Zintis Hermansons (MPA '15) has been working at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia since graduating from SPP. As senior expert at the Regional Policy Department, Hermansons is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the territorial impact of various EU-funded programs on regional development in Latvia. He has also been selected to be a delegate from Latvia in the OECD Regional Development Policy Committee that is working on territorial monitoring. It's a demanding position, and one that requires some technical skills that he honed during the two-year MPA program. "I had a chance to learn a lot during my studies about quantitative methods and statistical analysis that has been very useful," he says.
Hermansons made a presentation during the VASAB workshop on Territorial Monitoring in Krakow on September 22. VASAB (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea), an "intergovernmental multilateral co-operation of 11 countries of the Baltic Sea Region, provides a forum for exchanging "know-how on spatial planning and development." It plays an especially important role in implementing the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). In his presentation, Hermansons spoke about the types of indicators used in Latvia to monitor territorial development and the information technology tools the system www.raim.gov.lv provides for users to analyze and visualize data. "I think very local data plays an important role in helping us understand current trends in territorial development," he says.
Hermansons will be traveling to Stockholm in early November for a workshop on how to better monitor and measure development in the Baltic Sea region. He won't be making a presentation this time, but will instead be commenting on tools and methods that others have developed to monitor and evaluate development in the Baltic Sea region. Hermansons says that these regional gatherings are valuable opportunities for Baltic Sea region countries. "The Baltic Sea region has been recognized by the European Union as a macro-region with a unique set of challenges that need to be addressed by many countries simultaneously," he says.