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SANDE organizes various short term training advanced courses in specific areas of Environmental Economics to introduce participants to recent advances in the subject. In the recent past, we have organized training in Climate Science, PES.
The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), an initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), organized a two-day advanced course on programme evaluation from 14 to 15 December 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The course targets researchers who are working on SANDEE-funded studies related to environment and development economics. The course will introduce theories and practical strategies for undertaking impact evaluation of natural resource and environmental programmes and policies. It will identify key issues in programme evaluation and addresses methodological possibilities for drawing causal inferences as they are used in resource and environmental economics.
This was a three-day course to introduce SANDEE research associates to some of the techniques used by professional writers in journalism, academia and society. Delegates also honed their writing skills for academic publishing and sharpened their communication skills to increase their impact in the wider world. The core faculty for the course were Dr. Owen Gaffney and Dr. Ninad Bondre.
Agenda Research Communication Research, Participant Research Communication Workshop
This training course was jointly organized by the Maldives National University (MNU) and the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) for participants from the Maldives and Sri Lanka. There were a total of 18 participants, 11 from Maldives and 7 from Sri Lanka.
The purpose of this course was to enhance knowledge and skills in valuation of environmental and natural resources. This course covered the underlying theory and methods on valuation of environmental and natural resources. Applications of these methods to specific environmental resources were discussed through assignments, in-class discussions and case studies. Class sessions combined lectures, discussion, class exercises, presentations, and interactive work. More
Agenda Valuation Methods Course, Participant Valuation Methods Course
The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) organized a three-day course designed for researchers who want to strengthen their skills in conducting cost-benefit analysis to analyze environmental issues.
The course covered the underlying theory and techniques of benefit cost analysis to evaluate the trade-offs between environmental protection and economic development. Economic tools, nonmarket valuation and discounting were applied to quantify the social costs and benefits of development projects and determine their total economic value. Applications of these methods to specific environmental resources were discussed through in-class discussions. Numerical problems using excel spreadsheets provide hands-on experience in conducting cost-benefit analysis.
This course covered the following topics:
1. Conceptual Foundations to Cost-Benefit Analysis. Project appraisal (social versus financial). Marginal Analyses. Ranking of alternatives and decision rules
2. Discounting future benefits and costs. Choice of discount rates. Social discount rate.
3. Practical issues – inflation, scale of the project, timing, aggregation, project closure, adjusting for distortions and taxes (shadow prices)
4. Dealing with Uncertainty: Expected Values, Simulations, and Sensitivity Analysis
5. Equity vs. Efficiency
6. Sustainability and Cost Benefit Analysis
7. Total Economic Value
8. Willingness to Pay vs. Willingness to Accept
9. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
Class sessions combine lectures, discussion, class exercises, presentations, and interactive work. A high level of participation is essential for successful completion of this course.
Dr. Madhu Khanna
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Course Announcement Flyer
SANDEE organized a three-day workshop with the aim of strengthening public policy skills amongst practicing environmental economists and analysts. Building on the disciplines of economics, political science and research methods, the course provided a set of practical tools for addressing policy issues. The goals of the training was to help researchers think critically about policy requirements, develop analytical skills using topical issues as examples, and incorporate policy analysis in a systematic and rigorous way into environmental economics research.
The workshop built on a series of 10 steps for undertaking policy analyses.
1. Define and frame a public policy problem (also known as problem definition or identification)
2. Use a variety of policy models to research the policy problem
3. Identify key stakeholders and stakeholder perspectives
4. Identify relevant criteria and measures to evaluate policy options (alternatives)
5. Establish possible policy options including the status quo
6. Collect additional evaluative data to assess policy options
7. Assess the outcome of each policy option according to each criterion
8. Assess the possible tradeoffs among options, and rank options
9. Recommend an action based on your policy analysis
10. Communicate your recommendation and reasoning to decision-makers
Dr. Nancy Olewiler
Director, School of Public Policy
Simon Frazer University
Prof. Olewiler teachers a similar course in Vancouver and has developed shorter version of the course for environmental researchers and analysts from different parts of Asia.
Agenda PA 2013, Participant List PA 2013 , Evaluation PA 2013
SANDEE is organizing a three day training on valuing ecosystem services(InVest) in Godavari, Nepal.
