You are here

Estrada

Dorothy

Estrada

Ad-Hoc Expert
Generic Skills
B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
I am a recent graduate of a dual-degree Master's program called Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design, an English-language Master's hosted jointly between the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany and Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. The program focuses heavily on aspects of participatory development, integrated design, urban ecology, resiliency, and urban upgrading, among other themes. The program contained a mix of international students and focused on the integration of multiple disciplines to design solutions for complex urban issues. Link the more information may be found here: http://www.iusd.uni-stuttgart.de/ My thesis, entitled "‘Bolstering socio-ecological resilience in Greater Cairo Region’s peri-urban pockets" focused on integrated strategies for local economic development in one of Cairo's informal settlements. In addition, I worked for 2 years as an Environmental Project Coordinator with a non-profit based in Tampa, Florida in which I was responsible for community upgrading and participatory community greening projects.
B1. Assessment: 
1 - Applicant has the minimum required in academic and professional experience related to sustainable urban development - 2 years working on participatory community greening projects and a Master's on urbanism and sustainable design.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
My education as a graduate student contained many activities for transnational learning. In the second year of the IUSD Master’s program, we enacted an Integrated Case Study for participatory development in Cairo's informal settlement in Helwan, and other semesters included multiple seminars and workshops concentrated on transnational learning between the Germany and Egypt, with themes focused on the Global North and Global South. I participated in an educational module targeted at GAMP (German-Arab Master's Programs) in Berlin in May 2016, and have worked as research assistant with the EU funded TURAS initiative (Transitioning Towards Resiliency and Sustainability) from Dec. 2015-Sept. 2016. TURAS had a heavy focus on transnational learning between integrated urban resiliency projects taking place among 14 European cities. (http://www.turas-cities.org/)
B2. Assessment: 
1 - Applicant gives multiple examples of having been involved in learning processes at a transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I am a native English speaker. I am also proficient in German and Spanish.
B3. Assessment: 
1 - Applicant is a native English speaker.
Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers: 
Cross-cultural communication has been intertwined very much in my education, as mentioned, and I have often had to facilitate complex discussions for non-English speakers. When working on my Master’s thesis research in Cairo, I conducted a focus group discussion about community resilience with a group of 20 community members from the informal settlement, few of which could speak English. I partnered with a community leader to act as my translator, and utilized maps and pictogram visuals to explain the activity, which was community asset mapping. These visuals were in -print and the discussion had a hands-on element to engage the participants. In other presentations in Germany, such to a board of community planners in Leonberg, the dialogue of the presentation was in English, but we focused heavily on creating more clear, concise visuals to demonstrate our points in the presentation. I try to incorporate a few words or phrases of the local language in these situations in order to make the audience feel more comfortable and understood.
C3.1 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant gives a strong example of being able to communicate complex concept to non-English speakers.
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants: 
Many outputs from the transnational projects I have participated in have been in the form of reports, listed in the following section. However, several have also attempted to be implemented or become spin-off initiatives in their own right. As an example, the Leonberg Community Skill Exchange platform for refugee integration has now become the “Stuttgart Timebank,” a community-wide economic development initiative that my team time is trying to launch with the partnership of other community groups. For the TURAS initiative, this final output has been the implementation of several Integration Transition Projects, Place-Based Strategies, and a TURAS Toolbox to inspire other European cities to implement resiliency projects. This content is all preserved on the program website that was finalized in September 2016 (http://www.turas-cities.org/).
C3.2 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides two examples of outputs produced to support experience exchange.
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away: 
Each urban design or community development project I have participated with has had formal documentation at its conclusion to support the exchange of experiences and knowledge. Examples include: -Master’s Thesis: ‘Bolstering socio-ecological resilience in Greater Cairo Region’s peri-urban agriculture pockets: Strategies for Local Economic Development and Improved Food Security.’ July 2017 -Integrated Case Study Final Report: Abo Dahroug, Cairo. February 2017 -Nuweiba Urban and Environmental Development Catalogue, December 2016 -Leonberg Community Skill Exchange Report, July 2016 -GAMP Module Energy Committee Final Report, May 2016 I am able to provide copies of these publications upon request.
C3.3 Assessment: 
0 - The examples show ability to capture learning in general but are missing the links to the participants.
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
The most prominent example of reports incorporating good practices or policy messages is and final content production for the Integrated Transition Projects with data collected at the meeting in Brussels in June 2016, which is now on the TURAS website. In addition, my aforementioned Master’s thesis described best practices from other international cases dealing with peri-urban agriculture challenges and concluded by making policy recommendations on this topic for Cairo.
C3.4 Assessment: 
0 - Applicant provides one example of a report incorporating good practice. The master's thesis is not counted as a concise report.
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
My experience in delivering transnational change and learning activities has mostly occurred curing my time as a Master’s student in the context a program hosted jointly between Germany and Egypt. This has included integrated, cross-disciplinary urban design and community development projects with a variety of groups across the academic, public, and private sectors.
Assessment: 
Applicant is validated for expertise on the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities.
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.: 
For the theme of Urban and Strategic Planning, I recently achieved my M.Sc. in Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design. Many of the major themes of this degree covered aspects of urban sprawl in both developed and developing nations, urban-rural transition, urban resiliency and sustainable design, and urban functionality. Major activities involved independent research, several group projects dealing with integrated urban design in Stuttgart and Cairo, as well as the production of a Master’s thesis. As mentioned prior, several publications for these projects have been published by the IUSD Master’s program office at the University of Stuttgart and Ain Shams University in Cairo.
