© Helvetas

Inclusive Plug Episode 17: What does It Mean for a Program Applying Market Systems Development to be Regional?

BY: Sabin Selimi - 05. July 2021
© Helvetas

In partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and other implementing partners, Helvetas is leading a regional inclusive and green economic development program in Eastern Europe, South Caucuses, and Western Balkans.

While designing the program, we asked ourselves ‘what a regional program would look like’. We’ve been much more interested in the value addition of such a regional program than doing more of the same initiatives that Helvetas has in different countries.

So, for this episode we’ve interviewed 3 experts who have experience in working for such regional programs or initiatives:

  • Gina Belle, who’s CEO of Chôra Foundation, a non-profit based in the Netherlands providing access to a strategic framework for System Transformation. Chôra has worked extensively across sectors with leaders and organisations to take systemic perspectives on their challenges and design and manage portfolios that enable decision making and commitment to transformative action in a world of rapidly increasing complexity. Gina brings deep experience leading teams and developing capability for System Transformation. She started life in Australia and has since moved to Europe to expand the work of Chôra beyond the Asia Pacific and has worked globally in the fields of Financial Services, Non-Profit and Human & Social Development.
  • Arnaldo Pellini, who’s a co-founder of Capability, which is a Finnish consultancy that focuses on research and advice on the use of problem-driven and adaptive programming approaches to support complex democratic governance initiatives. Over the last 20 years his research and advisory work has been in the areas of education and governance reforms, the ways different types of knowledge can help inform policy decisions, political economy analysis and adaptive development, and the design of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems that can help programmes and projects to adapt continuously to local contexts and circumstances. Arnaldo has lived and worked for about 15 years in various countries in Southeast Asia.
  • Harald Bekkers, who’s Founder and Director of Opportunities Unlimited B.V. Harald is a specialist in Market Systems Development and monitoring and results measurement. In 2011, he started the Market Development Facility and led its expansion into a unique multi-country Facility, active in five countries in Asia and the Pacific. Here he championed a realistic interpretation of the MSD approach in thin markets. He also developed a new way of integrating Women’s Economic Empowerment into strategy and partnership design. Harald has lived and worked in more than seven countries.


To listen to the episode on the go, the sound format is also available on SpotifyAnchorBreakerGooglePocket Casts, and RadioPublic!

Please send us your feedback about the episode in the comment section below.

We have interesting topics coming up, so stay tuned and hit the subscribe button in the video!