Two workshops on the analysis of the impact of trade and trade policies on household welfare were delivered by the Virtual Institute to researchers in Lima (Peru) and Alajuela (Costa Rica) early November, in conjunction with regional launches of the Vi trade and poverty book, "Trade policies, household welfare and poverty alleviation: Cases studies from the Virtual Institute academic network."
The three-day workshops aimed at introducing researchers in participating countries to the methodologies used in the Vi trade and poverty project, and linking them with colleagues who had already been part of the project so as to foster the creation of national networks of researchers on trade and poverty issues.
The workshops, delivered by Vi economist, Cristian Ugarte, provided an introduction to the analysis of the impact of trade on poverty using household surveys. They included both theoretical lectures and hands-on practice, drawing on data from research papers published on the topic.
The workshop in Peru, held November 4-6, was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru, and attended by 19 participants, including researchers from academia and practitioners working in various units and services of the Peruvian government.
Feedback about the workshop was very positive: participants felt that it had exceeded their expectations and substantially increased their knowledge of trade and poverty analysis.
"It was interesting to learn about different case studies from different countries, and how they were developed," said one of the participants.
The workshop in Costa Rica was hosted by the INCAE Business School November 11-13. The feedback from the 10 participants attending the workshop attested to a considerable strengthening of their knowledge in this area. A number of them affirmed that the course allowed them to learn about this methodology and understand how poverty is affected by trade.
"The evaluation of the impact of some FTAs on household welfare with sound figures is really interesting," noted one of the participants.
Researchers attending the workshops expressed their intention to use their new knowledge in the analysis of trade liberalization, trade agreements, and trade-related and other policies, and their consequences for household welfare and poverty in their countries. Such a research agenda is in line with the objective of the Vi trade and poverty project to foster policy-oriented research in participating countries.
The Vi is grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru and the INCAE Business School for providing facilities and support for the organization of the workshops, which allowed us to reach out to a larger group of researchers in UNCTAD member countries and thus increase the impact of the project.