D1 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant has two years of experience on the field, from the academic side and as a research assistant of TURAS.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
In my time as a student, I have written several reports on the theme of Urban and Strategic Planning, mostly as coursework for the UPPSUM I and II seminars (Urban Planning and Sustainable Urban Management) taught by Prof. Dr. Astrid Ley. These documentations consisted of a reflection on urban-rural transitions, as well as a position paper on economic integration through SMEs in developing urban areas.
D2 Assessment: 
0 - While thematic works have been produced these have not been particularly used as input in learning processes.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
Concerning Urban and Strategic planning, my Master’s thesis, “Bolstering socio-ecological resilience in Greater Cairo Region’s peri-urban agriculture pockets: Strategies for Local Economic Development and Improved Food Security” is the most comprehensive publication I have produced that makes policy recommendations at a transnational level for urban practitioners. It will be made available online shortly from my academic institutes. I also aim to produce and submit several follow-up academic articles for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.
D3 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides master's thesis as example. It is valid as a concise report and has the intended audience of city practitioners and policy-makers.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
With every urban and strategic planning process, it has been a goal to capitalize on the academic portion of the work as much as possible when the project has ended. To this end, I have been instrumental in designing a dissemination strategy for the Leonberg Skill Exchange project for refugee integration and trying to reach out to other entities in Stuttgart to lift the project off the ground and breathe life into the online Time Bank platform. These efforts are still in progress with my team members. Regarding other strategic urban planning guidelines for the issues laid out in my thesis, it is my intention to also disseminate my findings to the community members of Saft al Laban to work towards implementing policy solutions affecting peri-urban agriculture in Cairo.
D4 Assessment: 
0 - Provided examples are still a work in progress.
Assessment: 
Applicant is rejected for thematic field of Urban Strategic Planning, obtaining 2 out of 4 possible points. Regarding my overall experience with Urban and Strategic planning, as a recent Master’s degree graduate of a program entitled “Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design,” I have recent knowledge and exposure through a number of transnational projects in Germany and Egypt dealing with several theme of integrated development. These include informal settlement upgrading, urban-rural transition, and sprawl, among others.
Theme / Policy: 
Local Governance
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
Local governance has been incorporated both in my professional and academic career. As a Project Coordinator at a Tampa-based environmental non-profit, I was tasked with project delivery of community development initiatives focused on greening and waste removal, mostly in low-income neighborhoods. I also conducted some research on food security, and helped established a social enterprise dealing with this topic. My time as a Master’s student has largely focused on participation-based governance education, as well as sustainable city management tactics, and has been carried out in the form of research and project delivery through a variety of courses.
D1 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant has two years experience in local governance, professionally through being a project coordinator in a community development initiative and academically through a participatory governance education.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
While in my professional role, I created several briefings related to community development and PPPS surrounding community greening and food security in Tampa, which could be utilized in the European context as a case study of successful local governance in this topic. As a Master’s student, each report I have written dealing with a project had a section on participation, describing the ways in which the project would be sustained and maintained by the hosting community. These include the Integrated Case Study Final Report: Abo Dahroug, Cairo. February 2017, Nuweiba Urban and Environmental Development Catalogue, December 2016, and Leonberg Community Skill Exchange Report, July 2016.
D2 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides examples of having produced thematic inputs as part of specific projects.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
Each one of the aforementioned reports produced as part of my Master’s work are seen by the IUSD program as valuable content for urban practitioners, and are therefore published online (https://iusd.asu.edu.eg/?page_id=15). The projects are continuously teaching new lessons about local governance, especially participation and how it affects community development.
D3 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides master's thesis as example. It is valid as a concise report and has the intended audience of city practitioners and policy-makers.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
The Stuttgart Timebank project that has been previously described was designed with the intent of participatory implementation leading to social innovation among participants. While it has not been realized yet, the report produced includes a thorough plan for project management, community participation, PPPs, and how this will positively community economic development in the Stuttgart region.
D4 Assessment: 
0 - Applicant provides example of a report that, while significant, has not been finalized yet.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My experiences in Local Governance has been in both my professional and academic career as a recent graduate. My Project Coordinator role with an environmental non-profit involved several PPP establishments, as well as community development initiatives though waste removal and community greening. Throughout my Master’s program, participations were a major focus, and I am well-versed in managing projects that have this objective at their core. Regarding social innovation, I was the co-founder of a social enterprise dealing with urban food insecurity, and have been involved in another social innovation projects for refugees in Stuttgart.
Assessment: 
Applicant is validated for the thematic field of local governance, having obtained 3 out of 4 possible points.
Theme / Policy: 
Local Economic Development
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
