Welcome to RAND Australia

For 75 years, RAND has worked in the public interest to provide policy research and analysis to clients around the world. The RAND Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd is RAND’s subsidiary that does work for Australian clients on defence-related topics as well as economic and social issues. With an office in Canberra since 2014, RAND Australia provides local research talent augmented with world-class experts from across RAND’s global presence to solve complex public policy problems with a commitment to RAND’s core values: quality and objectivity. We differ from a traditional management consulting firm in that we rely upon data-driven solutions and strong analytic methods.

RAND Australia's research draws on staff based in Canberra as well as a rich pool of nearly 1,175 global research staff from the United States and Europe. With 75 years of worldwide research in defence, national security, health care, education, transport, employment, innovation, energy, and the environment behind it, RAND Australia is ideally positioned to help improve policy and decisionmaking in Australia.

Research Focus Areas

Defence

RAND Australia conducts research on complex strategy, acquisition, force employment, and administrative challenges facing Australia’s national security leaders. Our strategic work focuses on the most pressing and difficult strategy, policy, and defence stewardship concerns of high-level policymakers—from warfighting doctrine and technology to personnel management and health care. Our acquisition and management analyses—on cost trends and estimating techniques, production and workforce management, risk controls, contracting, inventory management, facilities planning, process improvements, and related factors—help Australian leaders control costs and hedge against risk.

National Security

RAND Australia has significant global experience supporting national security agencies that are confronted with emerging technological, social, political, and demographic challenges. RAND has provided support across these types of organisations, both to address immediate threats and to better position organisations to respond to future threats. RAND has extensive experience working with national security agencies in Australia, including the Department of Home Affairs, Attorney-General’s Department, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Health and Social Well-being

RAND Australia has strong capabilities for improving the health, safety, security, prosperity, and resilience of people and communities in Australia. RAND’s research has been applied to improve outcomes in community health, criminal justice, and the environment. RAND also has a long history of health research to improve service delivery and overall system performance.

Education and Labour

RAND’s experience assessing the effectiveness of educational programs, strategic reforms, and labour policies spans 40 years. RAND Australia’s research on workforce needs for Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry led the Commonwealth to announce a $62 million commitment to found a new Naval Shipbuilding College to stimulate training in vocational and higher education specialties needed by the enterprise.

  • What Will Australia's Approach to Net Assessment Be?

    Australia's 2023 Defence Strategic Review is very clear: Australia must change the way it plans for and acquires defense capabilities. Doing so will require a net assessment to examine the various factors that may contribute to or detract from the country's military capabilities.

  • What Are China's Long-Term Antarctic Ambitions?

    The recent opening of China's Qinling base, its third permanent Antarctic station, has worried some Australian and American observers. What are China's long-term ambitions? And how should Australia and its allies and partners respond?

  • AUKUS as Big Science?

    AUKUS—the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—framed as a multinational quest for discovery rather than a security pact made sensible by deterrence logics, could be a political boon, both diplomatically and domestically.

  • Why China Should Worry About Asia's Reaction to AUKUS

    If most Indo-Pacific nations support AUKUS—or refuse to condemn it—then Beijing will have more geostrategic and military implications to worry about than AUKUS itself. As long as AUKUS continues to assuage nuclear-proliferation concerns, then the region will view it as a legitimate counter to Chinese military excesses.

  • Opioids in America, Silicon Valley Bank, Semiconductors: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on addressing America's illicit opioids problem, Silicon Valley Bank’s demise, Taiwan’s semiconductor dominance, and more.

From the Archives

Learning from Experience: RAND’s explorations of U.S., UK and Australian Submarine Programs

Australian submarine HMAS Collins

A decade ago, RAND undertook a series of studies investigating the development of Submarine programs—the aim of which was to draw out enduring lessons to inform future programs and their managers. Commissioned by senior Navy officials in each nation, that looked at the Virginia, Astute, and Collins submarine programs. Many of the lessons identified were common across all programs, and as relevant today as they were back then. Given Australia is planning to field a nuclear-powered submarine, it is timely to revisit and reflect on this body of work.

More recently, a RAND commentary noted the industry support, regulatory, training, and facilities implications if Australia opted for a nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

  • Commentary

    Nuclear Subs Idea Worth Floating

    Whether Australia should operate and maintain nuclear-propelled attack submarines has been debated for years. While controversial to some, the option of nuclear subs in Australia's future fleet may be a useful alternative given trends in the country's security environment.