Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Students

  • The grill is nearly empty at dinner hour at Ben's Chili Bowl during the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington, D.C., April 30, 2020, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    A Path to Recovery from COVID-19 for Small Businesses

    Jun 25, 2020

    C. Richard Neu, Diana Gehlhaus, et al.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered small businesses around the United States. Student Diana Gehlhaus Carew (cohort '15) and professors Richard New and Howard Shatz spoke with 21 small business owners to learn more about the challenges they are facing and how they might best be helped.

  • Wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept, photo by marchmeena29/Getty Images

    Student and Profs: How America Can Begin Building a System of Health

    May 4, 2020

    Tim McDonald, Christopher Nelson, et al.

    COVID-19 is shining a harsh spotlight on long-recognized but under-addressed gaps in the U.S. health system, write Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Profs. Christopher Nelson and Laurie Martin. As the nation moves quickly to respond, it could begin by engaging in the work of designing, defining, and building a System of Health.

  • Laura Ng, who has lupus and had to recently call at least five pharmacies before she could find a place to fill her hydroxychloroquine prescription, in Seattle, Washington, March 31, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    The Unintended Consequences of a Proposed Cure for COVID-19

    The very discussion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as therapeutic options against COVID-19 has decreased their availability for proven treatments, exacerbated global shortages, fueled an already rampant counterfeit drug market in Africa, and worsened trade tensions. Student Sangita Baxi (cohort '17) and professors Krishna Kumar and Todd Richmond ask, What can be done to deal with the unintended consequences caused by the elevated profile of these drugs?

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes the firing of suspected missiles in this image released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 22, 2020, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Alum and Student: North Korea Is Denying COVID-19

    According to North Korean authorities, North Korea has not yet suffered any cases of COVID-19. Alum Bruce Bennett (cohort '75) and student Diana Myers ('19) say that is very surprising, given that North Korea is a neighbor and extensive trading partner of China, where the disease initially flourished. There are signs that the absence of COVID-19 cases in North Korea is yet another North Korean deception.

  • Students Recommend an 'Olympian Feat': Green Infrastructure in Los Angeles

    Feb 11, 2020

    Noah Johnson, Karishma Patel, et al.

    Los Angeles has an opportunity to reinvent itself by harnessing the collective spirit of Olympics development, climate activism, and Measure W funding. Students Noah Johnson (cohort '18), Karishma Patel ('17), and Jarrett Catlin ('18) write that no single project can address all LA's environmental needs, but many diverse projects could provide an opportunity for synergies and to create a new “city feel,” the way palm trees, traffic, and movie-touting billboards do now.

  • Looking west along the Los Angeles River from the Fletcher Drive Bridge, <a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Los_Angeles_River_from_Fletcher_Drive_Bridge_2019.jpg">photo</a> by Downtowngal / <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>

    Los Angeles River Revitalization: Students Encourage Taking Inspiration from Near and Far

    Feb 4, 2020

    Keren Zhu, J. Luke Irwin, et al.

    Currently a predominantly concrete channel running through the city, the Los Angeles River has great potential to revitalize Los Angeles's water resources, landscape, and identity. Students Keren Zhu (cohort '17), J. Luke Irwin ('16), and Stephanie Tanverakul ('18), along with Prof. Timothy Gulden, explain that creating a new vision for the river presents a complex challenge for policymakers, engineers, and urban planners.

  • Woman with arm around a child, looking at a lake, photo by Image Source/Getty Images

    More Than Stormwater: Students Explore Multiple Benefits of Green Infrastructure for Los Angeles Communities

    Jan 29, 2020

    Joan Chang, Kristin Warren, et al.

    California faces shortages in water supply amidst droughts, wildfires, and other natural disasters worsened by climate change. Students Joan Chang (cohort '18), Pau Alonso Garcia ('18), and Jonathan Lamb ('17) argue that taking a systems thinking approach, in particular applying a systems framework, is essential to addressing complex problems for the sustainability of water resources that affect individuals, communities, and broader populations.

