Martin heads the PERFORM project. He has worked in development cooperation for over 20 years. Following his PhD from Reading University and a lectureship at King’s College London, he started to work as a consultant for a couple of years.
Later he took over the management of a consulting firm. During that period, he worked on a wide range of assignments in numerous countries, focusing on South and South East Asia as a region. He gained extensive experience in project development and project management, quality management, and methods for applied research. His particular interest at that time was in rural economic development and organizational development.
During recent years he worked mainly on development projects that take a systemic approach, and he gathered experience in a range of different sectors with that approach. He enjoys, and he has a long experience in interacting with people to understand and appreciate complexity in systems, how people relate with each other in such systems and how changes can be induced.
Martin is a passionate traveller and outdoor person. He enjoys meeting with very different people, and getting a feeling and understanding for politics, history and culture on his journeys. By heart and soul, he is a “foody”, loving to cook and experiment with food, while appreciating different cuisines from around the world.
Deputy Project Manager & NCU Serbia Programme Officer
As Deputy Project Manager & NCU Serbia Programme Officer, Nenad is working on system analyses and identification of possible interventions for systemic change to improve position of social science research in relation to the socio-economic transition.
Nenad is a political scientist specialising in international relations and a human rights activist. He started his activism in people’s movement “Otpor” in 2000, at the beginning of democratic transition in Serbia. Since then, Nenad has started and implemented various initiatives that contribute to the reconciliation and better understanding in the Balkans, to the establishment of democratic institutions and to the protection of human rights. He worked as an associate at the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in charge of political education of young people. As a regional instructor for political parties at the National Democratic Institute and a programme coordinator for election reforms, Nenad had the opportunity to work closely with elected officials on improving relations with their constituencies. He was a coordinator of the training centre of Youth Initiative for Human Rights implementing projects on overcoming the past and transitional justice.
As Programme Officer for national minorities at the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Nenad had the opportunity to work with broad group of stakeholders on improving the position of persons belonging to ethnic minorities in the Balkans. At the beginning of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, early 2014, Nenad was engaged as the expert for establishing the national dialogue for the preparation of the Minsk Agreement.
Nenad firmly believes that the Western Balkan nations can become part of the European Union family, but they need to work more on the reforms in order to achieve this goal. Nenad has been an active member of the scout movement since the age of ten and has been awarded the title of an Eagle Scout. Aside from nature, his other passions include enjoying culinary specialties from all over the Balkans and visiting local food and drink festivals. His nickname is Ćićko, which he got when he moved to Belgrade, after his hometown of Ćićevac.
RMU Programme Officer & NCU Serbia Team Leader
As RMU Programme Officer & NCU Serbia Team Leader, Gorana’s task is to support system actors to identify main causes for underperformance of the social science research system and to develop and implement relevant interventions.
Gorana started her professional career in non-profit sector, after graduating in Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade. She has worked as a researcher and project coordinator at one of the leading think tanks in the region, the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy. Her work ranged from research, project development, capacity building and training for local CSOs, municipalities and Government institutions on security policies, particularly related to gender. Through various projects she developed her expertise in public policy analysis, development, monitoring and advocacy. She is proud that she was part of the team that helped introducing gender mainstreaming in the security sector institutions in Serbia for the first time. She believes that individual efforts can bring about social change.
She is the author of a number of research papers, articles and reports.
Always eager to learn new things, Gorana studied Farsi language for a while. She is a fan of zombie and post-apocalyptic dystopian genre, as they explore extreme societal change and question the basic premises of what makes us humans.
Gorana is an avid advocate for healthy living. She enjoys spending time outdoors and manages to fit in going to the gym in her busy schedule.
RMU Finance & HR Manager
Dragana is in charge of PERFORM’s overall finances in PERFORM Regional Management Unit (RMU), that currently has two national coordination units (NCU) - Serbia and Albania. Her job entails control and analysis of financial reports provided by the NCUs.
Dragana ensures that all funding goes to its rightful place, meaning she establishes and implements financial monitoring from planning to final execution. She ensures the project equally follows local laws of abovementioned countries and HELVETAS', known around the world for its procedures and standards.
Dragana acquired her extensive experience in finance management, monitoring and reporting within large international companies ranging from energy and oil to media industry. This provided her with valuable experience of working in large teams and dynamic environments.
Besides regulatory and financial obedience she finds that good music is an equally important element of a healthy working atmosphere, appreciated by all office plants that she also regularly waters.
When she’s not keeping the team’s expenses in check, Dragana likes to hang out with her friends in all the cool spots in Belgrade. A former basketball player, she enjoys sports and going to the games. Dragana likes to pay homage to her roots in Mount Zlatibor by enjoying good food and vowing never to go vegetarian.
RMU Office Manager and Communications Officer
Marjeta is responsible for administration and communication of the PERFORM project, ensuring project objectives and results are clearly communicated to all project stakeholders.
Before joining PERFORM in May 2015, Marjeta worked both in private and non-profit sector managing various projects that ranged from IT, hospitality, EU integrations to arts and culture.
She thrives in challenging and dynamic working environment, always welcoming the opportunity to learn and grow, and enjoys collaborating with energetic people who offer different perspectives and believe in change.
Marjeta is an avid advocate for human rights, especially women’s rights, and believes in the transformative power of people and in education as a powerful tool for awareness raising, empowerment and better understanding of fellow human beings. To that end, she is proud to be a part of the team that organises TEDxZemunED events in Belgrade each year, encouraging young people to aspire to change. As someone who believes that only through civic engagement we can see true change in the society, she volunteers for several organisations in Belgrade that help various vulnerable groups.
