A.H.J. (Bert) Helmsing is Emeritus Professor of Local and Regional Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He obtained his PhD degree (cum laude) in Economics from Tilburg University on Processes of Regional, Urban and Rural Change in Colombia. He has worked for nearly forty years in development studies education, capacity building and policy advice on local and regional development in Latin America (especially Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru) and Sub Saharan Africa (Especially Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa). He has published more than 30 articles in peer reviewed journals, contributed 39 chapters to edited books and published/edited ten books. He specialized in the areas of regional economic analysis, fiscal and other aspects of decentralization to local governments, meso level economic analysis of firms, chains and clusters and the roles of NGOs and (social) entrepreneurship in local economic development. His current research focuses on the study of local institutional change.