Welcome to RAND Australia

For 70 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 70 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.

  • Digital map of Australia, photo by da-kuk/Getty Images

    Strategic Advantage, Sovereignty and Australia's Geopolitical Identity

    In Australia, which has experienced few national existential crises, there appears to be little understanding of or consideration given to all the nuanced contours of winning. Australia may need to critically assess its strategic traditions to develop a broader conceptualization of how to secure the safety and well-being of the nation and position itself advantageously.

  • (l-r) Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden, Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi pose for photos at the entrance hall of the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022, photo by Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool via Reuters

    Russia's Invasion of Ukraine May Harden U.S. Indo-Pacific Allies

    The effects of Russia's war against Ukraine stretch worldwide as countries watch Ukraine's unfolding tragedy to glean possible lessons for their own security. Understanding how Australia and Japan are perceiving the conflict could be critical for allied strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • An artist rendering of the future Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, illustration by U.S. Navy

    Making AUKUS Work

    In September 2021, President Biden announced the creation of AUKUS, a trilateral, experimental arrangement among the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom focused on defense technology. The barriers to success are numerous but the partnership could offer significant opportunities.

  • The Argentine Antarctic Robotic Observatory, from where the polar night will be used to study exoplanets and other celestial bodies, February 16, 2022, photo by ULAN/Pool/Latin America News Agency via Reuters

    Not So Quiet on the Southern Front

    Australia faces stiff geopolitical competition in Antarctica, and it's not just China and Russia with eyes on the prize. If the Antarctic becomes a hub of geopolitical tension, Australia may need to revise its strategy.

  • People load a State Emergency Service boat with food for a community stranded after severe flooding, in western Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2021, photo by Loren Elliott/Reuters

    The Definition of Mobilisation

    In Australia, the prevailing view of mobilisation is that it is an activity associated with going to war. But it should also include preparing for, and where possible, preventing a range of potential hazards, as well as supporting subsequent recovery efforts.

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.

  • Destroyer HMAS Vampire moored alongside submarine HMAS Onslow, Sydney, Australia, May 22, 2017, photo by sfe-co2/Getty Images

    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.