  • People shaking hands over an image of a city with a globe superimposed over the top, photo by chombosan/Getty Images

    Student-Prof Commentary: City Diplomacy Has Been on the Rise. Policies Are Finally Catching Up

    Cities are not signing international treaties, nor do they have embassies around the world, write Sohaela Amiri (cohort '16) and Professor Rafiq Dossani. But cities can engage in all kinds of negotiations, reach agreements, and influence world politics. The State Department could tap into this power to further enhance U.S. diplomacy, global image, and influence.

  • Lauren Buitta, founder of Girl Security, and RAND's Jenny Oberholtzer, Stacie Pettyjohn, Becca Wasser, and Ellie Bartels host a wargame for girls, July 2019, photo by Dori Gordon Walker/RAND Corporation

    A Wargame at RAND Puts Teen Girls in Command

    Aug 20, 2019

    As a student, Ellie Bartels (cohort '15) worked with her fellow RAND "Dames of War Games" to develop and host an event for young women to learn firsthand about national security. The day offered a lesson in strategy, in the hard realities behind news headlines, and also in agility and resilience.

  • A typical communist style statue in the capital city of North Korea, photo by alexkuehni/Getty Images

    Searching for Signs of Doi Moi in North Korea

    President Trump's second summit with Kim Jong Un prompted voluminous commentary about whether Pyongyang might adopt the “Vietnam model” of economic reform and opening up, known as doi moi. Dung Huynh (cohort '16) and colleagues suggest that although some version of doi moi may be possible in North Korea, it will likely be more difficult than it was in Vietnam, especially because of Kim's reluctance to risk losing absolute control.

  • Close-up of a person reading/texting on their smartphone, photo by sam thomas/Getty Images

    Three Takeaways from RAND's Analysis of News in the Digital Age

    May 14, 2019

    How has the rise of digital technology shaped the way that news is presented? Student Mahlet Tebeka (cohort '17), alum Steve Davenport ('15), and professors Jennifer Kavanagh and Bill Marcellino conducted an empirical study to find out. Here's what you need to know from their findings.

  • A medical bill showing balance due, photo by DNY59/Getty Images

    Addressing Surprise Medical Bills Without Raising the Cost of Health Care

    Patients who try to stay within their insurers' networks can be hit with surprise bills when they unknowingly receive care from out-of-network physicians. Erin Duffy (cohort '15) and Profs. Chapin White and Mark Friedberg ask how much a physician should be paid for providing a service that is critical but rendered without the patient's ready ability to choose an in-network provider.

  • Five glasses of water, with dirty water in the center, photo by hdere/Getty Images

    How to Ensure Quality Drinking Water Service for All? One Option Is Fewer Utilities.

    Mar 26, 2019

    David Catt, Michelle E. Miro, et al.

    California's Human Right to Water Bill declares that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” Student David Catt and professors Miriam Marlier and Michelle Miro say one clear barrier to reaching this target is the sheer number of small water utilities that pose service sustainability and public health risks to their customers.

  • Department of Water and Power employees assess the damage from a broken 30-inch water main on Sunset Boulevard, next to the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, July 30, 2014, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Lessening Leakages: How Water Systems Can Learn From Smart Electric Grids

    Mar 22, 2019

    Jalal Awan, Michelle E. Miro, et al.

    As drought and population growth place increasing pressure on water supply, the need to save and efficiently manage Southern California's water resources becomes increasingly critical. Student Jalal Awan (cohort 17) and professors Miriam Marlier and Michelle Miro suggest that a single information and communication technology platform could go a long way toward moving water utilities from reactive to proactive maintenance practices.

  • Oil barrel leaking oil grass, photo by RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images

    Increasing Groundwater Reliance in L.A. County Means Dealing with Extensive Contamination

    Advances in the information available on groundwater quality and contamination could help community water systems avoid health hazards and better ensure a safe drinking water supply, write Alexandra Huttinger (cohort '17) and professors Michelle Miro and Miriam Marlier.

  • Los Angeles skyline at night, photo by Joecho-16/Getty Images

    Building a Capacity Framework for U.S. City Diplomacy

    Mar 11, 2019

    Jay Wang, Sohaela Amiri

    As U.S. cities are home to two thirds of the population, the practice of city diplomacy has become essential for local communities to thrive in a globalized society. Sohaela Amiri (cohort '16) asks, What are the necessary skills, capabilities, and resources required to craft an effective global engagement strategy?

