Professional development course

Making Trade Policy Inclusive (online)

Course details

From 3 March 2022 until 24 March 2021

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Secure your place on this course by completing our online application form.


Gain the skills to understand and shape inclusive trade policy with evidence.

This course provides a comprehensive package to advance understanding of inclusion in international trade and trade policy – covering poverty, gender, human rights, sustainability and power asymmetries.

Delivered by the Institute of Development Studies, InterAnalysis and the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex, the course speaks to the call for making international trade and trade policy choices work for development.

You will gain skills to engage with and shape trade and trade policy with an inclusive development agenda at the core.

The idea that international trade generates winners and losers is well-established in the development economics and political economy literature – posing the more challenging question of what can be done about it. Several mechanisms, interventions and development programmes have been designed to come to grips with the reality of identifying the heterogeneous effects from trade and supporting those affected by changes in trade policy and trade flows – individuals, communities or areas that lose out. However, it has remained complex to capture the full extent of direct and indirect effects of these changes, with deep intricacies and asymmetric bargaining power between actors. This challenge has been exacerbated with increased trade restrictions; trade wars between larger economies; and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic that has created unprecedented disruptive effects.

The vision of a truly progressive trade policy does not imply restricting trade but stimulating trade with a core commitment to identifying pathways to trade and trade policy that result in inclusive development outcomes. This makes an understanding of inclusive trade and trade policy essential for governments, international development professionals, researchers, and students: who can understand and apply informed choices in trade and development.

Course aims

To equip participants with a comprehensive understanding of different aspects of inclusive trade, the skills and knowledge to shape an inclusive trade policy agenda, as well as the political economy realities of trade and trade negotiations.

Who should attend

Practitioners, policy professionals, researchers and students with an interest in trade, equality, equity, political economy, and sustainability.

How you will learn

You’ll learn through a combination of live online teaching, pre-recorded lectures, group work and independent study. This includes:

  • Live introductory sessions which outline your learning objectives and resources, and incorporate short, facilitated activities.
  • Self-directed learning supported by pre-recorded lectures and tasks.
  • Live group sessions with Q&A and exercises.
  • Guest lectures with renowned experts.
  • Feedback and follow-up with instructors.

A pre-course induction, to introduce the digital learning platform and help you with any technical queries, will take place on 1 March 2021. The course will run over four weeks starting Thursday 3 March and finishing on Thursday 24 March – it will require four to six hours of your time per week.

The course has been designed to allow you to work as flexibly as possible but approximately two hours per week will be made up of scheduled sessions at fixed times. Live sessions will take place on Thursdays between 12.00pm and 14.00pm UK GMT. You will be assigned a course facilitator and to a small study group and be able to keep the conversation going via a dedicated online channel throughout the course. Pre-recorded lectures, presentations and reading materials will be made available in advance.

The timing of live sessions will be confirmed and agreed with participants once registration has closed. Whilst we will try to accommodate participants needs and adjust to take account of different time zones, it may not be possible to accommodate everyone so some flexibility will be required for the live sessions.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course you will:

  • Have a critical understanding of inclusive trade: key aspects of inclusion, actors, organisations and issues in trade and development.
  • Be able to apply conceptual and analytical tools to analyse trade policy, political economy and development issues.
  • Be better equipped to analyse sources of data and evidence.
  • Understand the links between trade, poverty, and gender; and, trade, human rights, and sustainability.
  • Have gained experience of analysing specific cases on trade in agriculture, services and digital trade.

Course staff

  • Convenor: Amrita Saha (Institute of Development Studies)
  • Core lecturers: Amrita Saha (IDS), Michael Gasiorek (UKTPO, InterAnalysis), Peter Holmes (UKTPO, InterAnalysis), Marzia Fontana (IDS), Mattia Di Ubaldo (UKTPO)
  • Guest lecturers: Alan Winters (UK Trade Policy Observatory), Mia Mikic (UNESCAP), Javier-Lopez (OECD), Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan (NITI Ayog India).

What past participants said

“Without doubt, the knowledge and experience gained during the course will be shared with my colleagues in my home country. The course will assist my country a lot in analysing trade policies.”

“I am not an economist so the possibility of being able to calculate and analyse economic indicators with the assistance of TradeSift is amazing and most valuable. I found the hands-on sessions most fun.”

Entry requirements

It is essential that you have an interest/background in international trade or direct experience in trade/trade policy and development.

The course is taught in English. To derive the maximum benefit from the course, you should be proficient in English and able to take an active part in discussions. Your English needs to be of an intermediate standard or higher. Ideally you will have an International English Language Test System (IELTS)score of 6.5 or above, or a Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR) score of B2 or above.

You will need an internet connection sufficient to stream live video (Zoom, Facetime or similar) in order to engage fully with the course.

Course fees


Once you have received confirmation that your application has been approved, the fee must be paid in full to secure your place on the course.


IDS Inclusive Trade Scholarship
Two scholarships are available to individuals who are committed to sharing their learning on inclusive trade with other individuals and organisations working to support trade and development. Priority will go to:

  • applicants from a lower or middle-income country (see our country list)
  • early career applicants
  • government officials
  • those who can evidence their commitment to sharing their learning on inclusive trade with other individuals and organisations.

Selection will be based on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate their potential to achieve quality outreach and help build a sustainable network of researchers to promote understanding and using inclusive practices in trade. Within 12 months of completing the course the successful applicants will be required to provide a short report to IDS on how they applied their learning and supported others to learn.

Please note that the IDS scholarship covers tuition fees only. Unfortunately IDS is unable to cover technology hardware or software costs. The scholarship application deadline is 1 February 2022.

IDS alumni bursary
We are pleased offer one bursary for IDS alumni. This single award, funded by IDS, is in the form of a 20 per cent course fee discount. It is subject to terms and conditions, and will be offered to one applicant on a first-come first-served basis. Please indicate on your application form that you wish to be considered for this bursary. 

How to apply

Before applying please read our short course booking Terms_and_Conditions  (pdf) and IDS Code of Conduct (pdf).

The application procedure is a three-stage process:

Stage 1: Apply by completing the online application form. Deadline for applications is 17.00GMT, 10 February 2022.

Stage 2: You will be notified within two weeks as to whether your application has been approved or not. Successful applicants will receive confirmation and payment details.  Places on the course are not guaranteed until fees have been received.

Stage 3: Once fees have been received, you will be sent confirmation of your place on the course.


This course is run regularly. To register your interest in future sessions, please contact us at: [email protected]

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