Twenty-two lecturers, researchers and graduate students from six universities(*) acquired new skills in econometric analysis of commodity-related issues during the first Virtual Institute professional development workshop organized for core Chadian Vi member, the Université de N'Djaména, March 14-18.
Funded by the Government of Finland, the objective of the workshop was to provide participants with the empirical tools needed to conduct policy-relevant analysis in the area of commodities.
“The participants expressed their total satisfaction with the workshop, and said that the training surpassed their expectations,” reports Gadom Djal Gadom, lecturer-researcher at the Université de N’Djamena. “The workshop greatly strengthened their technical skills and capacity to teach at the universities. They also said they felt well-equipped to conduct future research.”
Janvier Nkurunziza, of UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, introduced participants to the design and drafting of a research project, the properties of econometric models, time series analysis, and panel data analysis. Each of the topics was presented from the theoretical point of view and complemented with hands-on empirical analysis exercises using the statistical software Stata.
“Mr. Nkurunziza mastered the issues addressed and pinpointed possible pitfalls for the participants,” said one of the participants. “The explanations, examples and interactive methods were of high caliber and all questions found satisfactory answers,” said Mbaiobedo Honore, of the Université de N'Djaména.
Referring to the plans for future use of workshop knowledge, 13 participants said that they would use it in their teaching, in particular courses on econometrics, statistics, and microeconomics, and share it with their peers. Seventeen planned to use the skills gained in their research work, in particular academic articles and PhD theses. Eight participants intended to use the knowledge in their work with policymakers, specifically, the ministry of finance and budget, and the ministry of economy and urban planning, and in consultancy work for NGOs.
“This workshop allowed me to increase my knowledge and skills and improved my capacity to construct econometric models,” said Abba Danna, of the Université Virtuelle du Tchad. “This knowledge will serve to improve my courses and lectures on time-series econometric analysis with Stata.”
“My current research project will be updated taking into account the remarks made, above all I will revise my econometric approach, which was not suited to analyze the problem,” said a participant from the Université de N'Djaména.
(*) Chadian universities, Université de N'Djaména, Université de Moundou, Université d’Abéché, Université de Sarh and Université Virtuelle du Tchad, as well as Nigeria’s University of Maiduguri.