  • President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore, June 12, 2018, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Engagement with North Korea: Small Steps May Matter More Than Big Ones

    Kim Jong-Un has said he wants North Korea to become a normal country. Heejin Kim (cohort '18) and Prof. Rafiq Dossani say that agreeing to a series of short-term measures could reveal his truthfulness as much as large measures could. This could also pave the way to eventually achieving the larger goals.

  • Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hold a bilateral meeting in Singapore, November 14, 2018

    Vietnam's Defense Policy of 'No' Quietly Saves Room for 'Yes'

    Rising U.S.-China tensions over freedom of navigation in the South China Sea have pressured other states, particularly within Southeast Asia, to choose sides. Student Dung Huynh (cohort '16) says that Vietnam in the last few years has played a delicate balancing act.

  • A guide explains the interior of a home designed by students of Middlebury College competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, September 26, 2011

    Can Innovative Financing by the Public and Private Sectors Build on Momentum in Energy Efficiency Improvements for Affordable Multifamily Housing?

    Nearly one in three American households in 2015 reported difficulty paying their energy bills or sustaining adequate home heating and cooling. Student Lisa Jonsson (cohort '14) and Prof. Aimee Curtright find that emerging models of energy services and financing show promise and could identify creative ways to increase access to funding that could preserve and improve home affordability for millions of Americans.

  • Wargaming at the U.S. Army Command and Staff College on Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,  March 9, 2018

    Building a Pipeline of Wargaming Talent: A Two-Track Solution

    On issues ranging from potential conflicts with Russia to the future of transportation and logistics, writes student Ellie Bartels (cohort '15) writes, senior Department of Defense leaders have increasingly turned to wargames to imagine the future of war and make long-term investments to confront the challenges ahead.

  • Men sleep on a temporary shade built over a drain next to a slum on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, May 28, 2015

    Mitigating India's Climate-Change Misery

    Oct 11, 2018

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Despite years of dire forecasts, the international community has been unable to halt the steady climb in global temperatures and, as student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort '14) writes, it is the world's poorest who are paying the heaviest toll. As heat-related risks intensify, those living on the margins—in India and elsewhere—will need help to cope effectively.

  • Bird scooters outside a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, July 23, 2018

    A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Unleashed in Santa Monica last September, Bird and its competitors are now in more than 30 American cities—and are being met with new regulations and increased law enforcement. Student Tim McDonald (cohort '16) and Prof. Rob Lempert write that, if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

  • A desk with 3D printing technology on top

    Downloadable Guns and Other 3-D Printing Security Threats

    Americans may soon be able to legally access blueprints for 3D-printed guns. But the growing opposition to them shows that potential security threats do not have to be inevitable, write student Luke Irwin (cohort '16) and professors Troy Smith and Trevor Johnston. The security challenges inherent in 3D printing could be addressed, while the development of industry norms can still be shaped.

  • A man selling air coolers rests at a market on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India May 4, 2017

    Staying Cool—as the Globe Warms

    Apr 23, 2018

    Gulrez Shah Azhar

    Studies suggest that the heat of the future will exceed human coping capacity. Student Gulrez Shah Azhar (cohort '14) says that taking advantage of smart technology, inexpensive traditional methods that require little energy use, and innovative energy-efficient technologies could provide a sustainable path forward in heat-challenged regions.

  • Syrian-born mayor of the local Andravida-Kyllini municipality Nampil-iosif Morant meets Syrian refugees near the town of Myrsini southwest of Athens, Greece, August 13, 2016

    Europe's Great Challenge: Integrating Syrian Refugees

    Since March, 2011, close to 1 million Syrian refugees have requested asylum in European countries, with Germany being the primary destination. Students Mahlet Woldetsadik (cohort '13) and Gabriela Armenta ('15) say social and economic policies to deal with the refugee crisis will require collaborative planning, monitoring, and assessment efforts to be successful.