Gulf States Policy Spotlights

The RAND Gulf States Policy Institute is dedicated to developing informed public policy in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. See the list below for some of the work we do in order to address the region's biggest challenges—and make an impact on communities and individuals.


  • A student in an elementary classroom drawing in her notebook

    Promising Practices of the Louisiana Department of Education

    Policy researcher Julia Kaufman discusses the goals of a RAND Education study exploring the support strategies for teachers as they adopt Louisiana state standards. In their analysis, the study team gained insight into how the Louisiana Department of Education supports what teachers think and do.

  • A woman holding a loved one's hand in support

    Suicide Trends and Prevention in New Orleans

    In 2014, New Orleans had a record-breaking 50 suicide, a dramatic increase from 27 in 2013. RAND experts are investigating this spike—a trend seen elsewhere in the United States—to better understand why some people choose suicide and how to improve prevention.

  • Map of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana

    Coastal Land Loss in Louisiana: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Two RAND experts answer questions about their analysis of coastal land loss in Louisiana. Their recent work on the subject examines the economic assets that are most at risk of coastal land loss in the next 25 to 50 years.

  • resilience hands

    Increasing Community Resilience in the Gulf States Region

    Community resilience requires participation from the whole community to improve response and recovery, and to plan for disaster recovery over the long term. This is a lesson that the U.S. Gulf States have learned in the last decade, and their experiences are helping teach other communities across the nation how to become more resilient.

  • Adult education classroom

    Encouraging Workforce Development in the Gulf States

    As Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama seek to expand their economies, employers will require highly literate workers with advanced technical skills. RAND has conducted extensive research on K-12, college, and vocational education in the United States and overseas, as well as the role of education in workforce development.

  • African-American science teacher and female chemistry student

    Are Charter Schools a Good Option in the Gulf States?

    In an effort to improve public education, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama have each examined the potential of charter schools. For nearly two decades, RAND has conducted objective, evidence-based research on choice-based education reforms to help education policymakers make the right decisions for their communities.

  • Managing the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Gulf States

    HIV/AIDS can rightly be called an epidemic in the Gulf States. RAND has examined attitudes and beliefs about HIV and AIDS, the roles of faith-based and community organizations, and issues regarding AIDS treatment; this research can help Congressional, state, and local policymakers understand how to approach the challenges posed by HIV/AIDS in the region.

  • Ninth Ward of New Orleans over a year after Katrina, showing the devastation.

    RAND Provides Insight into National Flood Insurance Reform Proposals

    FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program writes the vast majority of flood insurance on residential properties in the United States; current legislation includes a number of reforms that could strengthen the program. RAND has completed studies in four key areas that offer insight into the issues under consideration.

  • gun crime evidence bag

    RAND Research Backs Up NOPD's 2012 Crime Fighting Plan

    The New Orleans Police Department launched a new crime-fighting plan in late January, with the title "SOS: Save Our Sons." The plan was developed using policing research similar to the findings of RAND's Center on Quality Policing.

  • Alabama state capitol Montgomery

    Examining the Potential Impact of Alabama's Immigration Law

    Alabama's anti-illegal immigration law is regarded as the strictest in the United States and raises several enforcement challenges for police, schools, and other public service providers such as hospitals. RAND research on the costs and benefits of immigration may prove instructive.

  • RAND Supports Development of Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan

    RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan to guide the state's coastal investments and help its coastal citizens plan for the future. The plan strikes a balance between providing immediate relief to hard hit areas and laying groundwork for large-scale efforts.