The Trade and Development Research Unit is located in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne. The aim of the Unit is to promote research in the broad fields of development economics and international economics. In addition, the Unit aims to facilitate national and international collaboration by hosting visitors, organizing annual workshops, and holding occasional conferences involving other researchers from within and outside Australia.
Areas of research currently pursued by the Trade and Development Research Unit's members include development economics, international trade, international economics, agricultural economics, economic geography, political economy, and health economics.
The Research Unit strongly contributes to the University's goal of "knowledge transfer" with members often being requested to provide advice and undertake research consultancies for international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, UNICEF, ILO, APEC and PECC, and both governments and private sector organizations in Australia and countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
One such example is the evaluation of "Total Sanitation and Sanitation Marketing" being conducted by Prof. Lisa Cameron and Dr. Manisha Shah. This is a World Bank evaluation funded by the Gates Foundation. It is part of a global project. Prof. Cameron and Dr Shah are leading the Indonesian Impact Evaluation. The evaluation aims to inform policymakers of the most effective way of improving sanitation and hence child health in developing countries. Ultimately it aims to assist developing countries reach their Millennium development Goals in relation to sanitation