Dr. Ulrich Harmes-Liedtke is a process consultant and international expert in the field of international development cooperation. With more than 25 years of consulting experience, he is active in all phases of a project and program development (preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation) and collaborates with various implementing organizations and development banks (German Development Cooperation - GIZ and PTB -, Inter-American Development Bank, European Union). He has consulting experience in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Dr. Harmes-Liedtke is an experienced facilitator and process consultant. He works with groups and teams to reflect on their situation and to then formulate change projects to improve their reality. He enables dialogue, facilitates and designs workshops, processes, and sense-making processes. He is certified in facilitation, mediation, and communication techniques which allow him to deal with sensitive, diverse, and even conflict situations.

He supports systemic economic development in various roles:

  • As an expert and trainer in territorial upgrading, clusters, value chains, and quality infrastructure
  • As a process consultant in designing and leading diagnostic processes that result in change, adaptation, and improvement
  • As a facilitator of dialogue, workshops, training, and sense-making processes
  • As a transdisciplinary researcher in the field of systemic economic development

Central areas of Dr. Harmes-Liedtke's consulting, support, and research are:

Demand-oriented development of the National Quality Infrastructure

Dr. Harmes-Liedtke advises National Metrology Institutes, National Standard and Accreditation Organizations as well as International Quality Infrastructure Organizations (e.g., Quality Infrastructure Council of the Americas QICA and the CARICOM Organization for Standards and Quality CROSQ) on strategic issues and projects. He is one of the trusted strategic key advisors and consultants of the International Cooperation of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany.

He regularly leads teams of experts advising governments on the development and implementation of National Quality Policies. He was the lead developer of CALIDENA, the participatory diagnostic instrument for determining quality service requirements in value chains that were developed by PTB and Mesopartner. He developed training material and has trained CALIDENA experts worldwide in the analysis of the demand for quality services.

As a researcher, Dr. Harmes-Liedtke does social science and economic research on the importance of quality infrastructure for the economic development and competitiveness of national economies. He asks how new research fields, such as economic complexity, affect the growth path of quality infrastructure. He is co-developer of the Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) and involved in various application-oriented research projects.

Promotion of Territorial Economic Development in Developing and Emerging Countries

Dr. Harmes-Liedtke has many years of experience in empowering leaders and stakeholders to promote local economic development independently and collaboratively. He supports industrial clusters and regional development agencies. He regularly uses different Mesopartner methods (PACA, COMPASS, Hexagon, etc.), and is actively involved in developing new methodological approaches. As a lecturer at universities and as a trainer, he regularly builds the capacity of development practitioners in the field of regional economic development.

Support for international learning and exchange of experience

Dr. Harmes-Liedtke has organized and accompanied various study tours from developing and emerging countries to Germany. The participants got to know inspiring practices from different local innovation ecosystems. He directed comparative studies or was involved in them as an author. Dr. Harmes-Liedtke brings his intercultural and linguistic experiences (English, Spanish, and German) to the international learning transfer.

Main fields of expertise

Working experience

2003: Founding partner of Mesopartner
1997-2002: ISA Consult GmbH, Bochum (Germany), senior consultant
1996-1997: Foundation CIREM, Barcelona (Spain), junior consultant
1991-1994: the University of Bremen, a research project on regional development in Europe, researcher

Editor of Spanish version PACA Newsletter and host of RadioDEL Podcast. Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal DeTe (Development and Territory)

Work experience in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay), the Caribbean (Belize, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago), Africa (Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda), Asia (Georgia, Kirgizia and Nepal), Europe (Germany and Spain).

Personal background

Born 1965, Ph.D. in political science and economics (Bremen 1999), MA in economics (Hamburg 1991).

Ulrich lives in Germany.

You can reach me via E-mail or Skype

I share my thinking and activities on my personal blog 

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33 results:
Twenty years of PACA – Retrospective reflections and opportunities for renewal  
Twenty years ago, Dr Jörg Meyer-Stamer started writing the zero-draft manual of the rapid participatory approach under the title of Participatory Appraisal of Competitive Advantage (PACA) at an airport in southern Brazil. Some days earlier, he had designed and facilitated the…  
The beauty of circular value chains  
Both the value chain and the circular economy concept have their unique attractiveness. In the 2016 Annual Reflection we published the article From value chains to circular economic systems (Cunningham, Jenal & Harmes-Liedtke, 2016), where we argue that value chains often…  
Responding to the geography of discontent  
Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Professor of Regional Planning at the London School of Economics (LSE), has recently contributed to the public debate on the connection between populism and regions (Rodríguez-Pose, 2018). His studies show a strong correlation between electoral behaviour…  
Mesopartner Working Paper 09  
Benchmarking Territorial 
Competitiveness. Competitiveness is a concept and a reality that is rapidly spreading throughout the world. Market logic is an increasingly widespread principle that affects not only all kinds of companies but also territories, whether they are cities,…  
Mesopartner Working Paper 08  
How to Promote Clusters. Clusters are defined as a territorial agglomeration of closely related industries. Clusters mostly emerge due to historical coincidence. A typical sequence would go like this: Some person starts a garment operation. As the founder is competent and the…  
The Relevance of Quality Infrastructure to Promote Innovation Systems in Developing Countries  
What is the potential and the relevance of Quality Infrastructure (QI) for innovations in developing countries? The working group “Promoting Innovation Systems”, funded by the International Technical Cooperation PTB, is investigating this question, aiming at integrating the…  
Why should we work on the meta level, even if it’s difficult?  
Systemic Competitiveness (SysCo) is a guiding framework for private sector development in the context of development cooperation. It distinguishes four interlinked levels of intervention: the micro, the meso, the macro and the meta levels of competitiveness.  
From value chains to circular economic systems  
While value chains and product networks are often optimised for efficiency at the levels of products, firms and transactions, the overall systems they form part of may not be optimally efficient from a resource utilisation perspective.  
Eco-system services and territorial competitiveness  
The traditional approach to competitiveness is based on labour or capital productivity (Porter, 1989). Given the over-exploitation of natural resources, today we can observe a changing basis of competitive advantage (Von Weizsäcker, De Larderel, Hargroves et al., 2014).  
Can standards help developing countries phase into a green economy  
Climate change and planetary boundaries are global challenges, which require that all countries recognise the need to transform their economies and take action.  
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