Opportunities Unlimited B.V.

Dr Harald Bekkers is the Director of Opportunities Unlimited B.V. He graduated from Wageningen University and Research in 1997. After completing a Ph.D at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research on the role of business services in emerging Asian economies in 2005, he joined the Katalyst Market Systems Development (MSD) programme in Bangladesh. There he supported the development of a monitoring system that became one of the building blocks of the DCED Standard for Results Measurement. In 2008 Harald started his own consultancy business. Together with Hans Posthumus Consulting he launched two one-week training programmes, on MSD and (advanced) results measurement. In 2011 Harald started the Market Development Facility (MDF) 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 (together with Marshall Bear in the Messiness Series). He also developed a new way of integrating Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) into strategy and partnership design, resulting in a portfolio with 85 per cent of partnership relevant for WEE. In 2018 Harald returned to consulting.

He he is interested in harnessing the energy of the private sector and commercial finance to achieve development outcomes in relation to poverty and inclusion, women’s economic empowerment, youth employment, nutrition, urbanisation and climate change. Harald lives with his wife and two daughters in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.