. Moreover, integrated approaches - in the sense of cross-sector and multi-level planning - were the guiding line of my work in the context of sustainable urban development conceptions, particularly after Rio 1992, when the environmental aspects of development issues gained relevance. I am familiar with the concept of integrated urban planning as it is followed by international organizations, e.g. the EU in the regulations of the Cohesion Policy (in particular the European Regional Development Fund - ERDF). Among others I recently participated as a consultant in the design and implementation of a dialogue process “Sustainable Urban Development” in the State of Brandenburg defining the key themes of the ERDF with respect to the sustainable and integrated development of the towns in the Federal State of Brandenburg.
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: 
In general it is to be stated that capacity development – basically for local (and regional, sometimes national) authorities and other stakeholders – in the field of urban and regional development is one key theme of my professional work. I successfully completed the Capacity WORKS – training which qualifies me to integrate the German International Cooperation’s (GIZ) management model for sustainable development into the professional consultancy services, in particular capacity development in developing and transition countries. According to the Capacity WORKS approach “learning and innovation” is of the five success factors of cooperation projects. Since 1997 I am involved in Cross-Border Cooperation programmes and projects in different functions: first as a Phare Programme Manager at the Delegation of the European Commission to Lithuania where I was responsible for the Baltic Sea CBC-Programme as well as the bi-lateral CBC-programmes in Lithuania. Later I was working in the field of transnational and as an urban and regional planner supporting local and regional stakeholders in identifying and developing project ideas, elaborating applications and implementing the projects. Exchange of knowledge and learning activities were (are) constitutional part of all these projects. I am used to design and implement appropriate capacity development measures for local stakeholders at transnational level, e.g. workshops, courses at Academies for Public Administrations.
B2. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of his understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
At school I learned English for nine years, and also passed the final exam in English. At the University of Dortmund I worked at the English-speaking SPRING-Centre (SPRING = Spatial Planning for Regions in Growing Economies) for 2.5 years. During my University studies I attended two exchange and learning programmes on sustainable global development (pro international and ASA*-Scholarship of the Carl-Duisberg-Society - *Studies in Asia, South America and Africa) which included two stays in English-speaking African countries (Ghana and Kenya). In the course of my assignments with the European Commission (two years as a Task Manager at the EC-Delegation to Lithuania), with EuropeAid as well as in various international projects (Interreg, EU-Twinning, German technical cooperation, etc.) I developed oral and written proficiency in English at C1-level. I write reports and also hold lectures, deliver speeches at conferences, seminars ... in English.
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: 
Communicating to non-English speakers is necessary in a number of projects I am working in. In order to communicate spatial issues I use maps, graphs and illustrations. Example: the current project “Revision of the Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) Regional Plan to 2030 and Elaboration of a Vision to 2050” (as associate of insar consult and Dr. Francis Adrian Atkinson; SIUP/ SISP). At the beginning of 2015 I had to carry out a SWOT-workshop (and beforehand to explain what it is meant for) as well as to present the results afterwards. Working with local and regional public authorities and other stakeholders (e.g. from Moldova) also very often leads to situations, where the audience is dominated by non-English speakers (and my knowledge of Romanian and Russian is still rather limited …). If maps and illustrations do not work, e.g. when it comes to economic or governance issues, I use presentation (ppt, PREZI), but also the classic moderation equipment like flip charts, pin boards, etc. In all cases there is the rule that whenever the issue to be discussed is too sensitive to leave open questions I look for the support of a qualified interpreter!
C3.1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate points to several examples of how he is able to define a good communication approach and interact with non-English speakers.
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants: 
Preparation of the background paper "How to ensure effective project identification, prioritization and preparation for regional development?" and moderation of a workshop on this topic at the 4th International Conference on Overcoming Regional Disparities - Implementing Regional Development Policies: What are the key factors for success? (21. + 22. May 2014, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova) with 250 participants from the EU, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (GIZ) Design and elaboration of the comparative study "Regional Development in South-East Europe" in cooperation with Jurij Kobal, OIKOS, d.o.o; Presentation and discussion of the results/ findings of the study on a workshop of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (GIZ) Participation in a research project of the German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development on urban regeneration in Eastern Europe: Preparation, presentation and publication of a study on urban regeneration/ urban renewal in regions in crisis or undergoing structural change, complementing experiences from Western Europe with best practices in Eastern Europe (Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Faculty 2: Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Development) Development of a curriculum for a training programme/ course on “strategic regional & local development planning and programming" for the Academy of Public Administration of Moldova
C3.2 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides a number of 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: 
Generally I would like to point out here that as a journalist I am trained to draft reports in a way that the target group easily captures the messages and can process the information. Thus, I believe that the reports I am able to produce are of rather high quality in this respect. In the context of developing a curriculum for a training course on “strategic urban and regional development planning and programming" for the Academy of Public Administration of the Republic of Moldova I prepared case studies to be presented in the lectures and to be included in the training material (GIZ). In all projects it is an essential task to save the results achieved and to capture learning for participants to keep and process. The classical reports in this sense are the reports summing up the results of a SWOT-workshop (recently prepared: SWOT-report in the context of the “Revision of the Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) Regional Plan to 2030 and Elaboration of a Vision to 2050”). Moreover, the reports prepared in the context of project appraisal missions, summing up the results of the interviews as well as project development exercises with (potential) project partners and beneficiaries can be mentioned here.
