Workshop on the Teaching and Research of Trade and Poverty - Conceptual and Methodological Approaches, and Policy Implications

19 Nov 2007 - 02:00
23 Nov 2007 - 02:00
Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

The UNCTAD Virtual Institute (VI) builds capacity in developing and least developed countries by providing universities and research institutions with tools to enhance their knowledge and expertise in trade, investment and development issues. In cooperation with the Division on Africa and the Least Developed Countries and the Trade Analysis Branch in UNCTAD, the VI is organising a week-long training workshop on the teaching and research of the trade-poverty relationship.

             Objectives of the workshop:

  • To familiarise participants with the main concepts and arguments related to the trade-poverty debate
  • To introduce approaches for the analysis of topical research questions related to trade and poverty and to discuss methodological problems, which will also have a broader relevance for issues beyond the scope of this workshop
  • To discuss issues relating to the access, use and interpretation of data
  • To discuss how to identify policy implications, how to link academics with national policy makers; and how to communicate research to policy makers
  • To discuss how to integrate the workshop elements into future teaching and research, including identification of areas for further research on the topic
  • To provide an opportunity for academics to meet, discuss and network with each other on areas of interest to their research and teaching

Who is the workshop for? The workshop is aimed at academics from African countries, in particular the Least Developed Countries, involved in teaching and research on trade, and economic and social development. The workshop will be conducted in English and participants will need a good working knowledge (written and spoken) of this language.

 Brief description of the workshop's content -

The workshop takes a research-based approach to the topic of trade and poverty and the provision of policy advice, treating the thematic content of the workshop, methodological approaches and policy implications as part of one and the same process.

Concepts and evidence. The workshop will look at the concepts and evidence that seek to explain the links between trade, growth and poverty. Topics to be discussed include inter alia:

  • the impact of balance of payments constraints on investment and the development of productive capacities
  • trade specialisation versus diversification and, in particular, problems of commodity dependence
  • industrial changes resulting from national and international policies and economic conditions, and their impact on employment structure and wages
  • the effects of price changes on consumption and production.

The role of other selected issues may be determined by the participants' own teaching and research interests and will be examined in smaller working groups.

Research methodologies and data. The workshop will provide an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of common research methodologies and their appropriateness for the analysis of the impact of trade on poverty, including descriptive analysis, econometric and simulation models (partial and general equilibrium techniques). An emphasis will also be placed on data issues and problems (availability, access to databases, and the level of aggregation).

Identifying policy implications and feeding research into policy-making. The workshop will highlight some of the implications of research findings for national policy formulation (e.g. investment, supply-side constraints, monetary constraints) and current and future policy-making processes (PRSPs, DTIS, the IF, and EPAs), as well as consider policy actions at the regional and international levels (WTO, Aid for Trade, regional integration). Discussion will also focus on the role of the researcher in policy formulation and identify ways of addressing conflicts in the demand and supply of research. As part of this discussion, attention will be given to how to make links with policy makers and how to effectively communicate research findings.

During the workshop, emphasis will be placed on the current and future research interests and topics of the participants, and on how the workshop material can feed into the teaching activities of participants.

Funding for the workshop -

UNCTAD will cover the attendance fee, travel, lodging and boarding expenses for selected participants, with a priority being given to candidates from the Least Developed Countries. UNCTAD will also provide relevant publications and teaching materials free-of-charge to the participants.

All selected participants will be responsible for obtaining valid visas and medical insurance for the duration of their stay in Tanzania.

Practical information regarding application and selection -

To apply for the workshop, please provide the following documents:

  • Detailed curriculum vitae (including any publications).
  • The attached application form duly filled out. This form will serve in the selection process and as a basis for activities during the workshop, and should therefore be given careful thought and attention.
  • A letter of nomination from your institution indicating its support for your application.

A Selection Committee at UNCTAD will review each application and select participants for the workshop based on the documents they have submitted and the relevance of the workshop for their teaching and research work.

It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that the completed application form and all required documentation are sent, preferably by email, before the deadline. Applications received thereafter will not be considered.

The applications should be addressed to:

Ms. Vlasta Macku

Chief, UNCTAD Virtual Institute

  Fax: +41-22-917 00 50


  The deadline for applications is 5th October 2007. Participants will be advised of their selection by 12th October 2007.