Under a Social Impact Bond, private investors — rather than the government — provide up-front funding for programs that tackle such challenges as recidivism or homelessness. If these programs succeed, the government pays some of the savings back to the investors. Because they are investments as well as policy tools, SIBs have unusual challenges. But as Jennifer Rubin and Emma Disley note, RAND Europe research indicates they show promise.
Schuman Day recognises efforts made to lay the foundation of what we now know as the European Union (EU). Over the last 63 years we can see how global societal trends have shaped the EU and impacted European policymaking. Predicting future trends, while desirable for policymakers, is more difficult, if not impossible to do accurately. However, RAND Europe's research for the Bureau of European Policy Advisors will deepen understanding of future implications by looking at the causal mechanisms underpinning forecasts of global societal trends and challenges their assumptions.
The International School on Research Impact Assessment aims to build capacity in designing and delivering research evaluation and impact assessment. The School aims to recruit an international group of 30-50 research programme managers and evaluators from any field (although there will be a core focus on biomedical and health sciences). RAND Europe is partnering with health research organisations from Canada and Spain to offer the programme in Barcelona, 15-19 September 2013.
Research and innovation may offer a way out of Europe's current economic woes, but the way the EU administers and funds such activities needs improvement, according to Jonathan Grant and Rebecca Schindler. Grant's testimony to the UK House of Lords contributed to their report concluding that small and medium sized enterprises are severely hampered by the levels of bureaucracy surrounding research and innovation grants from the EU.
The progress of science and technology shows that good research does get funded—but it doesn't show that peer review is the best way to select it. In fact, there is very little evidence that peer review is an effective and efficient way to allocate grant money, writes Steven Wooding. Rather, funders should be experimenting with how they allocate some of their research funding.
Better understanding of how malaria reduction affects different households, regions, and economic sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa could allow policymakers to assess alternative intervention strategies and allocate resources more efficiently and effectively, writes Stijn Hoorens, one of several RAND Europe researchers examining the effects of malaria in developing countries.
RAND Europe research on youth exposure to alcohol adverts on television, and on the link between affordability, consumption and harms, is cited in support of a new UK independent strategy on alcohol, 'Health First', published today by a consortium of health advocacy bodies. Our research on these topics is part of a body of work that provides evidence to support policy strategies that address excessive alcohol consumption.
The European Cyber Security Strategy is remarkable because it tries to co-ordinate policy across three areas whose competences and mandates were formerly very separate: law enforcement, the 'Digital Agenda', and defence, security, and foreign policy. The strategy also brings under one framework the contributions of defence and foreign policy to cyber security, which is perhaps its most noteworthy characteristic, writes RAND Europe research leader Neil Robinson
Spotlight on 2012
highlights a cross section of the
year’s research, presenting selected
examples that support decisionmaking at different
stages of the life cycle or evolution of a policy issue.
From identifying emerging issues, to shaping and
refining policy addressing well-recognised problems,
to evaluating and comparing the impact of mature
policies, RAND Europe applies innovative methods
to the best available data, to deliver high-quality
"Alone and isolated, even the strongest European countries will not be able to face the challenges that the world economy is presenting," said Minister of State and former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Wim Kok, delivering a speech at RAND Europe's annual reception in the Residence Palace in Brussels on Monday 21 January. Kok reviewed 20 years of the EU in a changing economic landscape since he signed the Maastricht Treaty, paralleling the 20 years since RAND Europe's beginnings in Delft.
The 11 January opening ceremony of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), at Europol in The Hague, was attended by Neil Robinson, research leader at RAND Europe, whose work informed the decision on how and where to establish the centre. RAND Europe’s Feasibility Study for a European Cybercrime Centre
recommended that the centre, which will act as a focal point for expertise and coordination in the European fight against cybercrime, should be hosted in Europol to build on existing capabilities.
Efforts to come to grips with intellectual property rights aren't dying down after the European Parliament voted down the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) last summer. Indeed, the need for evidence of the scale and impact of counterfeiting has only become more pressing. A RAND Europe report points to a potential solution and has already been dubbed "tech's Holy Grail" by a Fortune.com contributor.
