Many countries of the South need to enhance their capacity for designing national policies and dialogue. While recognising wider global needs, the proposed institute will initially focus on the East African region and selected themes, such as global trade and environment issues. Countries of this region have entered into trade and economic agreements that have imposed constraints and opportunities to their national development policy regimes. The value-added of this institution will be to add capacities in the region to analyse and evaluate the implications of regional and international agreements on their national policy regimes. Understanding the implications of trade and economic agreements on national policy will not only make them relevant to the global developments, but it will also support the shaping of global agreements to suit national and regional priorities.