RAND Europe Spotlight: 2021-2022

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Cover of RAND Europe's 2021-2022 Annual Report, design by Jess Plumridge/RAND Corporation

Spotlight 2021-2022

The complexities of COVID-19 have increased the importance of evidence-based policymaking. From domestic policies related to child policy, mental health and criminal justice, to international challenges like climate change, illicit markets, counterterrorism and truth decay, our annual review highlights selected RAND Europe projects that address the important issues of our time.

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References for Spotlight 2021-2022

Action stations

  • Reservists from 7 Battalion, The Rifles Reinforcing a Dam During Flooding, photo by Cpl Richard Cave LBPPA/Defence Images

    Crisis response in a changing climate

    Researchers identified climate change challenges likely to emerge and propose five concrete policy actions that the UK Ministry of Defence could take to mitigate the impact of climate change on crisis response situations.

Caring through COVID

Exploring Truth Decay in Europe

Defining terrorism is the first step to defeating it

  • Broken glass, photo by Siarhei Dudzininski, artbox_of_life/Adobe Stock

    Understanding how acts of violence are classified

    How experts classify an act of violence is driven by knowledge of the perpetrator’s motivation, recognition of the ideology, and availability of information on mental health and social media use. Public perception, knowledge of available definitions and the classifier’s own background also influence classification.

  • A member of the local Explosives and Ordnance Division wearing a specialized suit tries to install a water diffuser to an improvised explosive device during a bomb drill in a high school courtyard in Manila, Philippines, July 14, 2017, photo by Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

    Defining 'Terrorism' Is the First Step to Defeating It

    Western policy- and decisionmakers continue to grapple with how to define acts of terrorism and when it is appropriate to bring terrorism charges. Establishing a consensus on the definition of terrorism and bringing to center stage the importance of adequately charging acts of terrorism could be more important than ever.

Dirty money

Survival kit

  • A Challenger 2 tank on Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire, Wales, photo by Cpl Si Longworth RLC (Phot)/CC BY-NC 2.0

    Assessing the challenges in UK defence equipment acquisition

    Three broad drivers of common defence programme cost and schedule problems could be mitigated by establishing effective challenge processes, professionalising certain job functions, focusing on risk management and understanding, and embedding clear lessons-learned processes.

Money matters

Crisis points

  • Gavel, scales and stethoscope

    Evaluating offender liaison and diversion trial schemes

    Researchers evaluated a new model of liaison and diversion (L&D) schemes, which aim to improve early identification of a range of health vulnerabilities among people passing through the UK youth or adult criminal justice system.

Transatlantic solidarity

  • European strategic autonomy in defence and implications for NATO, U.S., and EU relations

    Researchers examined the meaning of European strategic autonomy in defence and its implications for the U.S., NATO and EU-U.S. relations using a scenario methodology and transatlantic expert consultation.

  • A large European Union flag lies at the centre of Schuman Square outside European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 8, 2021.

    European Strategic Autonomy in Defence

    What does European strategic autonomy in defence mean for the EU, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and EU-U.S. relations? In this Expert Insights podcast, researchers discuss the path towards greater EU defence integration and factors that affect how this autonomy develops going forward.

Lean on me

Home comfort

The future of the REF

  • Office employee working with documents at table, photo by New Africa/Adobe Stock

    Understanding researcher views on REF 2021

    A real-time evaluation of the REF 2021 assessment process found that overall views on the REF are mixed. Many researchers perceive that the REF has a negative influence on UK researchers and the research community, but views on specific aspects and influences of the REF are more nuanced.

  • Wooden people figures with comment clouds above their heads, photo by Andrii Yalanskyi/Getty Images

    The Future of REF: Driving a Culture to Maximise High-Quality Research and Impact

    RAND Europe studied the attitudes of the UK’s research community towards the Research Excellence Framework. Through surveys, interviews and focus groups, the study team was able to gain valuable insight into researcher views across disciplines, career stages and types of institutions.

Tackling society challenges in Norway

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    Closing the gap

    • graphic designer, designer, businesswoman, office, casual clothing, sitting, holding, working, smiling, happy, cheerful, joy, attentive, focused, concentration, artist, graphic tablet, design, designing, digitizer, graphic, editing, stylus, desktop pc, keyboard, mouse, laptop, photograph, photo, pictures, color swatch, sticky notes, digital camera, desk lamp, desk, chair, professional, expertise, skill, digital, modern, profession, millennial, curly hair, smart

      Examining the digital skills gap

      Researchers assessed the evidence associated with the digital skills gap. The study analysed the key trends driving the gap at a global level and articulated some practical steps to address this challenge and potentially ‘close’ the gap.

    Bouncing back

    On the horizon