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.

  • Children in Benin watching TV, photo by by Arne Hoel, World Bank Photo Collection/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Agriculture Fishing and Forestry, Development, agriculture, food, processing

    IDSS Talk Explores Ways to Accelerate Poverty Reduction in Africa

    Jun 3, 2019

    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.

  • An aerial view of Lima, Peru. Photo by antorti / Getty Images

    Preparing for Future Droughts in Lima, Peru

    May 17, 2019

    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.

  • Central America on a globe, photo by Bobtokyoharris/Getty Images

    Central American Migrants Pay Smugglers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars On Their Way North

    May 16, 2019

    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.

  • Central America on a globe, photo by Bobtokyoharris/Getty Images

    Human Smuggling Operations from Central America to the United States

    Apr 22, 2019

    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.

  • A mother and son in Nigeria

    Three Essays on Health Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Apr 15, 2019

    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.

  • Children walk as they hold stacks of bread at al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria, April 2, 2019, photo by Ali Hashisho/Reuters

    When Are Economic Sanctions Worthwhile?

    Apr 15, 2019

    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.

  • British Royal Marine commandos participate in a hostile scenario during exercise at Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory, April 12, 2012, photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class April D. Adams/U.S. Navy

    A Ruling from the Hague Threatens a U.S. and British Military Base in Asia

    Apr 1, 2019

    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.

  • Khalifa Haftar salutes as he participates in the General Security conference, in Benghazi, Libya, October 14, 2017, photo by Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters

    Is an Escalation Imminent in Western Libya?

    Mar 27, 2019

    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.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a business forum, Delovaya Rossiya, in Moscow, February 6, 2019, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Russia Chooses Paupers as Partners, with Questionable Benefit

    Feb 14, 2019

    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.

  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro meets with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran, October 22, 2016, photo by Miraflores Palace/Handout/Reuters

    Hezbollah Is in Venezuela to Stay

    Feb 11, 2019

    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.

  • Russia's Tu-160 bomber at the military air base Libertador in Palo Negro, Venezuela, September 11, 2008

    In Venezuela, a Potential U.S.-Russian Crisis?

    Jan 8, 2019

    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?

  • A train launched to operate on the Standard Gauge Railway line constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and financed by Chinese government arrives at the Nairobi Terminus on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, May 31, 2017

    The Good and Bad of the Trump Administration's New Africa Strategy

    Dec 20, 2018

    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.

  • Hand silhouette working on a laptop keyboard

    Social media in Africa presents double-edged sword

    Nov 5, 2018

    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.

  • Cameroonian President Paul Biya casts his ballot while his wife Chantal Biya watches at a polling station during the presidential election in Yaounde, Cameroon October 7, 2018

    Cameroon's Days as Reliable U.S. Partner May Be Numbered

    Oct 26, 2018

    The Cameroonian government is becoming more authoritarian under President Paul Biya. His re-election could be bad news for Cameroon and the region, but also for the United States.

  • Soldiers of the Burkina Faso Army stand at attention at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso, on February 27, 2017, at the opening of Flintlock 2017. The annual exercise, sponsored by the U.S. Africa Command, aims to strengthen security institutions, promote multilateral information sharing, and develop interoperability among partner nations in the Trans-Sahara region.

    Reforming Security Assistance for Africa

    Oct 25, 2018

    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.