South Asia

Bordered by the Himalayas in the north and Afghanistan in the west, South Asia consists primarily of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. RAND research in the region is wide-ranging, focusing on security concerns and nuclear proliferation, economic development and labor market dynamics, child and family well-being, and health and education systems.

  • A supporter of the 'Yes' campaign stands outside a polling station during the referendum on Scottish independence in Pitlochry, Scotland, September 18, 2014

    Blog

    Will Scotland's Vote Spur Separatism in Asia?

    Scotland's vote could be a step toward disrupting the historical pattern of independence being won by force, not granted after a vote. This was the paradigm of the past, and it remains the paradigm of the present. But the vote in Scotland just might help set a new roadmap for the future.

    Sep 22, 2014

  • India's Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel march during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, January 4, 2013

    Blog

    Let's Talk About Kashmir

    When U.S. combat troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan in December 2014, and training units follow two years later, the dynamics that once turned northern India's Kashmir into both a target and an incubator of global terrorism may return. This would threaten U.S. security, as well as that of the region.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • Youth leaders for the NGO Jatan Sansthan's youth program

    Blog

    Women's Menstrual Hygiene in India: The Health and Environmental Implications

    According to India's 2011 census, 89 percent of the nation's rural population lives in households that lack toilets. This absence of proper sanitation presents public health challenges and affects Indian women disproportionately.

    Aug 22, 2014

  • Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shake hands before the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in Shanghai May 21, 2014

    Report

    China's Strategy Toward South and Central Asia

    China's response to the complex challenges on its western borders during the past two decades has been to adopt an "Empty Fortress" strategy, whereby China boldly projects an image of considerable strength in Central and South Asia to mask serious frailty. China is not a major threat to U.S. interests there and is unlikely to pose one in the near future.

    Aug 11, 2014

  • Two Indian men working in a textile shop

    Project

    Mapping the Diversity of Employment Interventions in South Asia

    RAND Europe has been commissioned by the World Bank to conduct a stocktaking exercise to map the diversity of employment interventions in South Asia. In addition, RAND will conduct a scoping review of international evidence on the impact of interventions.

    Jun 18, 2014

  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Powai in Mumbai

    Blog

    Four Approaches to Improve Higher Education in India Through Policies

    In India, university enrolment has grown from 10 to 23 million from 2000 to 2013, and so has interest in improving access and quality. A review of research on higher-education policies on affirmative action, financial aid, private education, and vocational education identifies gaps in research on improving access and quality.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Affordable housing in India

    Project

    Socio-Economic Effects of Affordable Housing on the Working Poor of India

    RAND examined the socio-economic effects of affordable housing on the working poor of India.

    May 30, 2014

  • The Dinesh Nagar housing complex on the outskirts of New Delhi

    Report

    The Effects of Moving to Permanent Dwellings on India's Working Poor

    In India, low-cost housing projects like the Ashray Affordable Housing Pilot may help the working poor and their families improve their living conditions, while still allowing developers to recover their costs.

    May 30, 2014

  • Narendra Modi waves during a youth event organized by India's Citizens for Accountable Governance.

    Blog

    A Milder Modi?

    India has never had an election like this one—and its political landscape will likely never be the same again. Narendra Modi, India's most polarizing political figure in a generation, will become prime minister with a virtually unchecked mandate.

    May 19, 2014

  • Hindu saints stand in line to cast their votes at a polling station in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad April 30, 2014

    Blog

    India Votes — and What It Might Mean for the United States

    If elected, Modi could turn out to be the politician that India's Congress accuses him of being, focusing on an internal agenda that discourages foreign engagement. The U.S. would no doubt prefer that he follow the economic course he charted in Gujarat.

    May 5, 2014

  • Mumbai city skyline

    Project

    South Asia Regional Trade and Investment Policy

    RAND identified and assessed the role of political economy and non-tariff factors that have impeded regional integration, and developed policy recommendations to promote regional integration in South Asia.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • A man on a donkey-pulled cart transports an auto-rickshaw for repair in Lahore, Pakistan

    Project

    Pakistan Urban Sector Assessment

    RAND is examining the trends and implications of rapid urbanization in Pakistan. The analysis leads to recommendations for policies to enhance productivity and economic growth in urban areas.

    Apr 18, 2014

  • A suicide car bomb hit two diplomatic vehicles entering the Indian Embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008

    Blog

    Book Review: A Reporter Analyzes the Driving Role of Pakistan in the Afghan War

    With its focus on Pakistan, Gall's “The Wrong Enemy” is a valuable contribution to a body of work on the American war in Afghanistan that has become stale and hackneyed. It provides a raw, unvarnished look at one of the darkest and least understood parts of the war.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Two Indian men working in a textile shop

    Content

    Causes and Consequences of the "Missing Middle" of Manufacturing Firms in India

    This project examined the "missing middle" in India—the fact that employment is concentrated in very small and very large firms, with few mid-sized firms. In particular, the project aimed to examine the employment size distribution of firms in India, explain its causes, and identify the consequences for firm productivity in the manufacturing sector.

    Apr 4, 2014

  • Indian students study inside the Delhi University campus in New Delhi September 20, 2013

    Blog

    Four Issues That RUSA's Plans for Research Universities Ought To Address

    The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, or National Higher Education Mission, is the key implementing initiative of the Indian government's 12th Five Year Plan for higher education. It promotes three policy priorities in higher education — equity, expansion, and excellence.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • News Release

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Pakistani soldiers place barbwire to secure a street during a curfew in Rawalpindi

    Report

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 25, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Partner Capacity in Counterinsurgency Campaigns

    Success stories in small-footprint U.S. interventions have occurred in countries with inclusive politics and reasonable state capacity. Unfortunately, most insurgencies seek to overthrow regimes that are weak in inclusion and capacity.

    Feb 11, 2014

  • black man taking pill

    Project

    How Can Antiretroviral Therapy Prevent HIV/AIDS?

    Many complex issues surround the use of antiretroviral therapy as HIV prevention. RAND Europe is partnering with several organisations on Mapping Pathways, a project that is exploring potential treatment regimes and conduct research, community engagement, and policy work in the U.S., India, and South Africa.

    Feb 10, 2014

  • pie chart illustration over a world map

    Blog

    Happy 80th Birthday, 'GDP' — Is It Not Time to Retire?

    While there are merits to using GDP, it is clear that it fails to measure several important potential externalities to economic growth, such as environmental damage, poor working conditions, or violations of privacy rights.

    Feb 6, 2014