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

  • News Release

    News Release

    Economic Development Not the Only Influence on Personal Car Use

    Although countries with high levels of economic development generally have more personal automobile travel than less-affluent nations, income is not the only factor that determines a nation's demand for cars.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • Stop sign in Russia

    Research Brief

    Driving in the Future in Developing Countries

    Automobility -- travel in personal vehicles -- varies between countries. This brief summarizes a study of the factors besides economic development that affect automobility and how automobility might evolve in developing countries.

    Jul 15, 2014

  • Mototransport (bicycle cars) in New Delhi, India

    Report

    Exploring the Future of Driving in Developing Countries

    The level of automobility, or travel in personal vehicles, varies among countries. By determining the factors besides economic development that have affected automobility in developed countries, researchers can predict how automobility might evolve in developing countries.

    Jul 15, 2014

  • South African men create a sandbag building for EcoSteps

    Commentary

    Could Alternatives Ease the Misery of South Africa's Housing Crisis?

    The government's plan to replace cardboard shacks with cement houses may not be the only route to easing South Africa's housing woes. Increasingly, academic researchers, non-governmental organizations, and private companies are demonstrating pragmatic, low-cost, alternatives.

    Jul 10, 2014

  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Powai in Mumbai

    Commentary

    Four Approaches to Improve Higher Education in India Through Policies

    In India, university enrolment has grown from 10 to 23 million from 2000 to 2013, and so has interest in improving access and quality. A review of research on higher-education policies on affirmative action, financial aid, private education, and vocational education identifies gaps in research on improving access and quality.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • A child receives polio vaccination during an anti-polio campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan

    Commentary

    An Outbreak of Outbreaks

    Lately, stories about outbreaks seem to be spreading faster than the diseases themselves. An outbreak of measles in Ohio is just part of an 18-year high of U.S. cases. Meanwhile, polio continues to circulate in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, while spreading to other countries.

    Jun 11, 2014

  • Congolese woman

    Commentary

    First Steps Toward Addressing DR Congo's Rape Crisis

    An effort to address atrocities against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo has fallen short of advocates' hopes for justice. With its focus on criminal prosecution, the strategy failed to consider the weak infrastructure of the judicial system, left victims' needs unmet, and did little to address prevention.

    Jun 11, 2014

  • Woman attends a health education session in northern Nigeria

    Commentary

    Insurance and Incentives: A Dual Approach to Try to Improve Maternal Health in Nigeria

    Less than 5% of Nigerians have insurance; two-thirds of all health care costs are paid out of pocket. When people must pay out of pocket for health care at the point of service, this restricts access, excludes the poorest and most vulnerable, and leads to delays in patients seeking help.

    Jun 10, 2014

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) walk as they arrive to the site of previously burnt ivory, in Nairobi National Park May 10, 2014

    Commentary

    In Africa: U.S. Promotes Security, China Does Business

    Africans require both security and economic growth. Global powers like China and the United States do not need to choose between the two when focusing their foreign policy efforts.

    May 31, 2014

  • The Dinesh Nagar housing complex on the outskirts of New Delhi

    Report

    The Effects of Moving to Permanent Dwellings on India's Working Poor

    In India, low-cost housing projects like the Ashray Affordable Housing Pilot may help the working poor and their families improve their living conditions, while still allowing developers to recover their costs.

    May 30, 2014

  • Double maize yields for Malawian farmer with conservation agriculture

    Commentary

    Climate Change, Uncertainty Cast Clouds on Malawi's Food Policies

    Malawi has the highest per capita maize consumption in Africa, but it may need to consider alternatives, taking into greater consideration weather, climate change and water needs.

    May 20, 2014

  • Photo of South African shanty town

    Commentary

    In South Africa, Hard Choices on Housing

    South Africans go to the polls today, marking 20 years since apartheid ended and the country's first democratic elections brought the African National Congress (ANC) to power. But while much has changed, many challenges remain, including the developing nation's dire need for housing.

    May 7, 2014

  • Logan Town, Liberia

    Report

    Evaluation of the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov)

    This report evaluates the Population and Poverty Research Initiative (PopPov) and its progress in building economic demography, particularly policy-relevant research; policymakers’ understanding of issues; and research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa.

    May 5, 2014

  • A U.S. Navy boat patrols the waters of Nigeria's Lagos harbor, March 24, 2009

    Commentary

    Why the Dangerous New Turn for Piracy Matters

    Off the western coast of Africa, just north of the equator, the Gulf of Guinea has endured piracy for decades. But recent spikes in new, more dangerous forms of piracy imply a troubling sense of invincibility in the minds of the perpetrators.

    Apr 29, 2014

  • African mother and baby

    Commentary

    Maternal Deaths: Turning the Tide in a Nigerian State

    Bold and innovative approaches are being developed in different parts of the African continent in the quest to reduce maternal mortality. A noteworthy example of this is the Abiye Safe Motherhood program in Ondo State, Nigeria.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • Report

    Strategies for Private-Sector Development and Civil-Service Reform in the Kurdistan Region — Iraq

    Strategies for Private-Sector Development and Civil-Service Reform in the Kurdistan Region -- Iraq

    Apr 14, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Chinese Engagement in Africa Is a Two-Way Dynamic

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, relations between China and Africa are a vibrant two-way dynamic in which Chinese leaders adapt to feedback from the continent.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    China in Africa: Implications of a Deepening Relationship

    Discusses China's engagement with African countries, including what each side wants from these relationships, how Africans view China's involvement and how China has reacted to that, and whether the United States and China are competing in Africa.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • China’s President Xi Jinping (left) walks with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete upon his arrival in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, March 2013

    Report

    Chinese Engagement in Africa Is a Two-Way Dynamic

    Most analyses of Chinese engagement in Africa present China's quest for oil and other natural resources as a single-minded focus that dominates the nation's policy toward the continent. But Chinese-African relations have a give-and-take dynamic in which Africans have driven China to change its approach.

    Dec 31, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Brain Drain: Do Economic Conditions "Push" Doctors Out of Developing Countries?

    Health worker migration is an issue of first order concern in global health policy circles and continues to be the subject of much policy debate. In this paper, we contribute to the discussion by studying the impact of economic conditions on the migration of physicians from developing countries.

    Dec 1, 2013