A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


The Virtual Institute, with sponsorship from the Government of Finland, organized a workshop on panel data methods applied to international trade for 36 Ugandan lecturers and researchers working in academia and government agencies.

The workshop was held in Kampala, at Vi’s core member, the Makerere University Business School, August 15-19.

Conducted by Marco Fugazza, of UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods, Services and Commodities, the objective of the workshop was to introduce participants to panel data modelling, a way to estimate and test relations based on samples containing a time series of observations for a cross section of individuals, firms, markets, countries, country-pairs etc. The workshop was highly appreciated by the participants; results from the final evaluation showed that 100 percent of the respondents felt that the workshop had fully met or exceeded their expectations.

"The gravity model and the policy (trade/WTO) analysis was the winner for me," wrote one of the participants.

In addition to the subjects referred to previously, the course held sessions on the statistical package Stata® and on linear static and dynamic models for panel data.

"I learned the use of Stata® commands, and this will help me handle data analysis in several situations," said another participant. "What I (also) found interesting was sharing knowledge with friends/colleagues during the workshop."

One lecturer in the workshop planned to integrate the new knowledge into courses like research methods, strategic management and franchising. Another said it would help him guide students in model specifications and handling data of different kinds. Yet another planned to teach the gravity model to students of economics and international economics.

"I am working on a paper that requires a panel data analysis approach," said one of the participating researchers. "I will use the skills from the workshop to prepare my data and analyze it for my official work."

Another researcher said he planned to use gravity modelling to assess the impact of regional trade agreements on Uganda, while another participant said he would use panel data generated from national household surveys in Uganda to start monitoring changes in the different sectors in terms of growth in the overall economy.