Ever since she first walked into a ballet studio at the age of 3, Marjeta has had a passion for dance, which helps her express herself and provides a unique sense of freedom that can only be compared to free falling. Energetic and fun-loving, she enjoys traveling without itinerary, as a way of getting away from her highly organised nature, giving up control and letting the road lead her.
NCU Serbia Junior Programme Officer
Nevenka joined PERFORM in November 2017 as a Junior Programme Officer. She is a political scientist currently enrolled in Master Studies in European Politics and Crisis Management.
Since high school, Nevenka has been interested and engaged in different youth organisations focusing on various modern society issues, such as gender equality, multiculturalism, better youth education and environment.
She is optimistic and believes that anything can be achieved if one has positive attitude towards life. Nevenka loves music and she used to take latino dance classes. She enjoys spending time in nature and hiking with friends.
NCU Serbia Junior Programme Officer
Jelena joined NCU Serbia team in November 2017 as a Junior Programme Officer. She supports PERFORM project by providing assistance with development of intervention plans, maintaining dialogue with sector stakeholders and monitoring of effectiveness of projects’ impact and their contribution to systemic change.
Her previous experience with civil society sector includes research on democratisation of public services in Croatia, coordination of activities and advocacy on enabling environment for civil society development, Macedonia, as well as monitoring of that process in the Western Balkan region.
Jelena holds a Master’s Degree in Democracy and Human Rights (University of Sarajevo and University of Bologna), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Japanese Language and Literature from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade.
In addition to development and social innovations, Jelena is passionate about applied science, social patterns and models in both social science and humanities and natural science. She is an active mountain trekker and nature lover.
NCU Albania Team Leader
Abi joined PERFORM's team in December 2015 as a Programme Officer, and became the Team Leader of the National Coordination Unit in Albania in January 2017.
Abi became involved in development work through internships with UNHCR and EC, transforming that later into her career path. She has previously worked in advocacy and capacity building projects in Kosovo, focusing on social dialogue and labour rights.Read more +
Her interest in research has been nurtured since her master studies in system dynamics. Her inquisitive nature led her to extend that interest to a broad range of topics, including public debt, sustainability/climate change and economic impact of digital piracy. She has presented her model on the impact digital piracy in EU27 at OSCAL 2014. She is co-author of the paper "Introduction of a Progressive Consumption Tax in Italy in Order to Restore the Pre-Crisis Level of Real Disposable Income".
Abi holds a Master's degree in System Dynamics (Erasmus Mundus program led by the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and a Bachelor's degree in International Economics and Management from the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
NCU Albania Programme Officer
Gentiola joined PERFORM team in Albania in September 2017, as a Programme Officer. Previously, Gentiola worked as a researcher for different civil society organisations in Albania, dealing mainly with regional cooperation and EU integration process. Moreover, she was involved in evidence-based policy making projects for the Center of Excellence.
Gentiola holds a master’s degree from the College of Europe (Bruges campus), as well as a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Studies from the University of Florence. She has developed a strong interest in qualitative research methods and foreign policy. Gentiola would define herself as an avid reader of contemporary literature and a passionate world traveller.
NCU Albania Research Officer
As a Research Officer in PERFORM, Blerina is working to foster an environment where social science research feeds into political decision-making processes. Blerina has a multidisciplinary background in social sciences, having studied law and humanities, holding an LL.M. degree from the University of Ghent.
Based on her personal experience she recognises and stands for the benefits of a crosscutting social science sector and the potentials of development that come with this fusion of practices. She has chosen the same diversified approach in her professional life as well, working for the private and international aid sector prior to joining PERFORM. Her experience with a private commercial law firm and later on her work with the legal department of the OSCE Presence in Albania has exposed her to a number of different legal and policy making processes, shifting her focus towards macro politics of development.
Blerina has a particular interest in legal literacy and civic engagement by a facilitated access to information. This feeds into her greater interest in educational sciences, giving due recognition to the role of education in societal development.
She is a traveller at heart and mind.
NCU Albania Finance and Administration Officer
Helena is the newest addition to the Finance team of PERFORM, in the position of Finance and Administration Officer for the National Coordination Unit in Albania. She is in charge of ensuring the efficient management of PERFORM Albania financial resources by implementing the organisation’s financial and administrative policies and procedures.
Helena’s previous jobs include various work experiences in international companies from a “Big Four” audit company to Oil & Gas industry. These experiences gave her the opportunity to see the finance profession in different points of view, as well as to work in very different industries.
Always eager to gain new knowledge, Helena is currently studying for ACCA, a qualification that will give her the certificate of a “Chartered Accountant”.
Despite her organised and serious character as a financier, Helena is also known by her friends and colleagues for her humour and funny mots. She is a sociable person who loves to interact and be around people, especially getting involved in the organisation of different fun activities.
University of Fribourg Research Officer
Ivo Staub is a sociologist and he joined the PERFORM project in the summer of 2016. He supports project with research on the social science research systems in the countries of the Western Balkan and with other background researches, consultation and coordination activities. He is employed at Division of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Ivo studied sociology, media sciences and social psychology at the University of Zurich and worked at the Universities of Zurich and Fribourg. His current fields of interest include social stratification research, economic sociology, sociological theory and science systems.
Outside of his academic and professional life, Ivo enjoys the arts in all its wonderful forms.