idea of exposure to or immersion in the reality of the life of the poor was developed by the Catholic Church in Asia in the 1960s, to implement the option for the poor phrased by the 2nd Vatican Council.

In the early 1980s, the necessity of aligning development aid better with the poor was understood. In this connection, the idea of "exposure" was taken upon the scope of bilateral development cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr. hc. Karl Osner developed the Instrument Exposure- und Dialogprogramme in 1985 together with partner organisations such as SEWA – Self Employed Women’s Organisation and Grameen Bank.

Initially, these were performed by the Deutsche Kommission Justitia et Pax and later by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Nord-Süd-Dialogs, which was founded in 1992. Dr. hc. Karl Osner worked as founding manager until the end of 2001. The association was renamed Exposure- und Dialogprogramme e.V. in 2003. The new name is to indicate that the dialogue is not limited to countries in the South, but to be expanded to include Eastern Europe.

Since 1985, development policy experts, members of the German parliament, bishops, managing directors, entrepreneurs, bankers, association leaders and many others have been visiting families in the global South in the scope of exposure and dialogue programmes. 700 participants in more than 70 exposure programmes, with more than 1000 participants in the corresponding dialogue events in approx. 40 countries form an effective potential for sustainable and juts design of development.