RESEP is a group of researchers in the Department of Economics at the University of Stellenbosch. It developed around a long-term research focus on issues of poverty, income distribution, social mobility, economic development and social policy. This was further stimulated when Servaas van der Berg in 2008 became the South African National Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy, financially supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF). This led to further consolidation of research work in this area.
Most RESEP researchers are full-time researchers or research students, though some are employed within the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University, or even at other universities. Funding for RESEP comes from a variety of sources. The funds obtained from the NRF through the Research Chair and from other funded research is supplemented through research consultancies for various institutions, including government and international organizations such as the World Bank, Unicef, NGOs, private sector corporations, think tanks, etc.