In partnership with the UK National Fraud Authority, RAND Europe organised a conference on 29 November marking one year of the Fighting Fraud Together Strategy. The Strategy aims to reduce fraud through awareness, prevention and enforcement. Conference speakers included Jeremy Browne MP (Minister of State, Home Office), Keith Bristow (Director General, National Crime Agency), Ian Dyson (Assistant Commissioner, City of London Police) and Stephen Harrison (CEO, National Fraud Authority).
Hans Pung has been appointed president of RAND Europe; he takes over from Jonathan Grant, who will remain at RAND Europe to pursue his wider research interests. RAND President and CEO Michael Rich commented, "Hans Pung will be an outstanding leader of RAND Europe because of his demonstrated success in research management and his commitment to using analysis to make a difference on the most important policy issues facing European people, institutions and nations."
People who do shift work — that is, any work schedule that does not follow a typical daytime "9 to 5" routine — should be vigilant about their risk factors for heart attack and stroke. At the same time, their employers — and the government — can do more to offer education and targeted screening programs to prevent or forestall disease, writes Christian van Stolk.
RAND Europe's work on the London 2012 Olympics began as soon as the host city was nominated seven years ago and focused on infrastructure, security and legacy among other themes. In light of the recent security debacle, Senior Analyst James Gilbert notes that the way forward is not for the government to say no to outsourcing of sensitive functions, but to think carefully about which efficiency savings are real and which are, instead, a result of introducing a far greater degree of risk.
RAND Europe senior research fellow Andrew Daly received the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's International Association for Travel Behaviour Research conference in Toronto. Daly is the author of the widely-used ALOGIT software and has directed large-scale modelling projects in The Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia and the UK and contributed to projects in several other countries.
RAND Europe has appointed three new members to its Council of Advisors—Paul Adamson, Susan Hitch, and David Howarth—to complement an existing body of distinguished associates. The Council of Advisors is the advisory group to RAND Europe's governance body, which takes the form of a community interest company. The Council of Advisors supports RAND Europe in its mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis.
Risks and responsibility for cyber-security are high on the agenda for policy-makers and chief executives on both sides of the Atlantic. To address concerns about the legality and economic viability of cyber-security information sharing, an independent third party—a cyber-security safety board—should be created to conduct impartial expert investigations, writes Research Leader Neil Robinson.
Political volatility and economic turbulence are combining to produce a perfect storm for the shipping industry. At this Thursday 21 June conference in London, speakers will be drawn from the shipping industry and related sectors, as well as the political, military, strategic and intelligence communities.
While some downplay the burden that growing health care costs place on the United States, RAND Health Director Art Kellermann responds in the Los Angeles Times
that the U.S. healthcare system fails too many, too often, and at too high of a price. He cited a RAND Europe study that "compared 16 high-income countries to see how well they prevented deaths from medical conditions we know how to treat. The U.S. finished dead last."
RAND established a formal presence in Europe with the opening of the European-American Center for Policy Analysis (EAC) in Delft, the Netherlands, on 26 March 1992. The EAC was dedicated to "research and education on important policy issues facing Europe and North America in the post-cold War era and to foster cooperation between European and American scholars and policy analysts." In the 20 years hence, RAND Europe has expanded its research agenda and grown to be one of Europe's premiere providers of objective policy research.
Hosting the 2012 Olympic Games this summer will place London and the UK at the centre of the world's attention — something that carries with it a wide range of potential security risks. Organizers must learn from the successes and problems of past games in the areas of transportation, infrastructure and security. RAND Europe offers policymakers a methodology that will help foster evidence-based decisions as they finalise security planning for the Games.
International Privacy Day celebrates the day in 1981 that the first international convention on privacy was signed. This year, the EU has published new rules governing the use of personal data protection, and the International Conference on Computer, Privacy and Data Protection is hosting discussions around how to modernise laws regarding personal data protection. Research by RAND Europe illustrates the complexities of maintaining privacy protections whilst supporting the legitimate use of personal data for economic and social purposes.
RAND Europe's annual review, Spotlight 2011
, focuses on selected present and past RAND Europe signature research. With 2012 being our 20th anniversary year, the report features some of our most recent work while reflecting on how RAND Europe has developed and remained relevant over the last two decades. It also highlights selected research and corporate activity in 2011.