C3.3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant has provided several examples that demonstrate the ability to capture learning for participants to take away.
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
A lot of papers I am preparing in the context of projects contain policy messages since the tasks to be dealt with are very often in the field of urban planning and policy advice. Also good practices are essential part of these kinds of papers. Relevant examples are: • Study on measures in the field of urban regeneration/ urban renewal in regions in a crisis or undergoing structural change, focused on experiences from Western Europe with a new, additional perspective dealing with best practices in Eastern Europe. • Preparation of Guidelines and Recommendations for more effective coordination in the area of regional development in the Republic of Macedonia, especially in the context of preparation for the EU-Cohesion Policy. • Support to the „Task Force for Regional Development in Georgia“, cooperation in the process of analysing the “Diagnostic Report on Regional Development in Georgia” as well as in the formulation of the Regional Development Strategy. • Participation in the design and compilation of a benchmark-analysis of international urban networks and initiatives in preparation of a GIZ-led project to develop and launch an „International Community of Practice for Sustainable Urban Development". • Consultancy services to EuropeAid (AidCO B5): Drafting an operational guide containing rules and procedures for the functioning of the MEDA-Support Programmes for the Implementation of the Association Agreements (AA); ...
C3.4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides five 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: 
Capacity development – basically for local (and regional, sometimes national) authorities and other stakeholders – in the field of urban and regional development is one key theme of my professional work. I successfully completed the Capacity WORKS–training which qualifies me to integrate the German International Cooperation’s (GIZ) management model for sustainable development into the professional consultancy services, in particular capacity development in developing and transition countries. According to the Capacity WORKS approach “learning and innovation” is of the five success factors of cooperation projects. Dealing with partner dynamics and cultural differences plays a crucial role in nearly all my projects. Integrated urban development implies that numerous interests have to be taken into account, and the institutional setting in every country, region and municipality is different. Planning processes often have to solve conflicts (not only land use, but also different opinions on general direction, objectives, and approaches to development); diverting interests and opinions are rather the rule than an exception. Thus, the management of conflicts is an essential part of the work as a planner. This is why I attended the post-graduate studies “Peace and Conflict Research”. I would like to point out here that as a journalist I am trained to draft reports in a way that the target group easily captures the messages and can process the information
Assessment: 
The candidate meets the criteria regarding the expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities. He has many years of experience in transnational exchange projects, including ones aimed at facilitating peer learning and effective working relationships. Thus, he has developed his ability to deal with cultural differences and to present and capture knowledge in an engaging way. 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.: 
I am exposed to urban strategic planning since my studies (10/1987 – 05/1992) at the University of Dortmund, Faculty of Spatial Planning. Since May 1992 I am working as a spatial planner in the fields of urban planning and development in international and transnational projects as well as projects in Germany. From 05/1992 to 08/1997 I gained highly valuable experiences by working for engineering and urban planning offices in the Eastern part of the newly re-unified Germany. My main tasks comprise working on urban development plans, master plans, urban and regional traffic and transport strategies, moderation and scientific guidance of planning processes in regions and villages, studies on urban/ regional development and transport. Moreover, I was involved in designing and implementing public participation processes. After a two-years assignment at the Delegation of the European Commission to Lithuania (1997 – 1999) I started working as an independent planner and consultant, focusing on strategic planning: strategieKONTOR.de Since 2000 I am involved in the preparation and implementation of numerous international (transnational) and national projects (complete project list on strategiekontor.eu/4.html). I am involved in project delivery, capacity development as well as research.
