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17 to 28 April 2023 | Open meeting

Course Description

This online course is designed to introduce participants to the basic techniques involved in machine learning and text mining, with applications focusing on international trade policy.

The course will emphasize developing an intuitive understanding of the tools involved, so that participants can identify future applications in their own work. It is a hands-on course, with participants expected to spend considerable time analyzing real-world data and replicating the modelling extensively described in the video lectures.

This training was originally conducted by Ben Shepherd live in spring of 2021. The materials of that live course are now adapted to suit offline self-paced mode of learning.

This facilitated e-course (17-28 April 2023) will include online interaction via slack, as well as a live Q&A session on 28 April 2023 with Ben Shepherd.


Prior familiarity with R is strongly desirable for the successful completion of the course. To get familiar with the basics of using R for trade policy analysis it is recommended to complete ESCAP Online Training on Using R for Trade Analysis.

Participants must have some background in econometrics and statistics, typically to graduate level. This will facilitate grasping the concepts discussed in this course and make entering the field of Machine Learning easier.

Please apply by 13 April 2023 to this course. 


Acknowledgements and additional notes

All instructional materials of the course were developed by Ben Shepherd for the live training conducted in 2021. Ben Shepherd, the Principal of Developing Trade Consultants, is a trade economist and international development consultant. He has worked on a wide range of trade and development issues with organizations such as the World Bank, the OECD, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. He specializes in providing policy-relevant research, as well as capacity-building seminars for researchers working in trade and development. He has published more than fifteen articles in peer-reviewed journals, and a similar number of book chapters.

The self-paced version of the course was compiled and quizzes were developed by Maria Semenova, Consultant of TIID, ESCAP. Code scripts were reviewed and updated appropriately by Maria Semenova and Malte Mowlavi.

for more information, please contact

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]
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