The Virtual Institute organized a national workshop on the econometric analysis of commodity-related policy issues for 33 Burundian researchers, lecturers and students, as well as senior civil servants from a number of government ministries and institutions, June 5-10. The workshop, requested by Vi core member, the University of Burundi, was funded by the United Nations Development Programme.
Janvier Nkurunziza, of UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities, delivered the six-day training programme, which began with a discussion on how to design a scientific research document and what it takes to carry out such research in order to improve decision-making in economic policy.
"The facilitator introduced the methods and techniques used to write a winning paper," said Vi member coordinator, Willy-Marcel Ndayitwayeko. "This first lesson demystified the complexity surrounding the process of writing an article for a journal."
The workshop then examined the basic properties of an econometric model, and the methodologies underlying the analysis of time series and panel data, as well as models with limited dependent variables.
Nkurunziza emphasized hands-on sessions to strengthen the skills of participants in econometric modeling using the Stata software. The applications analyzed, for example, the integration of small commodity producers into international trade, and the effect of commodity dependence on human development in developing countries.
"I intend to use the knowledge gained during the workshop in my work by conducting research useful in making economic decisions," said Francine Mukezimana, of Université Ntare Rugamba.
"The presenter was excellent," added Florence Ngendakumana, of Université Espoir d'Afrique. "He has a good knowledge of the subject, is able to explain the subject with concrete examples, and is able to motivate the participants."