The Virtual Institute (Vi), UNCTAD's capacity-building and networking programme for academia will hold an international seminar on trade and poverty 8 to 10 September 2014.
The seminar is the culmination of a three-year Vi capacity-building project on trade and poverty for researchers in developing and transition countries co-funded by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Government of Finland.
In its first year (2012), the project trained 77 researchers, including 29 women, from 45 developing and transition countries, on tools and methods for trade and poverty analysis through a Vi online course on trade and poverty.
In the second year (2013), top course graduates benefited from mentoring by international experts and the Vi team to develop policy-relevant trade and poverty country case studies, in cooperation with national policymakers. These studies aim to answer questions about the impact on different groups of the poor (male- and female-headed households or rural and urban households, for instance) of various trade-related policy measures. The measures analysed 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 findings are then incorporated into recommendations for policy measures that would minimize adverse effects while maximizing the positive impact of trade reforms on the poor.
In September of this year, the authors of the 11 completed studies covering 10 developing and transition countries, together with the national policymakers who provided them support in the drafting process, will present their findings to representatives of Permanent Missions, academics, experts from international organizations and civil society.
The event will include the launch of the publication titled "Trade policies, household welfare and poverty alleviation: Case studies from the Virtual Institute academic network," on 8 September, 14:30-16:30. The book, edited by one of the leading international experts on trade and poverty, Dartmouth College’s Nina Pavcnik, will feature a selection of papers emanating from the project.