RAND Art + Data, 'Gray Market Care,' Supply Chains and Cyberattacks: RAND Weekly Recap

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June 25, 2021

We discuss RAND's new artist residency program, Art + Data; sexual violence in the U.S. Army; the use of “gray market care” in America; how to manage the changing U.S.-China relationship; supply chains and cyberattacks; and small businesses, criminal histories, and the paycheck protection program.

Imaging Mental Health in America, design by Giorgia Lupi

Image by Giorgia Lupi

Introducing RAND Art + Data: An Artist Residency Program

Our new artist residency program, RAND Art + Data, kicks off today. Over the next year, we'll partner with four groundbreaking artists to produce visualizations inspired by RAND research. The artwork they create will aim to challenge conventional thinking about policy issues.

The program's inaugural artist is information designer Giorgia Lupi, who will create three RAND Art + Data pieces. Her first visualizes striking data points that appear in a recent RAND study on the opportunity to transform America's mental health system.

In creating this custom illustration, titled “Imaging Mental Health in America,” Lupi was inspired by connectome brain imaging, a technique used to map neural pathways that produces beautiful, polychromatic images. “We hope readers spend time with this visualization, exploring and reflecting on the various issues it raises for mental health and mental health care,” she says.

Junior enlisted troops after the III Corps and Fort Hood command team discussed Operation People First and listened to their concerns, December 10, 2020, photo by Blair Dupre/Fort Hood Public Affairs

Junior enlisted troops at Fort Hood, Texas, December 10, 2020

Photo by Blair Dupre/Fort Hood Public Affairs

Understanding the Risk of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Army

A new RAND study finds considerable variation in sexual assault risk and sexual harassment risk among groups of soldiers in the U.S. Army. For example, women at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, and several other bases face higher sexual assault risk than the average woman in the Army. The researchers also accounted for individual and group characteristics that are associated with higher risk to better understand the problem—and identify potential solutions to address it.

Senior woman in wheelchair with caregiver, photo by SilviaJansen/Getty Images

Photo by SilviaJansen/Getty Images

Use of 'Gray Market Care' Prevalent in U.S.

“Gray market caregivers” are paid workers who are not related to the care recipient, not employed by a regulated agency, and potentially unscreened and untrained. A new RAND study finds that nearly one-third of Americans who arranged for the paid care for an older person or someone with dementia hired gray market caregivers. As the demand for long-term care increases, it's important to understand more about the use and quality of this type of paid caregiving.

A journalist sits next to a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a speech via video for the opening ceremony of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), at a media centre in Beijing, China September 4, 2020, photo by Tingshu Wang/Reuters

A journalist sits next to a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a speech, Beijing, September 4, 2020

Photo by Tingshu Wang/Reuters

How to Manage the Changing U.S.-China Relationship

Despite long-standing disputes, the U.S.-China relationship was once viewed as stable and mutually profitable. But a rapid unraveling of this relationship in recent years has unsettled global politics. In a new RAND paper, Timothy Heath breaks down five years of RAND research—more than 60 reports—on U.S. strategic competition with China. Areas of focus include Beijing's strategic goals and priorities and what steps might further protect American interests.

Gasoline tankers pass by Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Austell, Georgia, May 10, 2021, photo by John Spink/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM

Gasoline tankers pass by Colonial Pipeline storage tanks in Austell, Georgia, May 10, 2021

Photo by John Spink/The Atlanta

Supply Chains Have a Cyber Problem

Recent cyberattacks such as the Colonial Pipeline hack have shown the vulnerability of supply chains. According to RAND's Jonathan Welburn, this presents “a wicked new form of risk—and the stakes are as much about national security as they are economics.” A recent executive order signed by President Biden may be a first step to addressing the problem. But don't expect an end to cyber-driven supply chain disruptions any time soon, Welburn says. Protecting supply chains will require digital-era solutions, including updating tools, regulations, and reporting requirements.

Paycheck Protection Program borrower application form, photo by golibtolibov/Getty Images

Photo by golibtolibov/Getty Images

Small Businesses, Criminal Histories, and the Paycheck Protection Program

Signed into law as part of the 2020 CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program provides funds to help small businesses cover payroll, rent, and utilities during the pandemic. However, small businesses owned by individuals with a criminal background were initially ineligible to receive these funds. (These restrictions have since been relaxed.) A new RAND report looks at how many businesses—and employees—were potentially affected by this restriction.

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