Welcome to the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

About the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

RAND created the Gulf States Policy Institute in 2005 to support hurricane recovery and long-term economic development in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Today, RAND Gulf States provides objective analysis to federal, state, and local leaders in support of evidence-based policymaking and the well-being of individuals throughout the Gulf States region. With an office in New Orleans, Louisiana, RAND Gulf States is dedicated to answering the region's toughest questions related to a wide range of issues that include coastal protection and restoration, health care, and workforce development.

Examining Our Impact

Gulf States map

Established in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute tackles tough questions in the topic areas relevant to the region's long-term economic development and the well-being of its residents. For example: How to protect the coasts from future storms? How to provide housing and health care for a population in need? How to educate tomorrow's workforce? And how to ensure energy and transportation for a growing economy?

The Latest from RAND Gulf States

  • October 2019 RAND Gulf States Newsletter

    The latest issue of this quarterly newsletter spotlights a program designed to help New Orleans develop the skilled workforce it needs and get people into the meaningful jobs they want. The newsletter features a Q&A with RAND's Matthew Baird and Gabriella Gonzalez, who recently assessed the program and its outcomes.

Browse Past Newsletters

Recent News and Reports

  • Louisiana has received attention for new education policies and promising early results. This video describes Louisiana's approach to improving student outcomes since 2012 and summarizes potential policy implementation challenges.

    Raising the Bar: Louisiana's Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes

    Dec 4, 2019

    Louisiana has received recent attention for some of its new education policies and promising early results. This video provides an in-depth description of Louisiana's approach to improving student outcomes since 2012.

  • Traffic on flooded street, photo by Allkindza/Getty Images

    Creating a Water Risk Index to Improve Community Resilience

    Oct 23, 2019

    What are the physical, social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to flood vulnerability? An analysis demonstrates two methods to combine water hazard data with a derived water vulnerability index to characterize water risk.

  • Flood Damage Reduction Benefits and Costs in Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan

    Oct 23, 2019

    Louisiana's coastwide master plans include substantial investments in coastal restoration and hurricane flood risk reduction over 50 years. Modeling of different future scenarios showed implementing the plans could yield net economic benefit for coastal Louisiana in many plausible future scenarios.

  • Portrait of young engineer woman working in factory building, photo by serts/Getty Images

    What Works for Job Training Programs for Disadvantaged Workers

    Oct 17, 2019

    Can workforce development programs resolve the mismatch between the talent available and the skills in demand? An evaluation of the New Orleans Career Pathways program offers insights that should be helpful to anyone striving to create or improve such programs.

  • Person pointing at a public transit map, photo by Rawpixel/Getty Images

    Incorporating Resilience into Transportation Planning

    Oct 16, 2019

    A resilient transportation system is one in which critical assets are not exposed to hazards or, if they are, there is sufficient capacity to mitigate the negative effects. How can transportation planners better incorporate resilience into their decisionmaking?

  • A teacher and a student presenting to class, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Elevating Teacher Voices, Along with Their Salaries to Professionalize Teaching in Louisiana

    Sep 18, 2019

    Salary raises have a direct impact on teachers' day-to-day lives. But efforts like those in Louisiana to elevate teachers' voices, and not just their salaries, are more likely to make a real difference for the teaching profession by creating a clear career ladder. The state's efforts could also be cultivating a teaching force that is providing students with the curricula and instruction they need to achieve at higher levels.

  • A man walks among debris at the Mudd neighborhood, devastated after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 6, 2019, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Hurricane Recovery in the Bahamas: Turning Good Intentions into Good Decisions

    Sep 6, 2019

    Recovery in the Bahamas will have to be a balancing act. Plans will need to allow for transition toward long-term strategic goals for the nation, but also be mindful of not perpetuating inequities.

  • Prisoners gather around a computer following a graduation ceremony from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California April 20, 2015

    Higher Education Programs in Prison Reduce Recidivism

    Aug 28, 2019

    Evidence shows that correctional education programs are effective—and cost-effective—at improving employment outcomes for participants and at helping to keep them from returning to prison. But given limited budgets, how can the long-term funding of these programs be sustained?

  • Boil water alert sign in Florida Keys after hurricane, photo by Jodi Jacobson/AdobeStock

    Reaching Vulnerable Populations in the Disaster-Prone U.S. Gulf Coast

    Aug 21, 2019

    U.S. Gulf Coast responders are faced with a unique challenge when it comes to delivering risk and crisis communication to residents. Engaging in pre-crisis planning with vulnerable populations, and assessing response strategies, can help the region prepare for future disasters.

  • Flooded roads and landscapes in Houston, Texas following heavy rains, photo by Casey E Martin/Adobe Stock

    Ensemble-Based Flood Vulnerability Assessment for Probable Maximum Flood in a Changing Environment

    Jun 28, 2019

    The magnitude and frequency of hydro-meteorological extremes are expected to increase in a changing environment in ways that threaten the security of U.S. energy-water assets. A proposed framework better illustrates uncertainties to inform decisionmaking for future emergency preparation.

  • A teacher overseeing a class geography project, photo by Rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock

    What Other States Can Learn from Louisiana's School Reform

    Jun 10, 2019

    Louisiana's education policy changes aim to improve outcomes for public school students statewide. How well are these reforms working? Analyses of the state's early efforts to reshape its education system point to several early successes, remaining challenges, and key lessons.

  • Workers greeting each other at a drilling site

    Educators and Employers Could Align Efforts to Fill STEM Jobs

    Feb 7, 2019

    Middle-skills STEM workers are in high demand in the oil and natural gas industry, but they need the proper training and credentials. Better collaboration between employers and colleges could bridge the gap between the skills and knowledge employers seek and what instructors emphasize.

  • Blue crab in the Gulf of Mexico, photo by MeliaMuse/Getty Images

    The Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Spill on Commercial Blue Crab Landings

    Jan 29, 2019

    An examination of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill suggests the spill resulted in substantial, short-term losses to the blue crab fishery. The fishery also exhibited a high degree of resilience and recovered quickly, but the spill may have changed the composition of the industry.

  • Storm drain putflow, stormwater, water drainage, waste water or effluent

    Estimating Future Water Demand for San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District

    Dec 28, 2018

    Water resources management is becoming increasingly challenging in Southern California. The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District’s first step in a comprehensive evaluation to assess its demand projections. This evaluation may be of interest to water agencies in other locations addressing the impacts of drought, population growth, and climate uncertainty.

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