- Nationality: Albanian
- Age: 43
- Field of study: Gender, public policy, international development
- Current employer: European Commission
- Current position: Expert Evaluator
Why I started my career in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a country that embraces and motivates ambitious and skilled researchers who want to advance further their career in different research institutes, while creating collaboration bridges globally.
It is also a country which welcomes international community in many different ways: through education, through employment schemes, through supporting private initiatives, through fair taxation, expat housing and health-care schemes.
Multiculturalism, smart-cities, digital technology, high sense of environmental protection, spirit of debate and criticism, are some of surnames Dutch people are famous for. Building a career here means that you learn to internalise and make yours the above-mentioned processes.
A typical work week
When in Albania and DR Congo, the work week is mostly spend in the field-work, doing interviews, focus group discussions, meetings, workshops, reports. It is a work that connects you with people, makes you a better communicator and a better active listener.
As a person interested in international development, welfare and health-care policies, two action research projects have absolutely determined my career path.
The first one was my PhD Project “Lone mothers and welfare policies in Albania. Conditions, experiences, expectations. 1944-2013”, which I pursued at Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies at Utrecht University (UU). For this project I worked with prof. Berteke Waaldijk from UU (the Netherlands), and Dr. Saemira Pino from Marin Barleti University, (Albania).
The second action research project I am working on “Every day policies and practices of family planning in Eastern DRC”, is hosted at the ISS of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Hague. Since Africa is a new research context for me, I have the life-chance to work with world established scholars such as prof. Wendy Harcourt, prof. Inge Hutter and prof. Dorothea Hilhorst.
What I like about the Dutch work mentality
My career advice to you
Want to connect?!
Skype: Arla Gruda
Linkedin: Arla Gruda