In Situ leaves this month of January 2016 to meet Lauranne Callet, a 2014 graduate of the Governing the Large Metropolis master's program. She is 24 years old and has been living in Istanbul since January 2014 where she completed her internship at the International Organization for Migration, then worked for the Middle East Development Network consulting agency. Lauranne is currently in charge of the social inclusion and culture committees at United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) regional branch for the Middle East and West Asia.
I live in Asia, on the other side of the Bosphorus, in the district of Kadiköy. You may remember that we had a quick walk there, during the GLM trip in 2013. I'm feeling more and more comfortable in Turkish, which I started learning 3 years ago. Istanbul is not a southern city, it is very different from Manila where I saw the ungovernable on a different scale. And Istanbul is different from the cities of the north in the implementation of public policies, yet it is the largest metropolis in Europe... (...)
Lauranne arrived from Reunion Island in her first year at Sciences Po in Paris, and went to the Philippines for her third year where she got a taste for the large metropolis. When she left GLM, she wanted to open herself to new themes related to the urban world. Among others, she is interested in "PPP", health, urban migrants ... if the themes are diverse, she keeps the desire to intervene at the municipal level ... It is the most relevant scale.
In Istanbul, Lauranne has one foot in the Middle East, without specializing in the Arab world. She lives the influences and singularities of the regions that coexist. She also has a particular situation, I made the choice to be a young graduate abroad, without being in an expatriate situation. She is therefore a local international recruit, which distinguishes her from interns and expatriate experts, who have at least 5 years of experience. (...)
(...) It is by proposing research projects and through contact with the international community that she obtained an interview at UCLG Middle East and West Asia. My intuitions are confirmed because Istanbul seems to be transforming itself, very quickly, into the new center of the Arab world. At least the city is at the convergence of migrants and institutions of all kinds: moreover, research centers on the Arab world are settling there little by little, confirming that the city is a real platform ... even if Turkey does not know where it is and wants to be.
In GLM, I was in a big hurry to get into action, like many. And yet, in her daily professional life, theory seems to be a breath of fresh air to understand the flows of the actors in governance and the evolution of her own projects. (...)
You have to make the link, bring the positions to cooperate. However, the political context is very sensitive and it is difficult to put forward these decentralized cooperation projects in a country and a region where the municipal level is not sufficiently developed. Moreover, if UCLG Middle East and West Asia is strong in Turkey, it is not yet strong enough in the Arab countries where decentralization is still to be developed. Its mission for UCLG will be to mobilize municipalities, which are the key level for social cohesion projects and to establish technical assistance on the territory in a second phase. The challenge is to make the link between the technical and the action, currently she coordinates a regional study on the budgets of municipalities for the development of social inclusion projects for Syrians, this study will serve as a tool for lobbying the European Union and the United Nations to draw attention to the local level in the Syrian crisis. In order to mobilize municipalities effectively, it makes sense to bring their voice to the international level and in the opposite direction to present it to municipalities that do not necessarily have the time and the analytical frameworks to do so.
(...) In a nutshell ? Don't hesitate to look for yourself. Don't hesitate to work internationally. And I advise you to read Snow by Orhan Pamuk to start or continue the immersion in the constantly politicized Turkish daily life.
Teşekkür ederiz Lauranne