ISET-International focuses on the translation of global natural and social scientific insights into local contexts in a manner that improves understanding and enables action. We also analyze the implications of local physical, cultural, economic, and other system dynamics for global and high level policy and strategy. ISET-International’s activities combine knowledge generation, learning, and the incubation of innovative strategies through pilot scale implementation.
Since 1997 ISET-International has completed 69 projects. In the last five years alone these project have been worth US$22 million. ISET-International has a regional office in Bangkok registered with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ISET-International also has country offices in Hanoi (Vietnam) and New Delhi (India), and sister organizations in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Islamabad (Pakistan). ISET-International currently manages two dozen projects in Asia with funding from DFID, IDRC, USAID, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The regional office in Bangkok and the Vietnam office in Hanoi have program administration, finance, and management teams that are supported by a Finance and Administration Unit in Boulder.
ISET-International has built up an international reputation as a thought leader combining rigorous scientific methodologies and institutional capacity building, generating direct impacts on policy and practice. The in-house technical expertise of ISET-International covers a wide range of disciplines—climate modeling, hydrology, economics, capacity building, sociology, natural resource management, and urban planning.
ISET-International’s expertise on vulnerability to resource shortages and climate change covers South and Southeast Asia. This includes long-term engagement in assessments of groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, most recently in partnership with the British Geological Survey, as well as building research capacity, for example to assess climate vulnerability in the Indus Basin of Pakistan with IDRC.
As one of the founding international partners in the Rockefeller Foundation Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN), ISET-International was responsible for developing the conceptual framework and practical approach for an iterative process of vulnerability assessment and resilience building. The Climate Resilience Framework (CRF; Tyler and Moench, 2012) is a practical means for moving beyond ‘predict and prevent’ approaches to vulnerability assessment. The CRF is founded on a process of participatory, shared learning as the basis for an iterative process of assessing vulnerability and supporting resilience. The CRF combines people-centered and systems-centered analysis, and has been applied in rural and urban contexts across Asia. This also builds on extensive experience assessing the shifts and inter-linkages between rural and urban livelihoods, an area of work in which ISET-International has been involved since 2006 (See Desakota Report).
The CRF is the basis of training tools and methods that guide through vulnerability assessment. These have been applied in different contexts, and geographical locations, from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and with international organizations such as the American Red Cross. The tools are freely available for public use on the ISET training website.
ISET-International has a strong international reputation for generating a variety of knowledge products—from peer reviewed articles, working papers, policy briefs, to documentary videos. Through regular tracking of our dissemination efforts, we are confident that these have had a high-impact, reaching diverse audiences across the globe. All knowledge products are freely available under the our resources section of this website.
ISET-International's Board of Directors is made up of a variety of distinguished professionals from the United States, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The Board members come from non-profit organizations, universities, and the private sector, all active in the areas of ISET-International's work in these regions.
ISET-International is set up as an enabling framework for equal collaboration among individuals and organizations in the North and South. The members of the network complement each other in skills and perspectives, which they bring together for conceiving and implementing programs.
The core feature of the collaboration is the members’ joint commitment to creative enquiry into the challenges that societies face, with the aim of unraveling their complexity to identify diverse solutions. The members of the collaboration have always functioned as part of an intellectual collegium whose relationship is founded on a shared passion for ideas and knowledge, and for the issues they engage with. Debating and challenging each other's ideas are integral to our approach and, ultimately, it is this sort of open discussion that has yielded and will continue to generate a consensual, cohesive foundation for the framing, activities, analysis and conclusions of our various complex, shared research programs.