Main fields of expertise

  • Continuous exploration and learning in teams and organisations
  • Adaptive decision-making under conditions of uncertainty
  • Monitoring and evaluation of systemic change initiatives
  • Narrative and participatory sensemaking
  • Market Systems Development
  • Knowledge network and community of practice facilitation

Working experience

Since 2015: Partner of Mesopartner
2014-2017: Lead, monitoring, impact evaluation and evidence, the BEAM Exchange
2011-present: Member of the backstopping team for the employment and income network of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
2011-2015: Independent consultant in market systems development and systemic approaches
2009-2011: Programme officer at Intercooperation (now HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation), Bangladesh

Marcus has a background in environmental sciences. He is Swiss and has been working in international development for ten years. He started his own consultancy in 2011. He joined Mesopartner as an associate in 2012 and became a partner in 2015. Marcus’ work has had a particular focus on market systems approaches for economic development.

It is Marcus’ goal to bring systemic approaches to international development. He wants to contribute to the development of healthy systems, where poverty reduction is part of the economy and society.

Marcus is supporting various programs and projects during design, inception and implementation. In addition, he has been building knowledge in complex systems theory and other scientific fields through various trainings and research engagements. Based on that, has been actively engaged in conceptual work around systemic approaches to economic development, improving the way projects are designed, delivered, monitored and evaluated. He has significantly shaped Mesopartner’s Systemic Insight approach.

Marcus’s key competences:

Systemic, interdisciplinary development: Ten years of experience in interdisciplinary, systemic development. Ability to conceptualize, implement, monitor, and evaluate systemic development programs in complex contexts at the interplay of the social, economic, and environmental spheres. Strong focus on achieving and assessing systemic change.

Market and enterprise development approaches: Systemic Insight, Innovation Systems, Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P), Value Chain Development (VCD), Local/Territorial Economic Development (LED/TED). 

Narrative approaches to monitoring and research: Application of narrative research projects using Cognitive Edge’s SenseMaker® approach in various contexts. In particular, use of narrative research and SenseMaker® to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour.

Personal background

Born 1980. Diploma (MSc) in Environmental Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, 2007.

Marcus currently lives in Gateshead, UK.

Marcus regularly blogs on jenal.org

View Marcus’ LinkedIn profile

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Strengthening technological capability  
This article is a summary of a research paper that Mesopartner was commissioned to write for Trade and Industry Policy Strategies (TIPS) on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa. It is about strengthening technological capability in developing countries…  
Responding to technological change by promoting learning and skills upgrading in the economy  
In Article 9 of this Annual Reflection, Strengthening technological capability, two important sub-systems at the meso level are mentioned. The two sub-systems are made up of the technological institutions that disseminate codified and tacit knowledge (through technological…  
Smart cities and smart rural areas: Digitisation is not the first priority  
What constitutes the "smart" element of a space or a place? We argue that “smart” does not equal digitisation. But if "smart" is not necessarily associated with digital solutions, what does it mean then?  
Targeting resilience, not growth  
Many international donor programmes have growth and employment as their prime objectives and performance targets. Impact-level indicators usually cover the number of full-time equivalent jobs created and net-attributable income change. As these programmes are about reducing…  
Adaptive management  
Adaptive management has caused quite a buzz in development. At the same time, many practitioners, particularly those who have been around for a while, see it more as common sense than as something completely new. Mesopartner has always promoted an approach that is sensitive to…  
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