Senior Technical Specialist
Faraz is an urban development specialist with a focus on the role of planning, community engagement, and technology in creating more inclusive and resilient cities.
Faraz holds a Masters in Urban Development Planning from UCL’s Development Planning Unit. He currently works on DFID's Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development (ICED) Facility, driving the facility's knowledge generation and supporting the mainstreaming of gender and inclusion. Faraz recently coordinated an ICED project exploring the role of 'smart cities' in the global south.
As part of Social Development Direct, Faraz has worked on a number of projects to support best practice in gender and social inclusion. This includes leading on communications for Work & Opportunities for Women (WOW), a flagship women’s economic empowerment programme. He has worked with Cities Alliance to showcase important crossovers between urban development and gender through a series of blogs, case studies, and interviews. He has also supported the capture of lessons learnt from projects looking at the impact of conflict on gender, including in Nigeria and Yemen.
Faraz previously worked as a community engagement specialist for Social Life Ltd, a consultancy promoting the role of communities in placemaking. His work revolved around engaging socially diverse communities and representing their needs in plans for new developments and urban renewal projects across the UK.
Faraz is also interested in the role of technology in facilitating social impact. He has led on projects using big data to map resilience and wellbeing in UK cities, aimed at informing better decision-making around local communities.
He has also worked with international campaigns group Global Witness on their digital campaigning strategy. This included the use of modern digital tools and platforms to tell narratives around corruption, conflict, and environmental destruction.
Faraz also speaks fluent Urdu and enjoys photography, playing squash, and international cinema.