Commentaries on International Development

Students, alumni, and faculty occasionally write commentaries on issues related to international development, which we are proud to feature here.

  • A Syrian refugee and her newborn baby at a clinic in Ramtha, Jordan

    The Health Needs of Syrian Women in and around the Za'atari Refugee Camp

    The Syrian conflict has been the main contributor to the largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide—and the problem can be expected to get worse as the fighting continues. Student Mahal Woldetsadik (cohort '13) notes that, while small steps are being taken to try and meet the needs of women refugees, more needs to be done.

  • Top row: Howard Shatz and Jeffrey Hiday; Bottom row: Sarah Weilant, Krishna Kumar, and Peter Glick

    RAND Joins Coalition to Tackle Youth Unemployment

    Oct 9, 2014

    The RAND Corporation has joined the World Bank and other corporate and civil society leaders to establish Solutions for Youth Employment, a global coalition that acts to address the pervasive challenges of youth employment.

  • Protestors demonstrate against a lack of housing outside provincial government buildings in central Cape Town, October 30, 2013

    How the Poor Can Take Charge to Improve Their Housing

    Sep 19, 2014

    Julia Pollak

    Public housing projects have been controversial for decades in countries around the world. But an informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa, could serve as a guide for other countries experimenting with community-driven development, an alternative approach to public housing, writes Julia Pollak (cohort '12).

  • Youth leaders for the NGO Jatan Sansthan's youth program

    Women's Menstrual Hygiene in India: The Health and Environmental Implications

    According to India's 2011 census, 89 percent of the nation's rural population lives in households that lack toilets. This absence of proper sanitation presents public health challenges and affects Indian women disproportionately, writes Pardee RAND student Mahal Woldetsadik (cohort '13) for the Pardee Initiative blog.

  • South African men create a sandbag building for EcoSteps

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

    Jul 10, 2014

    Julia Pollak

    The government's plan to replace cardboard shacks with cement houses may not be the only route to easing South Africa's housing woes, writes Pardee RAND student Julia Polak (cohort '12). Increasingly, academic researchers, non-governmental organizations, and private companies are demonstrating pragmatic, low-cost, alternatives.

  • Congolese woman

    First Steps Toward Addressing DR Congo's Rape Crisis

    A recent effort to begin to address atrocities against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo has fallen short of advocates' hopes for justice for rape victims, writes Pardee RAND student Mahlet Woletsadik (cohort '13). The initiative focused on criminal prosecution of offenders, a strategy that failed to consider the weak infrastructure of the nation’s judicial system, left the needs of victims unmet and did little to address the issue of prevention.

  • Woman attends a health education session in northern Nigeria

    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, writes Pardee RAND student Yemi Okunogbe (cohort '13) in The RAND Blog, this restricts access, excludes the poorest and most vulnerable, and leads to delays in patients seeking help.

  • Double maize yields for Malawian farmer with conservation agriculture

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

    May 20, 2014

    Tobi A. Oluwatola

    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, writes Pardee RAND student Tobi Oluwatola (cohort '12) for the Pardee Global Human Progress Initiative.

  • Photo of South African shanty town

    In South Africa, Hard Choices on Housing

    May 7, 2014

    Julia Pollak

    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, writes Pardee RAND student Julia Pollak (cohort '12), many challenges remain, including the developing nation's dire need for housing.

  • African mother and baby

    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, writes Pardee RAND student Yemi Okunogbe (cohort '13) in this inaugural blog for the Pardee Global Human Progress Initiative. A noteworthy example of these innovative approaches is the Abiye Safe Motherhood program in Ondo State, Nigeria.