Developing Countries

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More than three-fourths of the world's population live in so-called developing countries: nations that may not have a stable economy, energy supply, or advanced technology, and whose population may lack access to jobs, food, water, education, health care, and housing. RAND takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the problems of international development and recommends policy solutions for global, national, and local economies.

Explore Developing Countries

  • Man counting Somali money

    Report

    Review of Six DFID-funded Growth Research Programmes: Main report

    The Department for International Development in the UK provided funding to organisations focused on economic growth research over the last years. This review compared six programmes over time, against each other, and against relevant benchmarks.

    Aug 23, 2016

  • Women walk near a poster displaying a government message against Ebola, at a maternity hospital in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, August 14, 2014

    Commentary

    The Economic Rationale for Investing in Family Planning in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Proven benefits to reduced fertility — or to delayed start to childbearing and greater spacing between births — include lower maternal mortality, fewer unsafe abortions, reduced risks from early childbearing, and women's ability to engage in more income-generating opportunities.

    Aug 3, 2016

  • Women from the village of Okabi in Northern Uganda participate in a group research exercise investigating the value perception of rural electrification

    Commentary

    After Decades of Conflict, Learning to Reap the Benefits of Taxes in Northern Uganda

    A women's community organization is trying to get Ugandans to pay taxes while teaching them how to get the local government to spend tax money on improving public services. The post-conflict regions of northern Uganda need more health care, legal services, psychological support, and counseling.

    Mar 17, 2016

  • A mother and son in Nigeria

    Commentary

    A Promising Approach for Expanding Health Insurance to Nigeria's Informal Sector

    The Kwara Community Health Insurance program in Nigeria provides a remarkable proof of concept and template for addressing the challenge of providing risk protection for the poor in the developing world.

    Jan 22, 2016

  • A laborer lifts a basket of crushed bricks at a construction site in Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 22, 2014

    Commentary

    What to Do About Informal Employment in Developing Countries

    The staying power of informal employment in developing countries is a concern, because informal employees (e.g., day laborers) tend to receive lower wages, fewer benefits, and fewer legal protections. How can policymakers improve conditions for informal workers?

    Jan 22, 2016

  • The distribution of 40,000 litres of water is seen among in El Srief, North Darfur, July 25, 2011

    Commentary

    A New Approach to Managing Aid Agencies

    The current approach to managing aid agencies is confused due to two opposing forces: a results-based approach to management and an emphasis on the need to achieve systemic changes and transform underlying constraints.

    Dec 18, 2015

  • Coleman Moshi, during a hike up to the first base camp of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Commentary

    Africa Succeeds in Meeting Many Long-Term U.N. Development Goals

    Africa's great strides toward meeting the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals are a compelling reminder of the continent's potential to create a more prosperous and sustainable environment for its people.

    Dec 7, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Returns to Education in Developing Countries: Evidence from the Living Standards and Measurement Study Surveys

    This study uses 61 nationally representative household surveys from 25 developing countries between 1985 and 2012 to assess whether returns to education are systematically higher in developing countries.

    Nov 18, 2015

  • Laborers carry bricks at a brick factory on the outskirts of Agartala, India, January 7, 2015

    Commentary

    Attacking Poverty Through Employability Interventions

    The UN's goal to end poverty is a worthy undertaking but less clear to policymakers is what the most efficient options are to reduce poverty through employment or training. An analysis of efforts in South Asia finds that investments in interventions that combine business training with financing could yield positive results.

    Oct 16, 2015

  • Two Indian men working in a textile shop

    Report

    Taking Stock of Employment Interventions in South Asia

    While the number has declined over recent decades, estimates of global poverty remain high. Employment is crucial to lift people out of poverty. A review of the most prominent employment interventions in South Asia could provide guidance for future efforts to increase employment.

    Oct 14, 2015

  • Woman using a digital tablet with an elderly man

    Commentary

    Bridging the Global Age Gap

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership offers hope for balancing the world's rapidly aging with its jobless youth. As long-term care for the elderly becomes a pressing need in many developed countries, services such as monitoring and reminding people to take their medications could be provided remotely from countries with an abundance of younger workers.

    Oct 8, 2015

  • Citizens of Cochabamba sign cards as part of the Cartas de Mujeres Bolivia campaign

    Commentary

    In Latin America, Breaking the Cycle of Intimate-Partner Abuse One Handwritten Letter at a Time

    Latin America has one of the highest rates of intimate-partner violence in the world, but a series of high-profile cases, including the murder of a journalist by her policeman husband, have propelled intimate-partner violence to the fore of Bolivia's public agenda.

    Sep 30, 2015

  • HIV test at Pomerini in Tanzania

    Commentary

    New Partnerships for Improving Global Health Research

    Partnerships between public and private organizations have become a powerful mechanism for addressing longer-term and structural challenges faced by developing countries that have a high burden of poverty-related diseases.

    Sep 22, 2015

  • Young men collaborating in a workshop at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 23, 2014

    Report

    Improving Mongolia's Labor Market and Enhancing Opportunities for Youth

    Despite a recent slowdown, Mongolia has experienced dramatic economic growth in the 2000s. Youth labor-market success is important to Mongolia's economic future. Insights from the challenges young Mongolians face, as well as their achievements and aspirations, can help inform policy.

    Aug 24, 2015

  • Mural at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe

    Project

    The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's Capacity Building Activities in East Africa

    The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) helps to bridge the gap between scientific and technological potential and the needs of low income populations in low and middle income countries.

    Jul 30, 2015

  • World Bank nutrition program in Djibouti

    Report

    Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund Mid Term Review: Final Report

    The Department for International Development (DfID) commissioned RAND Europe to conduct a Mid Term Review of the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund, run by the World Bank.

    Jul 10, 2015

  • Juba, South Sudan, February 2014: Internally displaced persons in South Sudan find a safe shelter at the UN House IDP Camp

    Commentary

    Family Planning Must Be Part of the Humanitarian Response in Africa's Conflict Zones

    Worldwide, nearly 800 women die every day due to mostly preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. More than half of these deaths occur in fragile states torn by armed conflict and generalized violence.

    Jul 1, 2015

  • Chinese currency

    Commentary

    China's Foreign Aid Offensive

    China has given an average of $174 billion per year in foreign assistance for the last six years. How will the scale of its foreign aid change in the future?

    Jun 29, 2015

  • A farmer in China inspects his rice

    Q&A

    Reaching the 80 Percent: Q&A with Krishna Kumar

    Krishna Kumar discusses studying agriculture in China, low-income housing in India, and labor markets in Bangladesh, and how research can help the developing world.

    Jun 15, 2015

  • Trainee health workers preparing to don protective suits at a World Health Organization training session in Freetown September 30, 2014

    Commentary

    What the Ebola Crisis Taught Us About Emergency Preparedness

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the most severe of its kind. At the height of the crisis, 800 to 1,000 new cases were reported per week in Africa across the three most heavily affected countries. As of last week, there were only 12 confirmed cases. What must be done to prevent and mitigate future crises of this nature?

    Jun 4, 2015