Concerning Local Economic Development, I have academic and professional experience as a participant in a Circular Economy Executive Education Course hosted through the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, as well as within the IUSD Master’s program. LED was a major theme in the Integrated Case study in Abo Daroug in Cairo in Spring 2017 and provided the framework for the proposed implementation project design. In both instances, my involvement has been academic, but as a co-founder of Ambrosia Global, I was active in the research and development contribution of our product’s ability to contribute to LED and reduce food insecurity.
D1 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant has experience with local economic development from the academic side.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
In working on topics of Local Economic Development I have incorporated elements of circular economy into positions papers and reports produced as part of coursework for the IUSD Master’s program. A major group report on the summary of the project in Abo Darhoug, Cairo contained a large reflection on LED and its relation to our designed intervention.
D2 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides an example of participating in a report including reflections on local economic development as part of a project.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
The aforementioned report on Abo Dahroug and it strategies for local economic development is one that will be made available from the institutes at my university and provides a policy messages for other urban practitioners, especially those working in informal settlements. In addition, my Master’s thesis “Bolstering socio-ecological resilience in Greater Cairo Region’s peri-urban agriculture pockets: Strategies for Local Economic Development and Improved Food Security” offers policy recommendations for creating a better enable environment for LED to occur in Cairo’s informal settlements.
D3 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides two examples of concise reports that incorporate learning and put forward good practice for practitioners on the topic of of local economic development.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
The Abo Dahroug Project I was a designer of includes a thorough dissemination plan on project implementation strategies and policies needed to better support LED. It was presented to a panel of experts at the ISDF (Informal Settlement Development Fund) in Cairo to undergo consideration for funding as an upgrading and LED initiative.
D4 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides an example of having designed a plan for dissemination of strategies and policies to better support LED.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
Local Economic Development has been a re-emerging theme in my academic and professional career. In 2016, I completed an online Circular Economy Executive Education Course with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and have also implemented had an entire semester course on LED as a means of integrated urban development. As a co-founder of a social enterprise, LED opportunities made available through our product were intended to combat food insecurity.
Assessment: 
Applicant is validated as expert for the thematic field of Local Economic Development, having obtained 4 out of 4 possible points.
Theme / Policy: 
Sustainable Food
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
Much of my professional background has been focused on Sustainable Food, specifically food security. As a Project Coordinator with a non-profit in Tampa, I implemented a major urban garden project teach agricultural education. I also spear-headed an initiative to form a new Farmer’s market in a food desert region of the city, and obtained my Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015. I am the co-founder of a social enterprise focused on food security for urban areas. As an academic, work on this topic has also been integrated into my Urban Ecology and Ecosystem Design coursework, as well as my Master’s thesis, focusing on sustainable per-urban agriculture in Cairo.
D1 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant has experience on the thematic field of sustainable food through both her professional as well as academic life.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
At the transnational level, I have conducted several briefings, reports, and research papers dealing with sustainable food. In 2015 I delivered a webinar for Cairo and Stuttgart offices of my Master’s program about permaculture design. I worked on an integrated research project and final report about urban agriculture and regeneration in Stuttgart, and I produced a Master’s thesis on a similar theme. In addition, I compiled research and produced briefings for the TURAS initiative related to resilient urban agriculture projects taking place in European cities and how to operationalize their success.
D2 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant has produced multiple thematic inputs related to sustainable food, including briefings on projects and how to operationalize their objetives.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
My produced reports dealing with the topic of sustainable food can be found in the form of briefings and compiled research and website for my former employer in Tampa (http://www.keeptampabaybeautiful.org/florida-learning-garden/) which may be seen as a case study for other urban practitioners. Research compiled and briefs put together from the social-enterprise I co-founded also make recommendations on the important topic of food security for urban areas, as does my Master’s thesis final publication.
D3 Assessment: 
0 - Applicant's generated reports, while incorporating good practices do not seem to have been specifically created for an audience of practitioners or policy-makers. The example of the co/founded social enterprise could be further developed.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
Disseminating information on Sustainable Food related to project or research outputs has been one of the main passions of my work. In my professional career, this was interwoven in my job as a Project Coordinator, an involved the continuous improvement of agri-education delivered at the Florida Learning Garden, as well as attending community discussions conferences, and task forces to disseminate information and facilitate greater involvement. In my academic career, this has so far resulted in design-based outputs of course work projects, as well as design and policy recommendations made in my thesis, but it is my objective to disseminate this information at conferences and through academic publication.
D4 Assessment: 
1 - Applicant provides examples of being an active participant in designing a dissemination strategy.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
Much of the work in my professional and academic career has been on the topic of Sustainable Food, specifically food security. It was a major part of my role as a Project Coordinator with an environmental non-profit in Tampa, Florida, and involved the creation of a 1-acre urban garden as well as a farmer’s market hosted in a food desert community. Additionally, these same themes have taken root in my time as a Master’s student, in the form of urban ecological design work, and in my final thesis.
Assessment: 
Applicant is validated for the thematic field of Sustainable Food, having obtained 3 out of 4 points.

Informations

Residence location:
Austria
Languages:
English - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
,
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Email:
destrada@spartans.ut.edu
PDF icon Download CV (379.81 KB)

Area of expertise