D1 Assessment: 
1: The candidate shows sufficient experience in urban strategic planning.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
Since 1997 I am involved in transnational projects in different functions: first as a CBC Programme Manager and later working in the field of CBC as an urban & regional planner supporting local & regional stakeholders in identifying and developing project ideas, elaborating applications and implementing the projects. Example: the Interreg-project ReMiDo, where I was responsible to contribute to WP 2 “Strategies and relevant approaches for sustainable development of post-soviet military areas”. As a second example I would like to refer to the study on measures in the field of urban regeneration in regions in a crisis or undergoing structural change, focused on experiences from Western Europe with a new perspective dealing with best practices in Eastern Europe. I am used to design and implement appropriate capacity development measures for local stakeholders at transnational level in the field of strategic urban planning, e.g. in form of workshops and courses. Example: Development of a curriculum for a training course on “strategic regional & local development planning” for the Academy of Public Administration of Moldova. The results of the comparative study "Regional Development in South-East Europe" were presented and discussed on a workshop of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, feeding into the learning process in the frame of developing an own strategy of regional and urban development.
D2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant provides more than 2 valid examples demonstrating his ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
In order to enhance my abilities to produce good reports enabling the target groups to easily capture the messages (incorporating learning from exchange) and to process the information (including results from learning activities) as well as passing forward good practice and policy messages I attended a two-years degree course in Specialist Journalism (02012 – 2014) at the Free Journalists School in Berlin. Examples of such reports are the publication of the results of the research project of the German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development on urban regeneration in Eastern Europe (Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung; Werkstatt: Praxis, Heft 72; Berlin 2010). My contribution was the elaboration and presentation of case studies in the three Baltic States Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Slovenia. In the course of my participation in the project “Revision of the Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) Regional Plan to 2030 and Elaboration of a Vision to 2050” I was involved in the preparation of a report and presentations for international conferences containing the results of analyses based on interviews and joint planning exercises (e.g. SWOT-workshop) with the Vietnamese partners. From a thematic aspect my focus in the cooperation are the linkages between the metropolitan area of Ho Chi Minh City and the neighbouring provinces.
D3 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides two examples 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).
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
In the course of my involvement in the GIZ-project “Modernisation of Local Public Services” in the Republic of Moldova the results of the first project phases were fed into the national strategy for regional development in Moldova. This strategy, including the recommendations reading the institutional set-up, was implemented after adoption by the Parliament. I was and am still involved in this process. The success of implementing the strategy and preparing for the EU-Cohesion Policy (including the cross-border cooperation programmes) was presented in the frame of the 4th International Conference on Overcoming Regional Disparities. In turn, the results of the intensive discussions in the frame of the conference – preparation of background papers, moderated workshops, presentation of findings in plenary sessions, drafting of a “Chisinau Agenda” influenced the further development of policies in the field of urban, regional and spatial development in Moldova. I was part of the core team of organisers of the international conference and still work as backstopper for the project “Modernisation of Local Public Services”. In this position I was and am responsible for producing the outputs like the conference (including website, dissemination of results, e.g. background papers, expert inputs etc.), and the curricula for the various courses at the Academy of Public Administration (including guidelines for the trainers, participants, thematic manuals on strategic planning etc.).
D4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate has provided one relevant example that demonstrates an understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for strategic benefits in capitalization, policy design and awareness raising.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
I am exposed to urban strategic planning since my studies (10/1987 – 05/1992) at the University of Dortmund, Faculty of Spatial Planning. Since May 1992 I am working as a spatial planner in the fields of urban planning and development in international and transnational projects as well as in projects in Germany. From 05/1992 to 08/1997 I gained highly valuable experiences by working for engineering and urban planning offices in the Eastern part of the newly re-unified Germany. My main tasks comprise working on urban development plans, master plans, urban and regional traffic and transport strategies, moderation and scientific guidance of planning processes in regions and villages, studies on urban/ regional development and transport. Moreover, I was involved in designing and implementing public participation processes. After a two-years assignment at the Delegation of the European Commission to Lithuania (1997 – 1999) I started working as an independent planner and consultant, focusing on strategic planning: strategieKONTOR.de Since 2000 I am involved in the preparation and implementation of numerous international (transnational) and national projects (complete project list in English on strategiekontor.eu/4.html)
Assessment: 
The candidate meets the criteria regarding the thematic expertise in the field of urban strategic planning. He has a deep knowledge on this theme and many years of relevant professional experience. Throughout the years the applicant has developed his ability to produce concise reports and to maximize the use of project results for strategic benefits in capitalization and policy design.

Informations

Residence location:
Germany
Languages:
German - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Email:
stefan@strategiekontor.de
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Area of expertise