The three-year Vi capacity building project on policy-relevant trade and poverty analysis will present the findings of 11 country case studies prepared by researchers from 10 developing and transition countries during a seminar in Geneva September 8-10.
Trained in 2012 through the Vi online course on trade and poverty, and subsequently coached by international experts and the Vi team, the researchers from Argentina, Benin, China, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Viet Nam developed their research projects in consultation with national policymakers. This helped them not only identify topics of policy interest to their countries, but also better understand the sectors they analyzed (primarily agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn, rice, or cotton), get access to relevant data, and understand the policymaking process.
The studies aim to answer questions about the impact on different groups of the poor (male- and female-headed households or rural and urban households) of various trade-related policy measures. The measures analyzed include export restrictions, import tariffs, agricultural subsidies, price support, common external tariff, currency appreciation, and trade liberalization of a group of products (agricultural products, environmental products). The analysis then feeds into the formulation of recommendations for policy measures that would minimize adverse effects while maximizing the positive impact of trade reforms on the poor.
The seminar will gather an audience of academics, experts from international organizations, national policymakers and representatives of the permanent missions of UNCTAD member countries in Geneva. The seminar will also witness the launch of the publication "Trade policies, household welfare and poverty alleviation: Case studies from the Virtual Institute academic network." Edited by one of the leading international experts on trade and poverty, Nina Pavcnik from Dartmouth College, the book features a selection of papers emanating from the project.