News Archive - Latin America and Africa in the News
RAND researchers often write commentaries for publications on a variety of topics. This page lists commentaries and op-eds about or related to Latin America and Africa. For a complete list of commentaries and op-eds by RAND staff, visit the RAND Newsroom.
Kathleen Beegle, lead economist in the World Bank Gender Group, looks beyond macroeconomic stability and growth to ask what more could be done and where should policy makers focus to speed up poverty reduction.
A rapidly growing population and expanding city will likely increase demand for water in Lima, Peru. This study evaluates the city's current drought management plan against future droughts and proposes augmentations.
Who is making money off the flow of migrants from Central America to the United States, and what can policymakers do to disrupt these transactions? A new Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center report finds that transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) are not the only, or even the main, culprits bringing migrants to our border.
Smuggling unlawful migrants from Central America to the United States generated between $200 million and $2.3 billion for human smugglers in 2017. The wide range reflects uncertainty about the number of migrants, their use of smugglers, and the fees they pay. Transnational criminal organizations are only one type of actor involved.
In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), out-of-pocket health spending constitutes a significant proportion of household expenditures, thereby exposing households to a high risk of impoverishment and potential worsening of already poor health outcomes. With Pardee Initiative support, Adeyemi Okunogbe (cohort '13) explored health financing in SSA using quantitative and comparative case study methods.
For American policymakers, economic sanctions are too often the soft choice between doing nothing and taking effective but risky or expensive action. Yet, before they inflict years, perhaps decades of impoverishment and worse on entire populations, they should ask if their efforts are likely to succeed and are worth punishing an entire people to do so.
A remote and obscure tropical atoll in the Indian Ocean would seem an unlikely stage for the latest act of the United Kingdom's unfolding Brexit drama and the newest challenge to U.S. global power projection. But a nonbinding verdict in The Hague calls into question the legitimacy of the UK's administration and the major U.S. military presence on the islands' largest atoll, Diego Garcia.
The Libyan Civil War has largely been contained to pockets of violence. Prolonged battles decimated cities such as Benghazi, Derna, and Sirte, but the majority of the country has been spared large-scale destruction. However, that could change soon.
By leveraging the efficiencies of globalization and cultivating ties with prosperous partners, Russia could increase its economic potential and improve living standards for its people. And by engaging more positively with the world, it could gain influence in the forums that matter, such as the G20 and multilateral institutions.
Whatever the benefits of replacing the current Venezuelan regime with Washington's preferred alternative, Juan Guaidó, there's reason to doubt that it would change the country's problematic relationship with Hezbollah. Hezbollah is well-entrenched in Venezuela, where it has established a vast infrastructure for its criminal activities.
In December, two supersonic nuclear-capable Russian bombers visited Venezuela, the third such excursion for the warplanes since 2008. Might Moscow intend to pose a threat, perhaps even nuclear, to the Western Hemisphere? If so, how could Washington respond?
The Trump administration's Africa strategy combines a turn away from counterterrorism as a priority, emphasis on trade, and working to help Africans solve their own problems, all of which could be opportunities for a more positive relationship. The implied prioritization of great power competition, however, suggests the real risk of a return to Cold War-era approach.
The spread of social media in Africa has brought many economic and political benefits, while also equipping terrorist groups with a tool for recruitment and propaganda. Researchers examined the links between social media use and online radicalisation in six African countries, drawing on primary Twitter data analysis.
Recent RAND analysis of U.S. security sector assistance (SSA) to Africa shows a mixed record. For most of the past quarter-century, SSA has been highly inefficient, achieving no aggregate reduction in insurgencies or terrorism in the countries that received the assistance.