The Natural Capital (NC) Project has a vision of sensitizing stake-holders of the values of natural capital in supporting human well-being. It is advancing three strategies to achieve this vision: creating innovative, practical tools; testing and implementing these in major policy decisions, in sites and sectors globally; and engaging leaders to magnify the impact of models of success.
The NC project has developed a family of tools called InVEST to map and value the goods and services from nature which are essential for sustaining and fulfilling human life. InVEST enables decision-makers to assess the tradeoffs associated with alternative choices and to identify areas where investment in natural capital can enhance human development and conservation in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.” (http://www.naturalcapitalproject.org/InVEST.html).
Agenda InVest 2012, Participant InVest 2012
This workshop aims to build public policy skills amongst practicing environmental economists. Building on the disciplines of economics, political science and research methods, the course will provide a set of tools for addressing policy issues. The goals of the training are to help researchers think critically about policy analysis, develop analytical skills using topical issues as examples, and incorporate policy analysis in a systematic and rigorous way in environmental economics research. The course is meant primarily for SANDEE Research Associates and Fellows who are currently based in S. Asia
Workshop Description, Evaluation PA 2011, Participant List Policy Analyses, Agenda Policy Analyses
The Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009 was not as successful as desired in setting implementable targets for reducing climate change. It is important for researchers and professionals in South Asia to understand what the implications of the Copenhagen meetings are for climate policies in our countries. The target generally accepted for mitigation is to limit the global average temperature rise to 2 degree centigrade. There is some scientific evidence to indicate that a 2 degree rise in global average temperature may not lead to catastrophic climate change impacts, but will still have significant effects on vulnerable population. There is also growing concern that this target will be exceeded. Thus, what are some next steps and what should the more immediate research and training requirements be in South Asia in general and India in particular? In order to understand some of these broad issues SANDEE and TERI are jointly organizing a workshop on climate change in conjunction with TERI’s Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2010.
Agenda, Participant List, Evaluation
The objective of the course is to provide theoretical as well as hands-on knowledge on the use of limited dependent variables in econometric analyses, particularly in research pertaining to environmental valuation. The course will be taught by Prof. Jeff Vincent of Duke University and the agenda is attached. This is fairly an advanced course in econometrics and basic working knowledge of econometrics (at the level of D.N. Gujarati) is a requirement.
Agenda, Participant List
A course on ‘The Science, Economics and Institutions of Managing and Paying for Eco-system Services’ was co-organized by EEPSEA, SANDEE and World Agro forestry Centre and held at Chiang Mai, Thailand between April 21-29, 2009. The course was designed to expose participants to the idea of PES, the science behind it, economic valuation techniques and managing such schemes. Topics of discussion included carbon stocks, land use change, water shed functions, storm protection services etc. The emphasis was on integrating economics and natural science to value ecosystem services. However, the course was not merely based on lectures alone. Management issues, for example negotiation tactics for PES and adoption of such schemes, were taught through class games. Moreover, field trips were designed to learn the science of ecosystems. The lead resource persons were Meine van Noordwijk , Steve Polasky, Chetan Agrawal, David Thomas, Jim Peters, Orapan Srisawalak-Nabangchang, Dr. Prasit and Saudamini Das. It was a unique course in that it covered three different aspects of ecosystems. It was also an opportunity for SANDEE and EEPSEA researchers to learn from each other.
Agenda, Participant List, Evaluation PES
Evaluation of programs, either before they are designed or after they are implemented, are increasingly viewed as a critical for learning and improving accountability of public policies. Many argue for an expanded role for rigorous impact evaluation of development projects, programs, and policies and the development community increasingly recognizes the need for evidence on effectiveness. Unfortunately, resource and environmental economists have little or no training or guidance on how to conduct such evaluations using sound and rigorous empirical methods. While there are many texts explaining the how and why of impact evaluations, these ideas have not been mapped into the ‘environment and development’ context and terminology. Thus, this day long course served as an introduction and a refresher for evaluation of programs, projects and policies in the environment and development arena.
