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The Cost of Non-Europe in the Single Market: Free Movement of Goods

October 24, 2014 Comments off

The Cost of Non-Europe in the Single Market: Free Movement of Goods
Source: RAND Corporation

Cost of Non-Europe Reports identify the possibilities for economic or other gains and/or the realisation of a ‘public good’ through common action at EU level in specific policy areas and sectors. This Cost of Non-Europe Report seeks to analyse the costs for citizens, businesses and relevant stake-holders of remaining gaps and barriers in the European Single Market, building on and updating the 1988 Cecchini Report, which quantified its potential benefits. This particular study uses an econometric model to estimate the potential benefits of removing existing barriers to foreign direct investment and non-tariff trade barriers within the European Union. The removal of existing trade barriers could boost total intra-EU merchandise exports up to 7 per cent in the long-term. These effects will vary by Member State, and by sector of the internal market.

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Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education (PDF)
Source: RAND Corporation

Conversations about what constitutes “developmentally appropriate” use of technology in early childhood education (ECE) have, to date, focused largely on a single, blunt measure—screen time—that fails to capture important nuances, such as what type of media a child is accessing and whether technology use is taking place solo or with peers. Using screen time as the primary measure of developmentally appropriate use has become increasingly inappropriate, as new technologies are ever more rapidly introduced and integrated into all aspects of life. In this policy brief, we challenge the traditional emphasis on screen time and discuss how to move toward a more comprehensive definition of developmentally appropriate technology use for young children.

Police Department Investments in Information Technology Systems

October 6, 2014 Comments off

Police Department Investments in Information Technology Systems
Source: RAND Corporation

In the wake of the economic downturn that began in 2007 and 2008, public service providers, including police departments, have been asked to tighten their financial belts and, in some instances, do more with less. Whereas some departments have cut their information technology (IT) investments and staffing as a way to avoid cutting sworn officers, others have increased their investments in IT, believing it can serve as a force multiplier, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the department. IT has become increasingly integrated into modern police organizations, particularly for systems related to records management, dispatch, crime investigation, personnel records, information sharing, fleet management, automated booking, and resource allocation. But the trade-offs among personnel, technology, and costs are not straightforward. With this report, the authors explored the rationale and evidence supporting the idea that IT investments can increase efficiency in policing, and do so cost-effectively. The correlation modeling suggested both expected and unexpected relationships between IT and efficiency. For various reasons, the efforts to carry out a full statistical analysis of police IT use matched with activity types using existing survey data did not succeed. However, they did yield insights that are relevant to the design of future efforts to assess the effects of IT systems on law enforcement performance.

Developing a Research Strategy for Suicide Prevention in the Department of Defense; Status of Current Research, Prioritizing Areas of Need, and Recommendations for Moving Forward

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Developing a Research Strategy for Suicide Prevention in the Department of Defense; Status of Current Research, Prioritizing Areas of Need, and Recommendations for Moving Forward
Source: RAND Corporation

In response to the elevated rate of suicide among U.S. service members, a congressionally mandated task force recommended that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) create a unified, comprehensive strategic plan for suicide prevention research to ensure that DoD-funded studies align with DoD’s goals. To help meet this objective, a RAND study cataloged the research funded by DoD and other entities that is directly relevant to military personnel, examined the extent to which current research maps to DoD’s strategic research needs, and provided recommendations to ensure that proposed research strategies align with the national research strategy and integrate with DoD’s data collection and program evaluation strategies. The study found that although DoD is one of the largest U.S. funders of research related to suicide prevention, its current funding priorities do not consistently reflect its research needs. The study indexed each of 12 research goals according to rankings of importance, effectiveness, cultural acceptability, cost, and learning potential provided by experts who participated in a multistep elicitation exercise. The results revealed that research funding is overwhelmingly allocated to prevention goals already considered by experts to be effective. Other goals considered by experts to be important and appropriate for the military context receive relatively little funding and have been the subject of relatively few studies, meaning that there is still much to learn about these strategies. Furthermore, DoD, like other organizations, suffers from a research-to-practice gap. The most promising results from studies funded by DoD and other entities do not always find their way to those responsible for implementing suicide prevention programs that serve military personnel. The RAND study recommended approaches to thoughtfully integrate the latest research findings into DoD’s operating procedures to ensure that evidence-based approaches can benefit suicide prevention programs and prevent the further loss of lives to suicide.

Cost Considerations in Cloud Computing

October 2, 2014 Comments off

Cost Considerations in Cloud Computing
Source: RAND Corporation

Cloud computing has garnered the attention of the Department of Defense as data and computer processing needs grow and budgets shrink. Programs are interested in the potential of cloud computing to control growing data management costs, but reliable literature on the costs of cloud computing in the government is still limited. Researchers found that cloud provider costs can vary in value compared with traditional information system alternatives because of cost structure variations, and analyzed the cost drivers for several data management approaches for one acquisition program to develop structured cost considerations for analysts evaluating new cloud investments. These considerations can help analysts be comprehensive in their analysis until the DoD develops official guidance on cloud computing cost analysis.

The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030-2040

September 29, 2014 Comments off

The U.S. Army in Asia, 2030-2040
Source: RAND Corporation

For the next 20 or more years, the U.S. relationship with China will be the fulcrum on which the East Asian security order balances. As a result, U.S. policy should seek to prevent the emergence of an overtly hostile U.S.-China relationship while hedging against the possibility that one could nonetheless emerge. Such a strategy must balance between protecting U.S. interests in East Asia, where clashes with China’s preferences are most likely, and cooperating with Beijing globally where the two sides have common objectives. Crafting and sustaining such a strategy will be a major challenge. It must have clear and realistic goals flowing from larger U.S. interests and strategy in the region, take into account the need for U.S.-China cooperation on a host of global security and economic matters, be flexible and responsive to Chinese moves, seek to channel Chinese conduct in favorable directions, and reflect the new realities of Asia resulting from China’s increased military and economic power. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in supporting U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific, primarily by providing training and support to allies and partners; helping to defend key facilities from enemy ground, air, and missile attack; providing key enabling support to the joint force; projecting expeditionary combat forces into the theater; contributing to new conventional deterrent options; and helping to encourage China’s participation in cooperative military-to-military engagements.

The Future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

September 26, 2014 Comments off

The Future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act
Source: RAND Corporation

Since the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was last reauthorized in 2007, terrorism insurance has remained widely available and the price has fallen. However, challenges remain from both a social and an insurance point of view. Roughly 40 percent of policyholders still do not purchase terrorism coverage, and uncertainty remains regarding how much coverage would be available without TRIA. What is more, the program is set to expire on December 31, 2014, and it is unclear whether the improvements in the market since TRIA was first passed in 2002 can be sustained without it.

On June 10, 2014, a conference was convened in Washington, D.C., to present findings of recent RAND research and to address additional facets of this complex issue, including the pros and cons of proposed modifications to TRIA. This conference brought together stakeholders to not only discuss the varying implications of TRIA’s expiration, modification, and extension, but also to frame how it is debated in the halls of Congress and across the country.

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