We work to understand and explain the global environment and the local realities of our world today, and share our insight, observations and debates with you.



We develop and apply ideas to topics where we can make a difference, transforming our knowledge into practice together with partner organisations.


Recent Publications

The Polis

Have you ever thought about why development cooperation is often ineffective? So have we.

The Polis is ReSET’s flagship project. It stems from seeing that development cooperation does not work when its projects are not locally formulated and led. Moreover, when projects are local-led, they often encounter problems in finding the necessary resources to turn idea into reality.  
The Polis creates Local-Led Connections. These are a match between locally demanded services and global resources, and allow local needs and ambitions to be satisfied in a simple and effective way.

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Syria, the West, and the incompatibility of military operations with humanitarian action

/ 4th December 2014 /

A recent report of the UN Secretary-General states that in Syria as many as 4.7 million people are residing in places that are difficult or impossible for humanitarian actors to reach. Of this group, 241,000 are from besieged areas. Reaching local populations in need has been problematic since the beginning of the conflict, but over

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Discover The Polis: When ideas turn into reality

/ 17th November 2014 /

The ReSeT Polis Project has been in development for over a year, and we are thrilled to finally start sharing our progress with you. With each new newsletter, we will use this space for an update on where we are with respect to our work and its impact. For now, and given that this is

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An expert opinion on development: Dr. Stephan Klingebiel

/ 17th November 2014 /

Dr. Stephan Klingebiel is head of the department for Bi- and Multilateral Development Cooperation at the German Development Institute (DIE). His work areas include aid effectiveness and the political economy of aid, international cooperation and global public goods as well as the nexus of security and development. He is also a regular visiting professor at

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Q&A with Balder Hageraats, General Coordinator of The Polis

/ 17th November 2014 /

Could you please describe your role in The Polis? What do you do exactly? I am the “General Coordinator” of The Polis Project, which means that it is my role to ensure that the rest of the team has the necessary conditions and right focus to be able to do their job. This means that

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Funding development cooperation: Time for donors and local people to unite

/ 17th November 2014 /

Earlier this month a report was published by GRAIN on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s expenditure and impact. The research shows how little of its roughly €3bn funding has gone to local initiatives, with roughly 80% of grants spent on European and North American organisations. The Gates Foundation refuted some of the conclusions from

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Development and the Knowledge Problem: Towards an open source development sector?

/ 13th October 2014 /

Knowledge about development is temporary, diffuse, and not locally owned. Apart from a few large International organisations, the almost infinite amount of data gathered by (International) non-governmental organisations (NGO) is completely inaccessible. This configuration, in which the interests of individuals and organisations are not aligned with the sector´s general purpose, is detrimental for effective development.

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