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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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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The inefficiency of international actors’ involvement: time for a change

/ 9th October 2014 /

In the current development system, international actors – international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and foreign development agencies – frequently decide which challenges to address in developing countries. Local populations are then not the ones who design or implement the programs that are supposed to improve their livelihoods. This development approach often makes international actors’ contributions ineffective and

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MDGs, SDGs and the road to change: An outlook for sustainable development

/ 6th October 2014 /

Fourteen years into the 21st century global poverty and underdevelopment remain a crucial problem for millions of humans. At the turn of the millennium, the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations rallied to announce the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), setting the path to change the livelihoods of those living in poverty by 2015. The goals

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Colombia’s indigenous people: Facing the clash of local, national and global interests

/ 25th September 2014 /

The U’wa people of Colombia have been struggling, through peaceful protests, to keep their territory free of multinational companies. This has cost the Colombian state over $136 million in oil revenues.  When addressing the situation, Bogotá needs to find a way to consolidate the U’wa’s interests while considering options to compensate for Colombia’s economic losses.

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The Islamic State and the West: the dangers of having a “non – strategy”

/ 22nd September 2014 /

On Friday 19 September, France launched its first air strikes on the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. The latest advances of IS have led many Western governments to change policy with respect to the Middle-East. Some governments have delivered weapons to the Peshmergas, others announced their willingness to back Syrian rebels, while aerial strikes continue

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UN Sanctions on Guinea-Bissau: Waiting For a Coup to Happen

/ 3rd September 2014 /

In April 2012, eleven military leaders involved in the coup d´état in Guinea-Bissau were subjected to a UN travel ban. Although neatly in line with United Nations (UN) sanctions policy regarding sovereignty, in reality the sanctions were a painstakingly late reaction to the uprising of Guinea-Bissau as Africa´s first “narco-state”, which had been corroding politics

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