Participant List, Agenda, Course Evaluation
SANDEE organized a five days course on ‘Advanced Econometrics: Dummy Dependent Variables, Survey Design and Evaluation Methods’ in Kathmandu, Nepal from 3rd – 7th July, 2007. This course covered topics in Survey methods, Discrete Dependent variables and discuss problems arising from Endogeniety in Program Evaluation. The course had a mix of theoretical lectures and practical application using STATA 9 software on data sets collected largely by SANDEE researchers and used in their working papers. Participants learnt to apply econometric techniques to Environmental Economics problems where they might encounter dummy dependent variables, panel data or face issues of endogeneity. They got an overview of how to design surveys, choose samples, and prepare efficient questionnaires.
Agenda, Participant List, Course Evaluation
SANDEE organized a two-day workshop in January 2008 that brought together climate scientists and economists from the South Asia region. The objectives of the workshop were two-fold: a) to enable SANDEE researchers and advisors to understand key climate predictions for South Asia and their implications for different sectors, regions and activities; b) to examine opportunities for undertaking multi-disciplinary research on climate change and its impacts in the region. The two day workshop was structured such that the first day involved presentations from climate and other natural scientists and the second day had economists discussing various themes which would be of policy interest.
Agenda, Participant List, Course Evaluation, Research Outcomes
Climate change is regarded as one of the biggest environmental crises facing life on planet earth. There is a broad scientific consensus that human beings are primarily responsible for the current heating of the planet. Scientists involved in interdisciplinary research have revealed the causes and consequences of global warming. Economists on the other hand are debating the extent of damages climate changes would cause and the costs that would be incurred to undertake adaptation or mitigation. What is indeterminate is the predictability of climate change (how quickly, how much) and how this would irreversibly alter life on earth.
SANDEE’s Advanced course on “Global Warming: Climate Science and Economics” brought together leading climate scientists and economists to talk about the current state of knowledge on Climate Change. This course provided an overview about causes and consequences of Global Warming, climate models and their predictions of future climate cycles, as well evaluations of alternate scenarios with different levels of public and private intervention to slow down climate change.
SANDEE organized an advanced workshop on econometric methods for environmental economists in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 9th – 12th Dec, 2005. The workshop focused on discrete choice analyses and simultaneous equation models. At the end of this course, the participants were able to independently analyze and interpret data that requires modeling discrete choices and simultaneous systems. This course was designed for SANDEE research associates who have a basic understanding of econometrics (theory and applications). The primary faculty of the workshop was Prof. T. Krishna Kumar, Retired Professor, Economic Analysis Unit, India Statistical Institute – Bangalore.
SANDEE jointly with ISEC, organized a 3-day Course on Survey Methods for Environmental Economists at Manipal County, Bangalore from 1 -3 Nov. 2004. The purpose of this course was to help researcher’s better design household surveys, better construct random samples, and improve survey implementation, all in an effort to improve the quality of the data that is collected. Improved quality data, in turn, will help researchers to better answer the research questions for which the surveys are designed in the first place.
SANDEE organized an Advanced Course in Household Economics and Natural Resource Management in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 16th – 27th June, 2003. Farm households represent the dominant type of decision-making units in rural areas. Policies directed at rural development and natural resource management have to consider the behavior of these rural households. By placing households at the center of policy analyses, decision-makers can focus on incentive structures. The course addressed issues such as: how can we model household decisions when households are producers and consumers of agricultural and resource products? How do households operate in situations of high population density, missing markets and resource degradation? How can policy makers create incentives for households to undertake sustainable actions given the limited number of available policy tools? The course was a combination of lectures on theory and empirical papers with practical exercises. Course faculties were: Prof. Stein Holden, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Agricultural University of Norway and Mr. Jeetendra Aryal, Tribhuvan University and Agricultural University of Norway. Only SANDEE grantees and researchers participated in the course.
SANDEE organized a Workshop in Econometrics for Environmental Economists in Rajendrapur, Dhaka. The basic objective of this course was to familiarize environmental economists with econometric techniques used for studying environmental problems. The first day of the course was a refresher on basic concepts in econometrics. The rest of the course focused on specific estimation issues related to different valuation methods, demand and production functions estimation, simultaneous equation systems etc. An econometrics program called Eviews was introduced. The practice sessions involved hands-on training using datasets on environmental problems.
SANDEE and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics had offered a 12 days course on CGE modeling and the Environment. This course focused on how to develop and use CGE models to address environmental questions. Participants learned how to use GAMS software and were exposed to both static and dynamic models. The course was primarily taught by Professor Lars Bergman, Stockholm School of Economics.
Education and Training