Advisory board

Anke Ruige (the Netherlands)

Anke Ruige is a Dutch expert with more than 35 years hands-on experience of developing and implementing new government policies and practices (with the input of civil society organizations, at central, regional and local level).

Since 1996, she has worked for the EC, the DFID, World Bank and the Dutch government in many countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Serbia, Georgia, Turkey as well as in Armenia and several African countries. After 11 years as a public servant for Dutch city councils and the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs specializing in social security regulations (design, communication, implementation and training), she worked for 9 years at the Dutch Association of Municipalities as an international consultant and Head of a Department of twelve researchers in the field of public administration, with stress on social security regulations and human resource management. Since 2005, she has worked as an independent international consultant and trainer on selected projects in public administration, public participation and NGO cooperation, good governance, service delivery and benchmarking, as well as quality and efficiency measurement. An effective manager and persuasive communicator, she has worked successfully at bringing together central and local stakeholders in transitional countries such as Serbia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey. As part of these assignments, she has developed a wealth of materials and practical examples of central and local regulations, guidelines and manuals, monitoring and evaluation techniques, customer questionnaires and client interviews. Besides, she has a broad experience in the development and delivery of training.

Antonella Valmorbida (Italy)

Antonella Valmorbida is a senior expert on local governance and participative democracy at the local level. She developed and leads ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy, since its creation in 1999. She is among the key experts in Europe promoting and implementing programmes of participative democracy, local democracy and development. She has been engaged in South Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe since 1996. She manages a team of over 30 people and more consultants and a network of 14 Local Democracy Agencies.

She is involved in local governance analysis, project implementation, management and advocacy work in the EU countries, the Balkans, the Eastern Partnership Countries and the Maghreb area. She has extensive knowledge and contributes to policy-making at the Council of Europe and at the European Union level. Thanks to her work and her engagement in networks, she accompanied and supported the development of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the principle of their “localisation”. She published books and articles of academic level on the topics of decentralised cooperation, local governance and participative and inclusive democracy. She is a senior expert, consultant and trainer for major programmes of UNPD and the European Commission on local governance, democracy, local authorities and civil society empowerment.

She is the Secretary General of ALDA, the European Association for Local Democracy (, President of EPD (European Partnership for Democracy), coordinator of the Subgroup on Local Government and Public Administration Reform of the Civil Society Forum for the Eastern Partnership. She is also involved in CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development (

She is fluent in Italian, French, English, and Russian. She understands Spanish, German, and Serbian.

Raymond J. Struyk (USA)

Dr. Struyk is a senior manager and policy analyst in the fields of social assistance, housing policy, and mortgage finance and has extensive policy formulation and program evaluation experience. He has led think tank mentoring projects and developed a policy analysis curriculum and textbook for transition countries. He has over 20 years experience in working in transition and developing countries, including a 6.5-year residency in Russia, 3 years in Budapest, and 1 year in Cairo.

After teaching at Rutgers and Rice Universities, he joined the Urban Institute in 1972. He was at the Institute until summer 2006, except for 27 months in 1977-1979 when he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Evaluation and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In his policy early career in the United States, Dr. Struyk completed projects on several approaches to providing housing assistance. He has produced major books on the public housing program and on housing vouchers. He was the first author on a book examining the implications of the major demographic trends underway for the housing sector.

Since 1980 Dr. Struyk has concentrated his work in countries outside of the United States. Until 1990, this work focused primarily on Asian countries but included assignments in Jordan, Kenya and Caribbean countries. From 1990 the focus shifted to Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation. In 1990-1991 he worked on housing sector reform in Hungary. From early 1992 until October 1998, he was the director of USAID’s Shelter Sector Reform Program of technical assistance to the Russian Federation, and was resident in Moscow.

From 2003-2006, he led think tank mentoring programs in Bosnia and Azerbaijan. Additionally, he executed housing finance feasibility studies in Armenia and Kyrgzstan and during 2006-2007 was the resident direction of the large Egypt Financial Services project that has the objective of developing the country’s mortgage sector. Since then he has undertaken a series of housing finance and evaluation assignments. From 2007 to 2011 he focused on rigorous program evaluation while working at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Steven J. Anlian (USA)

Steven J. Anlian, AICP, is an international development professional with extensive experience in multiple sectors including economic development, housing/infrastructure planning, community mobilization, democratization and local government capacity-building, environmental planning and design, disaster and post-conflict relief and reconstruction and sustainable recovery. He has managed large overseas assistance programs, both as in-country resident (many Chiefs of Party assignments for USAID) and from stateside HQ, over extended implementation periods, allowing him to monitor results and evaluate outputs, while also being highly successful in program/business development and marketing.

His more than 40 years of professional experience are divided between US domestic and international activities, with government, non-profit and for-profit organizations. Since 1992, he has directly managed and implemented many millions of dollars in development projects, humanitarian and technical assistance in the FSU (E&E), Asia, Africa and the Middle East, funded by USAID and other donors. He is highly respected within the USG agencies, international donor community, by foreign government missions and multilateral representative offices. He has gained extraordinary credibility with his foreign government counterparts, as well as with colleagues in various spheres. Mr. Anlian has strong interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, inspires his staff and counterparts alike, and has successfully trained and mentored teams of highly motivated professionals and helped foster new indigenous institutions where he has worked.

Specialties: Economic development, housing/infrastructure planning, community mobilization, democratization and local government capacity-building, environmental planning and design, disaster and post-conflict relief and reconstruction and sustainable recovery.

Wolfgang Amann (Austria)

Prof. Amann is a head of the IIBW, a leading research institution in the development of financing mechanisms for social housing with projects in Austria and several ECA countries. As director of IIBW, the Institute of Real Estate, Construction and Housing Ltd., Vienna/Austria, Wolfgang Amann has executed some 300 research and consulting projects on housing finance, housing policy and housing legislation. He teaches real estate economics at several graduate programs in Austria.

Wolfgang Amann is an expert and consultant to UN, World Bank and for the Austrian Parliament, several Federal Ministries and provincial governments in Austria since the 1990s. He assisted governments in several countries in the ECA region (see chap. 13) in housing policy issues; member of the UNECE Real Estate Market Advisory Group. Prof. Amann has contributed with numerous studies to housing legislation in Austria since the 1990s; projects on housing legislation in Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and for international organizations (UNECE, World Bank). He has contributed to according regulations, financing tools and capacity building in Austria, resulting in Austria being one of the international frontrunners in energy efficiency in housing.